Matcha Zenzai | Easy Japanese Recipes at

Matcha Zenzai

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: green tea powder, mochi
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Nami
Matcha Zenzai is a delicious Japanese red bean paste with soft mochi served in green tea soup. This unique sweet can be enjoyed hot or cold.


For 6 Shiratama Dango

For Matcha Zenzai


  1. Gather all the ingredients.

    Matcha Zenzai Ingredients

To Make Shiratama Dango

  1. For shiratama dango, put ¼ cup shiratamako and ¼ tsp. sugar in a bowl and stir in 2 Tbps warm water a little bit a time until the dough is combined and smooth. Take the dough out of the bowl and roll into a ball. The texture of the dough is like squeezing an "ear lobe" (that’s how we describe this particular tenderness in Japanese).

    Matcha Zenzai 1_w580
  2. Divide the dough into 6 pieces.
    Matcha Zenzai 2_w580
  3. Roll each piece into a ball and then press the center to flatten. With the center flattened, it helps shiratama dango cook faster. Continue with the rest of pieces.
    Matcha Zenzai 3_w580
  4. Cook the shiratama dango in boiling water. When shiratama dango is cooked through, about 1-2 minutes, they’ll starts to float. Pick them up and soak in ice water to cool.
    Matcha Zenzai 4_w580
  5. Alternatively, if you want to save time, instead of making shiratama dango, you can use kiri mochi (pre-cut rice cake). Cut into 4 small pieces and toast in the toaster oven until puffed up.

    Matcha Zenzai 5

To Make Matcha Zenzai

  1. Put 1- 1½ Tbsp sugar in a medium bowl and sift 1 Tbsp matcha powder in a fine sieve to remove any lumps.

    Matcha Zenzai 6_w580
  2. Add a little bit of hot water and mix with a whisk (I used a bamboo whisk) until well combined.
    Matcha Zenzai 7_w580
  3. Add the rest of hot water and mix well.
    Matcha Zenzai 8_w580

To Assemble

  1. Place sweet red bean paste (anko) and shiratama dango in the serving bowls.
    Matcha Zenzai 9_w580
  2. Pour the green tea and garnish with a little bit of anko.
    Matcha Zenzai 10

Recipe Notes

Please adjust the amount of sugar for matcha (green tea). If you use store-bought anko (red bean paste), which tends to be very sweet, you might want to reduce the amount of sugar for your matcha to balance out the sweetness.

For anko (red bean paste), use coarse tsubu-an or ogura-an instead of koshi-an. Both tsubu-an and ogura-an have some azuki bean skin in the paste and it gives nice textures.

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.