Oshiruko (Shiruko) : Sweet Azuki Red Bean Soup with Mochi

When it comes to winter dishes in Japan, we Japanese often enjoy soup dishes with “Mochi (餅)” rice cakes.

Among those, “Oshiruko (お汁粉)” is a quintessential dish consisting of baked or steamed Mochi rice cakes in sweet Azuki red bean soup.

Oshiruko (お汁粉)

Kagami Mochi

Kagami Mochi

Oshiruko, simply called “Shiruko (汁粉)”, is a soup dish typically eaten for the New Year in Japan. The traditional Japanese round rice cake offered to Gods on New Year’s day, “Kagami Mochi (鏡餅)” is used to make Oshiruko after the New Year’s holiday ends.



As I wrote above, the main ingredient in Oshiruko soup is sweetened Azuki red bean paste “Anko (あんこ)“, and the basic recipe for Oshiruko is really simple and easy as I talked about it before.

Oshiruko and Zenzai

Actually, in addition to Oshiruko, in Japan there is one more winter soup dish made with Anko red bean paste, which looks very similar to Oshiruko. That is “Zenzai (ぜんざい)”.

Regarding the difference between Oshiruko and Zenzai, this article will help.



The Origin of Oshiruko Soup

It is said that Oshiruko has its roots in the ancient Azuki red bean soup “Susuri Dango (すすり団子)”, which is mentioned in the book published in 1635 “Ryori Monogatari (料理物語)”. Therefore, Oshiruko is a traditional soup dish with a long history.

Where to Eat Oshiruko

Oshiruko with Oshinko

Oshiruko with Oshinko

In japan, Oshiruko is not only made in each household, but it can also be eaten in Japanese-style cafes, teahouses and so on during the winter season, where Oshiruko is often served with salty foods, such as “Oshinko (お新香)” pickled vegetables and “Shio Konbu (塩昆布)” salted kelp, to accentuate the sweetness of Oshiruko soup.

Canned Oshiruko and Instant Oshiruko Soup

As for the product, a variety of Oshiruko products are sold in the winter season in Japan, such as canned Oshiruko and instant Oshiruko.

Canned Oshiruko is available from automatic vending machines for soft drinks everywhere in Japan in the winter.

In recent years, Japanese instant Oshiruko soup can be bought on online shopping sites even if you don’t live in Japan.

It is very easy to cook instant Oshiruko: Place the soup base in a cup, pour boiling water, stir well, and wait a second. This is all you need to do.

Amono Foods : Freeze-Dry Instant Oshiruko Soup

(Reference page of this article : Wikipedia 汁粉 )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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