Easy Japanese Recipes

Zenzai | Oshiruko (Sweet Red Bean Soup) ぜんざい

Zenzai (Red Bean Soup) Recipe | JustOneCookbook.com

Anko, sweetened Azuki bean paste, is used in many Japanese confectionery.  Personally, I love anything with red bean paste just like how some people are crazy about chocolate (I do love both).  I will be sharing another red bean sweet recipe in a week or two, so today I am going to share how to make Anko from scratch and a red bean dessert soup called Zenzai using Anko.

The inspiration for making this recipe actually came from the readers of Just One Cookbook.  Some of you had told me that you can’t find canned sweetened red bean paste in your area so I prepared a How To page for this recipe.


Once you make red bean paste, we can make many variation of Japanese sweets using the paste.  So far I’ve shared Red Bean PancakeRed Bean Ice Cream, and Dorayaki.  Today I’m going to share Zenzai.

Zenzai IIZenzai is a traditional Japanese dessert.  It’s a thick sweet soup consists of boiled azuki beans and often served with mochi (rice cake) or shiratama dango (glutinous rice flour dumplings – Recipe here).  Oshiruko (お汁粉) or Shiruko is another name used in east of Japan where azuki beans are boiled and then crushed into paste and it has a more watery consistency than zenzai.

Sweet azuki bean soup with sticky mochi is a comforting sweet for Japanese people in winter time.

Zenzai III

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Zenzai (Red Bean Soup)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1
  1. In a saucepan, heat anko and water and bring it to a boil. Add pinch of salt and mix well. Turn off the heat.
  2. Cut mochi in half/quarter and place it on the grill inside the toaster. When the mochi is nice and toasty take it out and put it in the Zenzai. Enjoy immediately but be careful and don't burn yourself.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.


Posted in: 30 Minutes Or Less, Autumn, Desserts, Quick & Easy, Snacks, Soups & Stews, Winter

Leave a Comment

+ one = 6

  • Sam Bear March 12, 2012, 12:39 am

    My mum used to make this soup quite frequently for us when we were kids! She added dried orange peel to the soup though – it gives it a nice tangy after taste.

    • Nami March 12, 2012, 12:53 am

      Yes! My mom puts yuzu zest in zenzai. :-)

  • Raymund March 12, 2012, 1:02 am

    Looks like a good snack! I love rice cake dishes like this it reminds me of home. I have something not like this but I guess they fall in the same category have a look here http://angsarap.net/2010/10/10/guinataang-halo-halo/

  • Medeja March 12, 2012, 1:04 am

    I love Japanese food! It always has such subtle flavors and is healthy..

  • Fern March 12, 2012, 1:07 am

    That looks phenomenal! At this rate, you can be a professional food stylist very soon. I bought red beans months ago but haven’t used it yet. This looks so yummy….what kind of mochi should I buy? What shape is it? Do u know if it’s the same as Korean ones?

    • Nami March 12, 2012, 1:29 am

      It’s called Kiri Mochi. Here is the images of Kiri Mochi. Hope this helps. I’ll also add this in the recipe. Thanks Fern!
      p.s. I’m not sure about Korean kind…

  • Mel March 12, 2012, 1:11 am

    Loves this sweet red bean dessert! Putting in the mochi is something new to me. Should try it one day.

  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 12, 2012, 1:13 am

    Love the photos and have you’ve plated it Nami :) Love love LOVE the wood board hehe ~ we have Red Bean Soup in Hong Kong too. But we don’t have rice dumplings ~ I never use to be a fan of red bean soup but lately, lol I’ve been addicted to everything ‘red bead’ :) I heard that it’s really good for our health too ;D

    Please share more and more sweet recipes if you can!!!

  • Jill Colonna March 12, 2012, 1:54 am

    Wow, Nami! Loving the look of this – a real sticky treat indeed. Have so much to learn. Perhaps I should make a macaron out of this – even better, I can see you making it ;-)

  • Yuri March 12, 2012, 2:23 am






  • Debs @ The Spanish Wok March 12, 2012, 2:33 am

    Wow, loving this recipe. Have saved it for another day, thanks.

    You are welcome to join in my food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here all bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.

  • Alyssa March 12, 2012, 2:46 am

    Very pretty dish! I love that this red bean paste is good in both sweet and savory dishes!

