Japanese candy strawberries are juicy berries coated with amazingly delicate and crisp candy coating. This special treat from Japan is fun to make, so tasty, and requires just a few ingredients. A precise food thermometer is required, so grab one and let's get started.
Japan is famous for its amazing quality of fruit. You can even buy incredibly expensive, designer fruit there. But you know, the prices are worth it once you try them. Here in North America we don't have the same specialty fruits available, so I recommend finding strawberries when they're at their sweetest and ripest in late summer after spending long days under the sun in the fields.
Regardless of when and where you are making this recipe, you should try to get very red and sweet berries. They should be small to medium in size and have a nice shape to them.
- Granulated sugar
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice
See the recipe card below for quantities.
Let's start by washing the strawberries. In order for the candy coating to adhere well, it's very important that the strawberries are completely dry and at room temperature. Pat them dry and set them out until they are no longer cool to the touch.
When they are room temperature, pull off the leaves but leave the cores of the strawberries intact. The core will help to anchor the skewer in place. Take bamboo skewers and pierce one into each of the berries. Technically, you could do this with a toothpick, however, working with the liquid candy syrup will be quite hot so I recommend using a skewer.
Add the water, sugar, and lemon juice into a small saucepan. Give it a gentle stir to make sure that there is no sugar sticking to the bottom.
Turn the heat to medium and bring it to a boil, letting it continue to boil down for about twelve minutes while you keep an eye on it with your thermometer. We need the syrup to reach between 300°-310°F (150-155°C). Any lower and the candy coating won't harden, any higher and it will become rock hard. After 260°F (127°C) the temperature will rise quite rapidly, so keep a very close eye on it. Don't be concerned if the syrup turns a light amber colour.
Once the ideal temperature is achieved, remove the saucepan from the heat. Holding onto a skewer, dip each strawberry into the syrup, rotating the skewer until the berry is thoroughly coated. I tilted the pan to make it easier.
Continue turning the skewer while lifting the strawberry out of the syrup, allowing all of the excess to drip off. You can even touch the berry to the side of the pan to help the excess run off. You want to achieve a thin and crispy candy coating as that is the most delicious.
Move quickly so that the syrup doesn't adhere thickly. If the syrup in the pan begins to thicken as you are working, return the saucepan to the heat for a few seconds to loosen it up again.
Set the berries down on something that they won't stick to, such as a baking sheet, parchment paper, or aluminum foil. Allow them about thirty minutes to cool and harden. Then it's time to enjoy!
You can use this technique with other fruits and berries that have their 'skin' intact. For example, grapes are a delicious option.
You should eat these treats soon after they have hardened. If you leave them for too long, the candy coating will begin to dissolve because of the moisture inside of the strawberry.
Because we aren't adding any preservatives or hardening agents, these cannot be made ahead of time and are meant to be enjoyed soon after making.
Interested in other Japanese recipes? I will feature many of them here on my site, such as this delicious Japanese Royal Milk Tea. Subscribe to my email list to be sent fresh recipes like these straight to your inbox.Print
Juicy berries coated with amazingly delicate and crisp candy coating. Japanese candy strawberries are a unique and tasty treat.
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (60ml) water
1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
12 strawberries (small-medium)
Rinse strawberries, pat them dry, and set them out to bring them to room temperature. Berries must be dry and room temperature for candy coating to adhere. Once they are ready, pull off the leaves but leave the cores intact as they will anchor the skewers. Insert a bamboo skewer into each berry.
Add water, sugar, and lemon juice into a small saucepan. Stir to ensure that there is no sugar stuck to the bottom of the pan. Turn heat to medium and bring to a boil, letting it continue to boil down for about 12 minutes. Check candy syrup's temperature frequently with a precise food thermometer. It will heat quite rapidly after reaching 260°F (127°C). Once the candy syrup has reached between 300°-310°F (150°-155°C), remove the saucepan from the heat. (Any lower and the candy coating won't harden, and higher and it will be too hard.)
You may wish to tilt the saucepan to make this step easier. Taking once strawberry at a time, dip it into the candy syrup with a turning motion, ensuring that it is thoroughly coated. Continue to rotate it while lifting it out of the syrup. Allow any access syrup to drip off. You can touch the berry to the side of the saucepan to help the excess to run off. Move swiftly while dipping so that the candy coating doesn't become too thick. A very thin and crispy coating is best.
Set the berries on something they won't stick to (baking sheet, parchment paper, aluminum foil, etc.). Allow them to cool and harden for about 30 minutes. Then they should be enjoyed as soon as possible for maximum quality - if left too long, the candy coating will begin to dissolve from the moisture inside the strawberries.
If the syrup begins to thicken while you are still working on dipping the berries, return the saucepan to the heat for a few seconds to loosen it up again.
- Serving Size: 1 candy strawberry
- Calories: 24
- Sugar: 5.4 g
- Sodium: 0.3 mg
- Fat: 0.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 6.2 g
- Protein: 0.2 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: Japanese candy strawberries