This is an easy-to-make Japanese dessert that you can whip up in the microwave. Adding soy milk delivers a mellow taste to the zenzai. You can add roasted sesame seeds at the end to bring out a pleasant aroma and enhance its deliciousness.
The Origin and History of Zenzai
Zenzai originated in the Izumo region of Shimane Prefecture, according to the document “Gion Monogatari” from the Edo period. Shinto rituals, called “Kamiarisai,” were initially held in Izumo, where gods are said to gather from all over the country. “Jinzai-mochi,” a rice cake put in red bean soup, was offered to people at these festivals. “Jinzai-mochi” came to be called “zenzai,” with an accent, and it became a major sweet food in Japan.
Add to the Traditional Taste
The recipe uses sweet potato and soy milk to basic zenzai to give it a twist! You can use a microwave oven in this recipe to reduce the time it would take to simmer it in a pot. Sweet potato delivers sweetness, while soy milk adds mellowness and richness when heated. It warms your body the moment you drink it and helps you feel relaxed and calm. We especially recommend it in the colder seasons, like fall and winter.
You can sprinkle sesame seeds as a finishing touch to add aroma and complexity of taste.
- 4.2 oz Sweet potato
- 2 tbsp Water
- 3.5 oz Red bean paste
- 200 ml Soy milk
- a pinch White roasted sesame seeds
Cut the sweet potatoes into 1 inch (2cm) pieces and soak in water.
Put the sweet potatoes and 2 tbsp of water in a heatproof dish, cover with plastic wrap and microwave at 600w for 3 minutes.
Remove any excess water.
Add the crushed bean paste and soy milk and microwave for 2 minutes.
Place in a bowl and finish by sprinkling sesame seeds on top.
- If you want to make the consistency thicker, top the with butter while it is still hot for a richer taste.
- If you don't have butter, cream cheese can also be used as a topping.