How to Process Konnyaku Bulbs

My friend ordered 10 seed konnyaku bulbs last spring from Japan and brought them to me to plant in my community garden plot. I’ve never grown konnyaku, but fortunately they grew well without that much effort and care, and I harvested  around 4″ diameter roots in mid October.

The roots themselves don’t look like the final product at all. Konnyaku cakes we see at Japanese grocery stores were already processed. I’ve never made konnyaku from scratch in my life, and I am sure that most Japanese would never make it in their entire life.

I went to my friend’s apartment after the harvest, and we started the process to make konnyaku. As we were the first timer, we referred to a Japanese konnyaku manufacturer’s website. The total process took about 3 hours.

At the end, I sampled the fruit of my labor, which started last spring. I was surprised by the difference of the homemade and store bought konnyaku. The texture of homemade one is somewhat in between nagaimo and store bought konnyaku and it was really tasty by itself. I am not a big fan of store bought konnyaku, but I love when it’s homemade.

It is not easy to obtain konnyaku potatoes in the United States, but just in case, I put the recipe for you. Here is what you need, and how to process konnyaku roots.

Necessary Tools

  • Scale
  • Blender
  • Rubber spatula
  • Large bowl
  • Small bowl
  • Pot
  • Vegetable scrub
  • Latex gloves (avoid touching raw konnyaku potatoes as it makes your skin itch)
  • Vat or mold
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