Prep 30 mins
Cook 2 hrs
Zenzai is the name for mochi dumplings, also known as "dango" made in a soup of sweet red beans (azuki). It is an ancient Japanese recipe believed to dispel illness. I happened to eat it in a Bento box at Mitsuwa Marketplace and fell in love! Get the ingredients at a Japanese grocer; Mochiko is sweet rice flour, azuki are dried red beans. Tell your kids it's eyeball soup for a hoot :)
- Pick over and wash the azuki, then put them in a pan with 6 cups of water. Bring to boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours until the beans are soft.
- Add more water to the pan to make the liquid up to 5 cups (some of the water will have evaporated during cooking). Add the sugar and salt and cook for 15 minutes , stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, make the dumplings : Mix the mochiko with enough water to make a stiff dough. Knead well, then pinch off tiny portions to form small balls, about the size of marbles. Make a small indentation in the side of each dumpling.
- Bring the azuki soup back to the boil, then drop the dumplings into the soup. Cook until the dumplings rise to the surface. Divide between warmed individual bowls. Serve hot.
Pure Japanese comfort food! This is a treat my Mom often made when I was growning up. The only thing I did different from the recipe is how I cooked my beans. I cooked them in my crockpot since I could basically start it and forget them for 4 hours on low. (2 cups of beans to 6 cups of water works great!) And I added all purpose flour to the mochi flour to make it a little easier to make into dumplings. Great recipe Gillian! I will certainly use this often! Made for 2009 Spring PAC