For those who love sweet Azuki (Red Bean) paste, which is a very popular ingredient for many sweets, I introduce a traditional Japanese sweet, ‘Zenzai’. In the region I grew up, ‘Zenzai’ is a sweet Azuki soup, often served with toasted Mochi (Rice Cake). Its smooth version made with ‘Koshi-an’ is called ‘Shiruko’, and I always prefer ‘Zenzai’. ‘Zenzai’ can be made with store-bought canned ‘Tsubu-an’, but it is so easy to make from scratch. Try this if you like Azuki.


4 Servings


1 cup ‘Azuki’ Beans (Red Beans)
1/2 to 1 cup Sugar
1/8 to 1/6 teaspoon Salt
4 Mochi (Rice Cakes) *OR Dango Dumplings, ‘Mochi Ice Cream’ is also good!

  1. Place Azuki Beans in a large saucepan or a pot and cover them with a plenty of water, and cook until the beans are swollen and plump. Darin the water. *Soaking the beans in water overnight saves cooking time.
  2. Return the beans back into the saucepan, cover with plenty of water again, and cook until the beans are tender.
  3. Remove excess water OR add extra water to make the water level just enough to cover the beans. Add Sugar and Salt, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for a few more minutes.
  4. Enjoy with Toasted Mochi (Rice Cakes) or Dango Dumplings. ‘Zenzai’ can be enjoyed hot or cold. *Note: Mochi Ice Cream is also good.