Ozenzai With Mochi Balls

"This is one of my very favorite winter time dessert soups, actually it's the only dessert soup I ever eat or make. It's very Japanese, very sweet and never fails to make me smile. I'm basically lazy, so I use this method that starts with pre-packaged koshi-an (my favorite) or tsubushi-an. Basically, it's a very thick sweetened red bean soup that has rice cakes in it. Serve it with pickled plums (umeboshi) to cut the sweetness, if you need to. It comes together very quickly if you are using prepackaged red beans."
photo by a food.com user photo by a food.com user
Ready In:


  • For the mochi balls

  • 250 g rice flour (must be shiratama flour, but the editing system won't allow this)
  • water
  • For the sweet beans

  • 400 g red bean paste (must be prepared sweetened koshi-an or tsubushi-an, again,the editing system won't allow this)
  • 800 ml water
  • 30 g sugar
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch (only if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon cold water (to mix corn starch if necessary)


  • Make the mochi balls:

  • Mix the shiratama flour with a small amount of water and mix. Add water until a dough forms that feels like your earlobe. It should hold its shape, but be soft.
  • Boil a pot of water and add the mochi balls, reduce heat to medium, cook until the mochi balls float.
  • Drain the mochi balls. Put the mochi balls into cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside until needed for the soup.
  • Make the red bean soup:

  • Combine the an, water, sugar, and salt in a pan. Bring to a gentle simmer. The soup should be very thick, about the consistency of a rich spaghetti sauce. If necessary, mix the corn starch into a tablespoon of cold water and add to the soup to thicken a bit. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning. It should be sweet.
  • Drain the mochi balls.
  • Into each of four bowls, put in two mochi balls and pour over a portion of the red bean soup.

Questions & Replies

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  1. This didn't take very long to make, but I was hindered by the weight (as opposed to volume) measurements because I don't have a scale. I ended up mixing everything by eye. The mochi balls came out dry in the center, I think I should have boiled them longer after they started floating. I omitted most of the sugar for the sweet beans because they were very sweet to begin with. The broth only needed 500 ml of water and not 800 as the directions say. The sweetness was too much and left my stomach feeling coated. I might look for ozenzai already made whenever I have the opportunity, but I'm definately not making it mayself again.
  2. this is very delicious! this may seem very or too 'different' for many americans. it reminds me of my motherland, japan. this soup is very comforting. the sweetness of the hot soup, the texture or of the red beans, and the little mochi balls are just wonderful. a very fun winter sweet 'soup'. try this for a change of dessert pace.



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