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Vanilla Dessert

This dessert and the suggested variations are delicious eaten plain or topped with fresh fruit or Clearspring Fruit Purée Desserts.

Serves 4



  1. Combine 400ml rice drink, malt syrup and salt in a small saucepan. Sprinkle in the agar flakes and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 1 minute while stirring.
  2. Thoroughly dissolve the kuzu in the remaining 100ml rice drink and add to the mix whilst stirring briskly. Return to a simmer and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat. Mix in the vanilla extract and divide among four small dessert cups. Chill, uncovered, until firm (about 2 hours).


Lemon Dessert: add 1½ tbsp lemon juice and 1½ tsp lightly grated lemon zest along with the vanilla.

Berry Dessert: follow the method for Vanilla Dessert except blend 1½ cups fresh raspberries or strawberries with the rice drink before heating, and reduce amount of vanilla extract to ½ tsp.

These desserts also make great pie fillings, parfaits, trifles, cream puffs, and shortcake.


John & Jan BellemeJohn & Jan Belleme

John & Jan Belleme are leading autorities on the healing powers of traditional Japanese foods. Before turning his focus to food and health, John was a research biologist for the Veteran's association in Miami, Florida, and he worked in laboratories at the Universities of Miami Medical School and Harvard University Medical School.

For more than twenty-five years John has applied his background in medical research to interpreting the literature on traditional Japanese medicinal foods.

In 1979, after living and studying in Japan for over a year - where the Bellemes learned the craft of miso making firsthand - they co-founded the American Miso Company, one of the world's largest producers of traditional miso.

Since the 1980s the Bellemes have researched and written, and in many cases illustrated, over 130 published articles on the subject of Japanese foods, including four books: Culinary Treasures of Japan; Cooking with Japanese Foods: A Guide to the Traditional Natural Foods of Japan; Clearspring - The Real Taste of Japan and The Miso Book.

John and Jan travel throughout the eastern United States giving lectures about authentic Japanese foods, and every winter, with partner Sandy Pukel, organise a week-long health cruise that features prominent experts in macrobiotic cooking, healthy living, holistic medicine, yoga, meditation, shiatsu, Pilates, and natural beauty aids. They live in Saluda, North Carolina.