You may ask, what’s ZENZAI?
Well, what you are looking at is NOT the traditional zenzai, but a modified one.
Zenzai is a Japanese sweet red bean soup served with Mochi (sticky rice cake), and it’s a popular dish around the new year.
My version does have Mochi.
When I was growing up, my grandparents would make their own mochi at home for the family and they would usually cut it into quite large pieces.
I always felt like it was almost a chore to eat mochi because it would take me a long time to finish eating just one piece!
But now I buy my mochi at a local Asian grocery store and each piece is a nice small size (so much less intimidating!) and I like that they are individually packaged.
The key to cooking the mochi perfectly is to toast it until the outside gets crunchy but stop cooking before it explodes.
Do you see the beautiful cracks on the mochi?
Like I said earlier, this is a significantly modified version of Zenzai, and I’m not even sure if you can still call it Zenzai.
But since I don’t get to eat zenzai often, it still seems like one at least to me.
In this version, toasted mochi was served along with sweet red beans in rum flavored and lightly sweetened coconut cream and garnished with fresh pineapple and toasted coconut flakes.
Anyone skeptical about the flavor combination?
Well, coconut and sweet red beans surprisingly go well, and I really enjoyed this.
Have a great weekend everyone.