  • Choc Chip Uru March 12, 2012, 3:05 am

    Such exotic dishes which I always love – this is a great dish as every dish is my friend :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  • Liz March 12, 2012, 3:22 am

    An exotic dessert soup? How fabulous! And it’s beautiful, too….so nice, Nami!

  • Baker Street March 12, 2012, 3:34 am

    A dessert soup! What a brilliant idea! Absolutely stunning guest post by Reem!

    • Baker Street March 12, 2012, 3:36 am

      I just left a comment for both the posts here. lol. will hop over to the other one now. :)

  • easyfoodsmith March 12, 2012, 3:40 am

    The does sound very comforting. Beautiful presentation and I loved reading your post.

  • Sandra March 12, 2012, 3:45 am

    I also love that board, and I’m trying to think of ways this could be incorporated into a traditional dessert. Everything you make looks appetizing! I’m always amazed at how complex your dishes look and you make them sound so easy. Have a fun week!

  • Jenny March 12, 2012, 5:05 am

    That is so simple and so unusual : ) Lovely pics, Nami.

  • Shannon | JustAsDelish March 12, 2012, 5:45 am

    I’m always learning something new from you. Chinese red bean soup also have glutinous rice balls, but not toasted – i bet toasted ones is more tasty! you are so creative in your styling, i’m trying very hard to style but always turn out so boring. loving your wooden board.
    btw, what macro lens are you using?

    • Nami March 12, 2012, 7:06 am

      I use 60mm f2.0 macro lens. But for most photos, I usually use 50mm f1.4. :-)

  • Lisa H March 12, 2012, 6:47 am

    LOL… I’ve just boiled red bean last night to make my childhood favourite ice cream :)
    Love anything with red beans :)

  • Ramona March 12, 2012, 7:00 am

    Gosh, I must make a list of all these wonderful ingredients you introduce me to and go to my Asian market and see if I can find them to try them out. Your soup looks lovely. PS.. those little sandals are too cute. :)

  • Ira Rodrigues March 12, 2012, 7:44 am

    i always love a simple and straight forward recipe for my treat! and your recipe definitely spot on!. *the wooden slippers chop stick rest are so cute!

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts March 12, 2012, 7:53 am

    Interesting, not something I have ever seen before. Looks very pretty!

  • Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb March 12, 2012, 8:18 am

    Looks and sounds absolutly delicious, a bowl of your zenzai soup would make me happy. =) The how to make anko page is going to be useful! thx for the huge share nami!

  • Laura @ Family Spice March 12, 2012, 8:20 am

    A dessert soup? I’ve seen it all! And I’m loving all your props – cute little chop stick rests!

  • Elizabeth @Mango_Queen March 12, 2012, 8:44 am

    What a delicious soup! I’ve always liked red beans, but this is the first time to see it used in soup. I must try this. Thanks for sharing another good one, Nami! Have a great week, my friend!

  • Nancy/SpicieFoodie March 12, 2012, 8:51 am

    While I’ve never tried it in this preparation, I have tried mochi filled with adzuki. I actually made them from scratch, including the bean paste:) Cute props and pretty photos Nami.

  • Samah@Good Cooks March 12, 2012, 9:16 am

    Looks so delicious, I saw so many recipes using the red bean paste, but never found it in a store near by, thanks for the recipes and will wait for the other sweet recipe ….

  • Hyosun Ro March 12, 2012, 9:26 am

    Nami – Another beautiful post! I agree with Fern that at this rate you will become a professional food photographer/stylist very soon. I do love all Japanese sweets made with red bean paste. Also, your how to page is amazing – very detailed with great photos!

  • Rathai March 12, 2012, 9:46 am

    Many thanks for this wonderful, well-illustrated recipe. I love exotic sweets and I have seen recipes with red bean paste a couple of times but the red bean paste is really difficult to come by, even in the few Asian stores available here. These kind of posts are really appreciated. The soup looks lovely and delectable!

  • Reem | Simply Reem March 12, 2012, 10:11 am

    Wonderful Nami!!!
    Red bean soup…. Yumm… God I have to stop getting scared with red bean paste….
    LOVE LOVE LOVE your props and pics…
    Those sandals…. super cute…..
    B/W My hubby bought me a pair from Japan, I love them…

  • Kitchen Belleicious March 12, 2012, 10:31 am

    beautiful, delicious, mouthwatering! I love everything in this soup and my husband would too! He is obsessed with red beans!

