in japan, we eat a lot of sweets made of “あずき”, red beans.
in my opinion, お汁粉 (“oshiruko”), sweet red bean soup, is one of the most well-known, easy to prepare, comfort desserts for us japanese. also it is healthy and tasty.
during the past new year holiday, i had a chance to learn how to prepare it from my mom.
250g red beans
200 – 240g sugar (depending on the amount of soup)
a lot of water
a pinch of salt
first, quickly rinse the beans in cold water.
put the beans in a deep pot, pour water in (3 times more than the beans) and bring it to boil.
once the water is boiled, drain the water and put the beans back into the pot. again pour water in (this time 3 – 4 times more than the beans) and bring it to boil again.
once the water is boiled, lower the heat and keep boiling the beans until the beans are soft (this takes about 30 – 40 minutes). if the amount of water reduces to the surface of the beans, add more water in so that the beans are always covered in water.
tip – while the beans are cooked, make sure to skim off the white foam coming up on the surface. this white foam is the cause of bitterness, and we don’t want it for the oshiruko.
once the beans become soft (until their core becomes soft), add the sugar in, stir and melt the sugar, and then put a pinch of salt to enhance the sweetness. adjust the amount of sugar to your preference.
tip 2 – make sure to put the sugar in only after the beans are soft – after adding the sugar, the texture of the beans stays the same no matter how long you cook the beans.
serve it hot (or cold if you like it), with a piece of toasted お餅 (“omochi”), rice cake.
special thanks to my mom for sharing this recipe. wherever i will move in the future, i will make sure to make this dessert in a cold winter day, to remind myself of my origin, my home, and my childhood.