Wagashi: Kyoto Tsuruya Keiran Somen 京都鶴屋 鶏卵素麺 鶴寿庵
Barbarian Confection: Fios de Ovos
Tsuruya is a Kyoto wagashi shinise that has a new shop in the Nishiki Market called Tsurujuan. I had heard about this confection from Miwa but I had never seen it. The moment I laid eyes on it I reached for my wallet.
The inventiveness of wagashi never ceases to amaze, keiran somen, like kasutera and kompeito, is one of those ‘not quite’ Japanese confections that is inspired by fios de ovos, or ‘angel hair’ that made its way to Japan in the 1600′s from Portugal. The ingredient list is short; just sugar and egg yolk. The taste and texture is out of this world rich and luxurious!
Keiran Somen – Package
Keiran Somen – Package Unwrapped
Keiran somen is based on the Portuguese dish fios de ovos or ‘angel hair’.
How to Make: A Pound of Sugar, A Pound of Egg Yolk
A few years ago I learned why pound cake is called pound cake; a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, a pound of flour. Very simple, very rich. When I first tasted Tsuruya’s keiran somen, the first thing that came to mind was, a pound of sugar, a pound of egg yolk.
Kyoto Tsuruya won’t say how they make their keiran somen, however they do say that it is made the ‘traditional way’. There are a small number of wagashi companies in Japan that make keiran somen. Rock sugar is melted over heat in a pan and into this well stirred egg yolk is poured from a container with multiple narrow spouts. The cooked threads of egg yolk are gathered up into a loop, just like yarn. It is then twisted tight and cut into bite sized pieces.
Keiran Somen Pulled Apart
Gently untwisting will separate the ‘noodles’.
Keiran Somen – detail
Ingredient List: Sugar and Egg
(From the second line) 砂糖 sugar, 鶏卵 chicken egg