  • Evelyne@cheapethniceatz March 12, 2012, 10:55 am

    I enjoy red bean paste is sweets out at restaurants but have yet to experience at home. This is inspiring to try Nami.

  • Jeno @ Week Nite Meals March 12, 2012, 11:01 am

    Hi Nami! I hope you had a great weekend! The red bean soup is one of our favorites growing up, as is the green bean soup. The difference is we actually cook from the whole beans (which takes a LONG time for red beans). I love that you add the roasted mochi on top, I bet that really adds a great texture to the dessert!

    What are you doing for Spring Break? I have a few playdates planned for Trinity, in fact I just fed the girls and they are back in the room playing (I have no idea what). Tomorrow we are heading to the Galleria Mall so they can have a “Proper Lady’s Lunch”, those 2 girls are hilarious!

  • Tina@flourtrader March 12, 2012, 1:54 pm

    I have heard a lot of good stuff about red bean paste for making delicious desserts. However, this is the first I have seen it used in a dessert soup-new and unique to me! I will need to try to experiment with using the paste and I look forward to more posts using this ingredient.

  • Sissi March 12, 2012, 2:17 pm

    Nami, it looks even more unusual than azuki bean paste sold as sweet snacks in Japanese shops. Your presentation is perfect and beautiful, but I’m afraid I’m one of those who are not big fans of azuki sweets. I also don’t like chestnut sweets and my Japanese friend told me there is something in common in both azuki and chestnut desserts. (Haha, now that I think I would snatch the mochi cake and leave the soup for those who love azuki!)

  • Susie March 12, 2012, 3:08 pm

    I’m with you I love red bean everything…. This soup sounds so delicious especially with the mochi. I swear I could eat any and all sweets you make with red beans. YUM! I’m still trying to figure out when I try your dorayaki recipe.

  • Mr. Three-Cookies March 12, 2012, 4:16 pm

    Very unique, I would love to try this. Is Nami restaurant chain opening in Europe anytime soon?:)
    Nice photo, and those jandals/slippers look interesting

  • Katherine Martinelli March 12, 2012, 4:21 pm

    I don’t believe I’ve ever had a dish like this Nami but it’s gorgeous! And I love red bean paste (red bean ice cream is my favorite!) so I would love to try it.

  • Pure Complex March 12, 2012, 4:22 pm

    I always learn something wonder while I’m visiting your blog :). I never heard of red bean paste before this recipe was definitely informational for me :)

  • Happy When Not Hungry March 12, 2012, 5:18 pm

    This looks awesome! Always learn something new at your blog. Love this!

  • sheri March 12, 2012, 5:21 pm

    Looking at your mochi, I know what i want with my tea tonight…
    I love your beautiful posts and pictures. The food reminds me of my dad and my growing up childhood. Thank you!

  • Sarah March 12, 2012, 6:14 pm

    This looks great – I love mochi. Mmmmm….

  • Jeannie March 12, 2012, 6:29 pm

    Been a while since I last had red bean soup, great looking photos Nami, I love the cute little slippers:D

  • Nic@diningwithastud March 12, 2012, 6:47 pm

    Im yet to cook with redbean – you’ve inspired me :)

  • patty March 12, 2012, 7:07 pm

    Hi Nami! I came by earlier to pin your beautiful red bean soup but forgot to leave a comment;-) This ingredient is new to me but sounds wonderful from your descriptions and looks beautiful from your lovely photos!

  • balvinder ( Neetu) March 12, 2012, 7:12 pm

    Thanks for your help!
    First of all love those cute slippers and the bowls.
    The bean paste itself is very tasty, the soup would definitely be great.

  • Suzanne March 12, 2012, 8:27 pm

    Nami, I love this simple soup and beautiful photos that makes me want to run out and get some red bean paste! Not sure I can get red bean paste here but I can look :) I have got to take some photography lessons from you and Nancy because I am so bored with my limited knowledge of my camera and skills. I have yet to read the post you recommended but I will. Have a great week.

  • Shirley March 12, 2012, 9:07 pm

    I’ve never been a fan of the Chinese red bean soup my parents like, but I would try this! Especially with the mochi. The slippers are so cute!

