What is a good sifter for making koshi-an?

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I had a super sifter for making koshi-an, but it is gone. I’m looking to buy a new one, but uncertain what they are called and what specifications are good for making koshi-an.

  • Adam Sōmu
    You’re after a ‘koshi-ki 漉し器’. They come in different sized ‘me 目’ which refers to the size of the holes. One with large holes is referred to as ‘me no arai 目の荒い’ or ‘arai me 荒い目’ and one with small holes is referred to as ‘me no komakai 目の細かい’. You can get them from specialty stores in Kyoto. Well, I think that would be your best bet. I tried getting one in Hiroshima and it was a hard task. Most people will have their own preference for making koshi-an. For me, I like to use an arai me koshi-ki to remove the skins from the beans. After the skins are removed, I then pass the ‘niku’ of the beans through a finer koshi-ki (me no komakai koshi-ki). It is ofter good to pass the beans through the arai me koshi-ki twice to remove all the skin. If you want to improvise, you can find a lot of good substitutes at Asian supermarkets with all different sized ‘me’. They are almost always round and not flat like the koshi-ki for making sweets, but I find this often helps in the action of squishing the beans through the mesh. Of course, ‘mitate’ koshi-ki found in Asian supermarkets will not last as long as the strong wire and wood ones from Japan. http://pds.exblog.jp/pds/1/200904/30/37/e0134337_1731295.jpg
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I use a european tamis. It is essentially the same as the Japanese koshi-ki, except they are made of metal, ususally stainless steel. They come in various sizes as well. You should be able to find them on Amazon. Obviously the finer the mesh the smoother your an will be. I usually start by putting the beans through a coarser round bottomed strainer, and then through the tamis  a couple of times. It is possible to push too hard when straining your an, but this can force the coarser bits of beans through the mesh resulting in a grainy texture.

 

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