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.
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!
- 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.
- Return the beans back into the saucepan, cover with plenty of water again, and cook until the beans are tender.
- 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.
- Enjoy with Toasted Mochi (Rice Cakes) or Dango Dumplings. ‘Zenzai’ can be enjoyed hot or cold. *Note: Mochi Ice Cream is also good.