  • tigerfish March 12, 2012, 9:27 pm

    I should eat more red beans but I hardly do :(

    Looking at your dessert at the start of this wet (rainy) week is especially comforting. How I wish for one bowl after dinner every day of this week.

  • Yi @ Yi Resevation March 12, 2012, 9:49 pm

    Stunning pictures! I’ve come a long way from disliking red bean paste to loving it! It’s one of things that learned to appreciate over time. Like your step by step instructions on making the bean paste. I also have made the paste at home but I blended in a blender to create that smooth texture. Will make Zenzai with my homemade bean paste soon! Thanks!

  • beti March 12, 2012, 10:08 pm

    I really need to find a store where I can buy this things, I love your recipes but I don’t have the things to make them

  • Jennifer (Delicieux) March 13, 2012, 12:00 am

    I’ve never tried red bean soup, but I’ve had red bean dishes a number of times at my favourite Japanese restaurant. I love this simple soup, and those props in your photos are so cute!

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella March 13, 2012, 3:18 am

    This photo has the prettiest styling! Love those little slippers. And I’m a big sweet red bean lover. I can’t really keep it in the house because it’s one of those things I’ll keep eating :P

  • Kristen March 13, 2012, 4:43 am

    That sounds like such a delicious way to feature sweet azuki beans. I have a bag of them on my counter that I will be cooking with this week. I am excited to try them after seeing them featured here often. You are an inspiration!

  • Tiffany March 13, 2012, 5:50 am

    I’ve only had red bean ice cream! Now, I have another use for red bean paste! Thanks Nami and Happy Tuesday!

  • Claudia March 13, 2012, 6:41 am

    This looks utterly delectable – am wondering if I can find the ingredients here. Just seems so sweetly soothing.

  • Sandra's Easy Cooking March 13, 2012, 6:46 am

    I love azuki beans, and your dish look very comforting and I can imagine tempting! Sweet soup..yummy!!! Keep them coming Nami!!!

  • Rosa March 13, 2012, 6:48 am

    An interesting soup! I bet it is really delicious and comforting.



  • Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking March 13, 2012, 7:45 am

    What a delicious looking soup, Nami! As usual, you’ve tempted me with a new idea and interesting ingredients. Thanks for sharing your talents, sweet girl!

  • [email protected] March 13, 2012, 8:02 am

    Awesome presentation and surely delicious soup! A must try =)

  • Tina (PinayInTexas) March 13, 2012, 8:14 am

    This is such a simple but delicious soup, Nami! I love soup with a tinge of sweetness like this.

  • chinmayie @ love food eat March 13, 2012, 9:10 am

    I have never had beans in desserts. I can imagine it tasting really good though. This recipe sounds like such a lovely dessert Nami.

  • Chopinand @ ChopinandMysaucepan March 13, 2012, 9:52 am

    Dear Nami

    I don’t mind this red bean soup as the Chinese version is very similar although I think the Japanese version is more elegant and not as sweet. You have some of the cutest chopstick holders that I have ever seen.

  • Adora's Box March 13, 2012, 10:16 am

    I love anything with red beans and prefer it to chocolate. This is something I (and the husband) would really like, Nami. I didn’t know that mochi can be grilled. That is so interesting.

  • Lyndsey @The Tiny Skillet March 13, 2012, 10:23 am

    Another one for my list. I have some red beans sitting in my pantry right now. I’ve made my own bean paste before, but I can find canned red bean paste too. This sounds so good just gotta try it.

  • Cucina49 March 13, 2012, 12:20 pm

    It’s nice to see the comparison photo of the bean pastes–this soup looks delicious. Love the color that the paste gives to food.

  • Biana - Meal Planning Tips March 13, 2012, 1:39 pm

    Nami, this soup looks great! Definitely something that I want to try making.

  • nipponnin March 13, 2012, 2:06 pm


  • Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) March 13, 2012, 5:43 pm

    Filipinos have mung bean cakes that are enjoyed as a midday snack and I adore them. I love bean-based sweets so I already know I would like this. Your pictures are so pretty, Nami. :)

  • Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. March 13, 2012, 9:17 pm

    I love this dessert soup idea! So beautiful! And as always, I adore your photos!

