Monday, January 14, 2008

zenzai or shiruko

In Japan, many of the same things have different names in different parts of the country, especially food.

For example, in Kansai (Western Japan), zenzai is tsubushian (chunky sweet bean paste) mixed with water to make a soup-like treat and mochi (rice cake) is then added to it. In Kanto (Eastern Japan), this is called inaka shiruko (country sweet red bean soup).

In Kansai, shiruko is koshian (smooth sweet bean paste) mixed with water to make a soup-like treat and shiratama (rice flour dumplings) are added to it. In Kanto, this is called gozen shiruko (a high-class sweet red bean soup).

In Kansai, kameyama is mochi topped with tsubushian and there is no "soup" and is supposed to resemble a mountain in Kyoto. In Kanto, this is called zenzai.

What is all this leading up to? Well, today was REALLY cold, I think the weatherguy said that the highest it would be was 7C(44F). I was hoping for flurries, but no luck. So, anyway, for dinner, I wanted to make a dessert that would be warm...

At the market, I found these cute little mochi, so I also bought some tsubushian and some strawberries.

I followed the directions on the package of mochi and heated 3 of them up. After heating them, I cut each one in half.

Then I heated 100g of tsubushian with 50cc (about a 1/4 cup) of water until it was soupy.

I cut 3 strawberries into fourths.

Put 3 mochi into a bowl, add the "soup" and top with 6 pieces of strawberry...Kat's Kansai-style zenzai or a deconstructed ichigo daifuku...whatever you decide to call is delicious!

NOTES: this makes 2 "cute" bowls or 1 serving.


Rowena said...

Seeing 3 of those mochi in the palm of your hand - they are really cute. Sounds like a real treat!

K and S said...

Thanks Rowena, when I saw the cute mochi, I knew I had to get it :)

Take care.

Thistlemoon said...

They really are so cute! What an interesting soup!

Chibog in Chief said...

my hubby is not really a fan of mochi..but i do love it!!! i think its really a great idea to mix it with sure its sweetness ad acidity blends well with mochi :-)

Kathy YL Chan said...

what a concidence! it was so cold when I woke up this morning, and the first thing that came to mind was, "man, I wish I could have a bowl of hong dao sah (chinese red bean dessert soup) for breakfast!"'ve induced CRAVINGS!!! heehee :)

K and S said...

thanks Jenndz!

aww that is too bad, Dhanggit. I don't know how it would taste with just the strawberries and beans.

hee hee Kathy! hope you can settle the cravings :)

take care everyone.

Bea said...

Just received your card today Kat. Thanks so much. Sweet to see the two of you on the picture!

K and S said...

You're welcome, Bea! I hope you and P have a great 2008.

Take care.

test it comm said...

That deconstructed ichigo daifuku looks really good!

K and S said...

Thanks Kevin, it really hits the spot on a cold day/night.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

Ack! Zenzai is my weakness. Actually "an" anything is my real weakness. That looks so good. It never occurred to me to add strawberries even though fresh strawberry mochi is a big favorite.

So interesting about the different names too. I guess it's like manapua and malasadas in Hawaii huh?

K and S said...

I guess it is like manapua and malasadas...I hope you give it a try, Myra :)

Take care.

ilingc said...

That's some cute mochis. I'm going to have to look out for some mochis the next time we're in chinatown so I can try this :)

K and S said...

Hope you can find some mochi, Ilingc and I hope you like this recipe.

Take care.