Green Tea Panna Cotta

Our old friends Hideko and Jonathan Colton invited us over for a very memorable dinner recently.

Hideko is a real foodie from Kanagawa (Yokohama) Japan, who has also learned classic French cuisine, in addition to having a strong foundation in Japanese cooking. She also teaches a fun and delicious sushi class that you can read more about here. Hideko also has a blog in Japanese that you can check out here.

Green Tea Panna Cotta

She blends all of these elements together in very creative ways, and finished the meal with an extremely successful fusion of Japanese and Italian dessert-making with her Green Tea Panna Cotta.

Panna Cotta, or literally, “Cooked Cream,” is a delicate, light pudding-like dessert that is a big favorite in Italy. Something like the tofu of the dessert world, it also lends itself well to taking on the flavors of whatever it’s served with. Often it’s a mixed berry sauce (Salsa di Frutti di Bosco), however, in Hideko’s take, she uses a green tea gelatin, and a small piece of Japanese citrus (Yuzu) to invoke subtle, earthy and fresh flavors.

Very simple to make, it is beautiful to look at, and can add a great exotic finishing accent to any meal.

Green Tea & Dark Brown Sugar Panna Cotta

Makes 4~5 servings


1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
For the topping:
1/2 tsp Powdered Green Tea (Matcha)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin & 1 teaspoon cold water


Place the milk in a heavy, small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over and let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin. Stir over medium heat just until the gelatin dissolves, taking care to make sure the milk does not boil, about 2 minutes.

Add the cream, brown sugar and salt. Stir over low heat, until the sugar dissolves, for about 3 more minutes.

Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly.
Pour the cream mixture into 4 small glass cups, dividing equally.
Cover and refrigerate, chilling until set.

To make the green tea topping, add 1 teaspoon cold water into unflavored powdered gelatin and let stand for 1-2 minutes. Mix the green tea powder, sugar and hot water together until both the green tea and sugar dissolve.
While green tea mixture is still hot, add the gelatin and mix well.
Let cool slightly and pour over the already-set panna cotta.
(Important! If you add the green tea topping to the panna cotta before it’s had a chance to set, you won’t get the layered effect, and may have to start all over.)

There it is – enjoy. You can pair with a good glass of plum wine for a truly unique treat.

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