  • Evelyn March 13, 2012, 9:37 pm

    Nami, I love red bean paste too. This red bean soup is definitely something I would enjoy after dinner. Nice pics!

  • Sawsan@chef in disguise March 14, 2012, 12:31 am

    Thank you for the how to Nami, I too have not been able to find the paste anywhere
    I love the color of your soup, it is so rich and comforting

  • Bam's Kitchen March 14, 2012, 1:08 am

    Nami-san, O Genki desu ka? I love your version of red bean dessert soup. Grilling the mochi really adds something special to this dish. I just love how the ends of the mochi get crispy and the center chewy after baking or grilling. It is the whole wonders of the textures. I just gave you a plug on Bam’s Kitchen…. and thinking of you during this very difficult one year anniversary. Take care, BAM

  • Marsha @ The Harried Cook March 14, 2012, 4:35 am

    This recipe is very new to me… I’ve eaten a lot of red bean based desserts but strangely never something savory! And soup sounds like a great way to start! I think I saw this paste in an gourmet supermarket here… I would love to try it out :) Thanks, Nami! And your pictures are as gorgeous as always!

  • Sanjeeta kk March 14, 2012, 6:05 am

    Wow..love the first picture..and recipe..quite new, as all your recipes are, Nami! Love the unusual and healthy ingredients you use.

  • Eri March 14, 2012, 9:30 am

    I saw it yesterday on Facebook Nami, I’m so excited about the How to page, it’s so easy to make this paste! The soup also is so easy with nada ingredients, how smart!!!

  • Eri March 14, 2012, 9:31 am

    I forgot to mention those super cute tools and utencils, serving dishes and how amazing they are!!!!

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com March 14, 2012, 9:54 am

    I love red bean paste, soups or baked goods. That looks so delicious :)

    Your props are super cute!!!

  • Mikaela Cowles March 14, 2012, 10:30 am

    I just checked out (and printed) your red bean paste instructions. How fantastic! It’s one of those sweet/savory items in Chinese cooking that makes me feel like I just have to eat out or else I’ll never get it (as with most of your recipes. But, I am a western girl and Chinese cooking nube, so that’s to be expected).

    This savory use of it looks fantastic. Thank you!

  • Maja March 14, 2012, 12:37 pm

    nami, such a interesting and wonderful recipe! I love the shoots!

  • Priscilla @ShesCookin March 14, 2012, 1:12 pm

    At first glance I didn’t realize this is a dessert! Now I have to go to the Japanese market and find red bean paste. Nami, you inspire me to know more about Japanese food :)

  • Giulietta | Alterkitchen March 14, 2012, 2:39 pm

    These red beans are so versatile… I’m so intrigued by them :)

  • Kankana March 14, 2012, 2:43 pm

    That sounds interesting and also new to me. Love the props you used. So authentic :)

  • Juliana March 14, 2012, 2:57 pm

    Great dessert Nami I love red bean soup especially with mochi…yum!
    Beautiful pictures as always…hope you are having a fabulous week :)

  • Shu Han March 14, 2012, 3:08 pm

    we also have this in chinese desserts! without the mochi though. and sometimes extras liek lotus seeds or black glutinous rice is added. this is one of my favourite soups!

  • Katie {EpicureanMom.com} March 14, 2012, 5:14 pm

    This is fabulous Nami! And I adore all your serving dishes…too cute!

  • wok with ray March 14, 2012, 6:41 pm

    This looks like a very nice treat, Nami! Sweet flavored soup with mochi sounds like a good afternoon snack. Thank you for sharing another wonderful gem from your country.

    ~ ray ~

  • Carolyn Jung March 14, 2012, 8:09 pm

    I have to say I’m not always a fan of sweetened red bean desserts. I can take them only in small doses. But yours looks so beautiful, you just might convert me yet. ;)

  • Liren March 14, 2012, 11:08 pm

    I LOVE red bean paste, especially in mochi! I’m so intrigued by the soup – sounds perfect for me!

  • Jade @ Maids March 14, 2012, 11:12 pm

    thank you, ive been searchin for this red bean paste before but i always forgot it hihi.
    luckily i hope to this blog of yours really big thanks and i already added to my list hahas.
    good post :D

  • Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover March 14, 2012, 11:20 pm

    we have the similar red bean soup where we boil red bean with water from scratch, season with sugar and add glutinious rice ball at the end..Your sound so simple and yummy!

