Matcha Green Tea Zenzai

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Zenzai ぜんざい (or Oshiruko お汁粉) is Azuki red bean soup, and this warm sweet is often enjoyed during cold winter, and is also very popular in Japanese cafes and restaurants that serve sweets. This one we found is made with matcha green tea!



For 6 Shiratama Dango
  • ¼ cup (34 g) shiratamako (glutinous rice flour)
  • ¼ tsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. warm water
For Matcha Zenzai
  • 1 Tbsp. Matcha (green tea powder)
  • 1-1½ Tbsp. sugar*
  • 1 cup (240 ml) hot water (80-90C/176-194F)
  • 4.2 oz (120 g) Anko (sweet red bean paste)


  1. For shiratama dango, put ¼ cup shiratamako and ¼ tsp. sugar in a bowl and stir in 2 Tbps. warm water a little bit a time until the dough is combined and smooth. Take the dough out of the bowl and roll into a ball. The texture of the dough is like squeezing an “ear lobe” (that’s how we describe this particular tenderness in Japanese).
  2. Divide the dough into 6 pieces.
  3. Roll each piece into a ball and then press the center to flatten. With the center flattened, it helps shiratama dango cook faster. Continue with the rest of pieces.
  4. Cook the shiratama dango in boiling water. When shiratama dango is cooked through, about 1-2 minutes, they’ll starts to float. Pick them up and soak in ice water to cool.
  5. If you want to save time, instead of making shiratama dango, you can use kiri mochi (pre-cut rice cake). Cut into 4 small pieces and toast in the toaster oven until puffed up.
  6. For Matcha Zenzai, put 1- 1½ Tbsp. sugar in a medium bowl and sift 1 Tbsp. matcha power in a fine sieve to remove any lumps.
  7. Add a little bit of hot water and mix with a whisk (I used a bamboo whisk) until well combined.
  8. Add the rest of hot water and mix well.
  9. Place sweet red bean paste (anko) and shiratama dango in the serving bowls.

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Reference: 9Looked at on 6/25/2015 at 1045 AM PST.)

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