It looks like a large drop of water, but it’s actually a cake. This Japanese invention is as delicate as it looks and sounds, but it needs to be consumed in only 30 minutes, after which it will simply turn into a sweet puddle of water.
The water cake looks like a large bowl of jelly without the color, but its makers insist that it’s cake. The strange dish is a variation of the well-known Japanese rice-cake confection, shingen mochi. Mochis are trademarked desserts, only created by the Kinseiken Seika Company. A regular type of shingen mochi is made from a particularly soft type of mochi rice cake, sprinkled with kinako soybean powder and eaten with brown sugar syrup. Traditionally, it is yellow in color, with a sticky and soft jelly-like consistency.
In its new form, the mochi is perfectly transparent, giving it a bit of a crystal-like appearance. It is made of water sourced from the Southern Japanese Alps, lightly sweetened, and solidified just enough to give it a definite shape. That’s why it’s called mizu (water) shingen mochi’, which according to the Kinseiken website, is so smooth that it melts in your mouth. It retains its shape for only 30 minutes before melting, so it needs to be consumed in the company’s shops and cannot be ordered ‘to go’.
Mizu shingen mochi was introduced as a seasonal sweet during summer last year, and it was so popular that the makers have decided to bring it back this year. It is available at only two of Kinseiken’s stores, both located in Yamanashi Prefecture. Several admirers of the dessert have taken to Twitter to gush about how awesome it is.
Japanese TV anchor Mika Miura, wrote: “This mizu shingen mochi from Kinseiken in Hokuto City is transparent and delightfully soft. The jelly is made from underflow water from Mount Kaikoma, and has a pleasant natural sweetness. Add the rich kinako powder and brown sugar syrup and it goes incredibly smoothly down your throat. The taste is really amazing.”
Shingen mochi is believed to have originated from the sugared mochi cakes that Japanese medieval warlord Shingen Takeda preferred to carry as a wartime ration. Another theory attributes the cake’s origin to abekawa mochi, a similar type of rice cake eaten during the summer obon festival. But the water version is new and completely unique. And if it really is made of nothing but water, then it’s just perfect for weight-watchers!