  • jack March 15, 2012, 12:54 am

    Oh this recipe looks good – I love red bean as well as mochi! Perfect for cold weather :)

  • Sammie March 15, 2012, 1:03 am

    OMG! Your Japanese clogs are soooo cute!! And I never knew there were different types of red beans. hehe.. Love red bean soup!!

  • Food Jaunts March 15, 2012, 9:06 am

    Red beans are in all of my favorite desserts. Lol, sometimes when I make halo halo I use all red beans. But I’ve actually never had them in a savory dish – can’t wait to try it!

  • Charles March 15, 2012, 2:13 pm

    Hehe, the mochi reminds me of marshmallow :D I’ve never tried red bean soup before – I must admit that my first experiences with red bean paste were less than positive. I was given it and told it was like “candy”. Of course it’s so different to any kind of western “candy” I’m familiar with so I didn’t enjoy it at all at first. Over time I came to enjoy it more and more so I think I I’d like this a lot – I’ve never tried a soup as a dessert – sounds like fun :)

  • Reese@SeasonwithSpice March 15, 2012, 6:49 pm

    Wow…the red bean dessert looks so fun to enjoy with mochi. I’ll ditch the Southeast Asian version and give this Japanese version a try soon!

  • mycookinghut March 16, 2012, 3:08 pm

    Very interesting! My mom makes red bean soup very frequently and in fact, I made some a few weeks ago! Malaysian way is slightly different which I hope to share with you one day! :)

  • Beth Michelle March 17, 2012, 5:00 am

    I love anything with red bean! This soup looks awesome. Thanks for putting a ‘how-to’ on making red bean paste because I have not found it here in Israel.

  • Biren @ Roti n Rice March 17, 2012, 10:09 am

    I guess it is much faster to cook this using anko. I usually cook it from scratch with red beans and a little orange rind. Nice pictures! :)

  • Kath (My Funny Little Life) March 17, 2012, 1:41 pm

    I’ve never tried red bean paste apart from a mochi rice cake. This looks so easy and intriguing that I want to try it out! :)

  • Yudith @ Blissfully Delicious March 17, 2012, 5:20 pm

    I have never considered using red bean in soup, thanks for sharing Nami. I hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

  • mjskit March 17, 2012, 9:30 pm

    Red bean paste is SO GOOD! Thanks so much for showing us how to make it! It looks easier to do than I thought so it’s on my TO DO list! Your soup looks delicious!

  • Terra March 18, 2012, 10:34 am

    I am so happy to find you on Maureen’s site, The Orgasmic Chef. You blog is gorgeous, and I really look forward to following you! I love learning and growing with photography, and your photography is very inspirational! Take care, Terra

  • Ꮮуռ (ᶬˠ ᶩᶤᵗᵗᶥᵋ ᵐᵋˢˢᵞ ᴻ ᶜʱᵋᵋᵏᵞ) March 20, 2012, 1:53 pm

    My favorite red beans! I’d always add extra red beans to my ice-kachang (shaved ice)!
    I just bought a packet of koshian from Daiso last week. I’m so happy & excited when I saw it in the store! LOL

    I’m gonna search for the mochi and start making this yummy dessert soon! ;)

  • Magic of Spice March 20, 2012, 3:29 pm

    Azuki beans are at the top of my favorites list. This does look comforting indeed! I need to try out your paste and try for a sweet :)

  • Sharon | Chinese Soup Pot April 17, 2012, 9:11 pm

    Hi Nami….a soup recipe…yay! Remember you told me there are very few Japanese soup recipes? Well, I guess you thought of one eventually! And this looks delicious! I love your photography and the little Japanese slippers as decoration. They are so cute! Hope you’re doing well!

  • Bianca July 12, 2012, 3:28 am

    Hello! I just wanted to say I ran into your site today and I’m very much in love with it. I’ll be trying to make this today, as well as some other things I found here <3

  • jessica October 3, 2012, 6:51 am

    I really like the picture! Where did you find the little sandals?

    • Nami October 3, 2012, 8:43 am

      Hi Jessica!

