Zenzai vs. Oshiruko: Types of Japanese Red Bean Soup
During the winter, we have various mochi (餅) dishes with sticky baked or steamed rice cakes.
And representatives include Zoni (雑煮), Zenzai (ぜんざい), and Oshiruko (おしるこ) or Shiruko.
Zenzai vs. Oshiruko
Kansai-Style Zenzai with Round Mochi
Zenzai and Oshiruko are both dishes of Azuki red beans simmered with water and sweetened with sugar.
These treats often come with mochi rice cakes, but what is the difference between the two dishes?
Kanto-Style Zenzai with Rectangular Mochi
In the Kanto region around Tokyo, Zenzai is almost broth-less, only consisting of a sweet red bean paste,
whereas, in the Kansai region around Osaka, Zenzai refers to a sweet red bean soup using Tsubu-An (粒餡) or chunky red bean paste.
In Kansai, the Kanto-style Zenzai has the name of Kameyama (亀山), Ogura (小倉), or Kintoki (金時).
Kansai-Style Oshiruko with Round Mochi
In Kanto, Oshiruko refers to sweet red bean soup in general.
On the other hand, in Kansai, Oshiruko is a sweet red bean soup using Koshi-An (漉し餡) or smooth red bean paste.
To make a long story short, here is the comparison table of Zenzai and Oshiruko red bean soups.
|Kanto||Broth-less sweet red bean paste||Sweet red bean soup in general|
|Kansai||Sweet red bean soup using Tsubu-An||Sweet red bean soup using Koshi-An|
(Reference Page: Wikipedia ぜんざい )