Oshiruko: Sweet Azuki Red Bean Soup with Mochi
When it comes to Japanese winter dishes, what comes to my mind right away is soup dishes with “Mochi (餅)” rice cakes.
Among those, “Oshiruko (お汁粉)” is a quintessential variety typically consisting of toasted or steamed Mochi cakes in sweet Azuki red bean soup.
Oshiruko or Shiruko is a soup dish eaten during the new year’s holiday, made with the round “Kagami Mochi (鏡餅)”.
After the Mochi is offered to gods on new year’s day, it is broken into bite-size pieces and used in Oshiruko.
The dish itself is a red bean soup made from Azuki beans boiled in water sweetened with sugar.
The preparation is relatively easy, as I wrote before. And the resulting soup is often served with cooked Mochi rice cakes.
Oshiruko vs. Zenzai
In addition to Oshiruko, we have one more winter soup made with sweet red bean paste.
The dish is very similar to Oshiruko, called “Zenzai (ぜんざい)”. For those who want to know how they differ, this article will help.
Oshiruko has a long history, whose origin can be traced back to the document “Ryori Monogatari (料理物語)” (1635).
In the story, the red bean soup called “Susuri Dango (すすり団子)” appears, and that is considered the original form of Oshiruko.
Where to Eat
Oshiruko with Oshinko
In the winter, Japanese home cooks often make Oshiruko from scratch. Also, the dish is available in cafes, teahouses, and the like.
It is often served with salty foods, like “Oshinko (お新香)” or “Shio Konbu (塩昆布)“, to refresh the palate.
During the cold winter months, Oshiruko is sold in various forms.
Canned Oshiruko is available from vending machines scattered around the city, while instant Oshiruko can be bought at supermarkets and convenience stores.
(Reference Page: Wikipedia 汁粉 )