      I think I got them at Daiso, a Japanese $1 store in SF (it’s a chain). They were in Japanese decoration section. Glad to hear you like this picture! :)

  • Lori December 16, 2012, 9:45 pm

    Tried this tonight with Shirakiku brand koshi an–now in a easy to squeeze out package– and homemade mochi. My family enjoyed the quick treat on a rainy night in Honolulu. I look forward to trying your other recipes!

    Lori Bruner Okamura

    • Nami December 18, 2012, 11:42 pm

      Hi Lori! I have been thinking about making this for several days now. I’m a huge anko fan and I can eat it everyday… :) So happy you enjoyed this. Thank you for letting me know!

  • Melia May 7, 2013, 11:50 pm

    Hi, Nami.. Your blog is great! You have to be a chef! :)
    I’m a first time visitor here.. I fall in love with Japanese dessert.. Thank you for share this recipe.. But maybe you can give me some advice.. Do you know how to make kiri mochi? It’s a little bit hard to find the recipe in internet.. It’s said that making kiri mochi need more effort, you need mortar and pestle.. Is that true? But I would love to try someday..
    Arigato.. :)

  • Sharon June 5, 2013, 12:10 pm

    Nami, the recipe for Red Bean Soup looks like something I would want to try. I would also like to know where you purchased your “props” the tiny getta sandals? My daughter would love to have those on her table the next time she prepares a Children’s Day feast.

    Thank you,

    • Nami June 5, 2013, 9:56 pm

      Hi Sharon! I hope you enjoy this recipe! I think I got this geta from Daiso (Japanese $1 store). They have small (and cheap) Japanese decorations stuff there. They have online store, but they only sell selected things… Sorry I cannot help much. :(

      Here’s the link for Daiso: http://www.daisojapan.com/

  • Tanya August 23, 2013, 5:14 pm

    I love zenyai, thank you for this recipe and for your wonderful site!
    I have already made your mochi, and it was perfect.

    • Nami August 25, 2013, 8:57 pm

      Hi Tanya! So happy to know you like zenzai too! This is a wonderful snack in winter months. I enjoy eating mochi too, so I always look forward to zenzai with mochi on cold days. :) Glad to hear you enjoy my mochi (strawberry mochi?) recipe. Arigato!

  • Marilyn December 13, 2013, 3:40 am

    Hi Nami,

    I tried making your zenzai soup ytd, overall it was quite good, and I already want to try the recipe a second time. Just a quick question, I used anko that I had chilled in the freezer and boiled it with water, however the two don’t seem to be able to blend? The red beans and water remained separate even after I had boiled them together, is it supposed to be like that?
    I toasted the mochi in my oven and they turned out perfect! helped myself to two big chucks!

    • Nami December 15, 2013, 10:58 am

      Hi Marilyn! It depends on how you cooked anko (if homemade). If you can still see the bean, then the outcome of zenzai is liquid + beans. Only if you use “koshi an” (paste texture of red bean), the liquid will be thicker and blend in. If you feel it’s watery, cook a little longer to reduce a bit. If you prefer the liquid to be thicker, then you may want to use koshi an (I don’t have a recipe yet, but Japanese grocery store sells koshi an (you wont’ see any bean shape). Hope this helps…. :)

      • Marilyn December 15, 2013, 7:41 pm

        Thanks Nami!
        I’m using canned sweetened red bean paste.
        I’ll try to reduce it more next time.

        • Nami December 16, 2013, 12:40 pm


  • Mikah February 27, 2014, 6:02 am

    Can you show us how tomake mochi from scratch?not the trational one though,i hear its labor intensive. But i heard that there are other ways to make it…i miight not find mochi rice though…some sort of flour? The stovetop version please,im uncomfortable using the microwave…

    • Nami February 27, 2014, 10:51 pm

      Hi Mikah! Yeah the traditional mochi is a bit labor intensive. You can make shiratama dango which takes about half hour or less to make.

      I have one tutorial here that requires cooking over stove.


      You can use mochiko (some people think it’s easier to find this one), but you need to adjust the amount of water (use less water).

      Hope this helps, and enjoy! :)

  • Susan Onodera January 20, 2015, 6:03 pm

    Just want to tell u that ur photographs keeps getting better n better. Love that touch of mini getta next to the zenzai

    • Nami January 20, 2015, 10:04 pm

      Hi Susan! Aww you’re so kind. Thank you very much! I’m glad you noticed the geta. I used to put more small props in the picture… :D