Zenzai is a very traditional Japanese dessert made with azuki beans and mochi, or glutinous rice cake. If you’ve never had azuki, or sweet read bean before, the idea of beans in a dessert might sound a little strange but its a very common item to see in Asian desserts. Texturally, the azuki beans are typically cooked down until completely soft, and sweetened delicately. It pairs really beautifully with the chewy, springy texture of mochi, and is served with a sweet “soup”. You can see my live tasting, and a tutorial video here!

You can enjoy this either hot or cold, and there are a variety of ways you can approach making this dish. You can opt to use azuki beans made from scratch, as I did in this recipe and my YouTube video tutorial, or you can purchase canned prepared sweet red beans.

For the mochi, the easiest way would be to use a prepare mochi, like this microwavable mochi used in the video, or frozen mochi/rice cake which can be added. You could also opt to make your own using a powder mix, or you know,spend hours beating rice with a mallet until it turns into mochi, but my personal prefrence is to go microwavable mochi.

Make this as sweet, or as mild as you’d like, and enjoy this protein packed, fiber-licious, bean based dessert! It’s something different, but absolutely delicious and a Japanese classic.

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Zenzai (Sweet Red Bean Soup with Mochi) | Vegan Japanese Desserts

  • Author: Remy
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 mins
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x


A sweet red bean dessert served with mochi, or rice cake. Enjoy warm or cold!


  • 1 cup dry azuki beans
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/22/3 cups sugar of choice (use brown, coconut, date, etc.)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup mochi per serving (I used this microwavable mochi)


  • Begin by preparing azuki beans. If using dry, bring 1 cup of beans (rinsed) to a boil with 3 cups water. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer.
  • Allow beans to cook for about 1-2 hours, or until tender. Taste to test whether it’s ready.
  • Once ready, make sure there is excess liquid among the beans. If not, add water. Do not drain!
  • Add your sugar and on low heat, stir until completely incorporated and melted down. Adjust to your taste.
  • Serve by spooning red beans and some of the “soup” into a small bowl. Add prepared mochi and enjoy.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Category: desserts
  • Method: boiling
  • Cuisine: japanese

Keywords: japanese, mochi, zenzai, red bean, azuki, high protein, vegan, gluten free, oil free

Looking for more Japanese inspired dishes? Try this Miso Mushroom Burger, Sautéed Lotus Root, or Matcha Bubble Tea.

Love & mochi,



Filed under: Eat, Gluten Free, High Protein, Oil Free, Sweet Treats

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BY Remy • February 27, 2019

Zenzai (Sweet Red Bean Soup with Mochi) | Vegan Japanese Dessert

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Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.

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COPYRIGHT © 2020 Veggiekins   ☼   Website by Sunday Stories