Rilakkuma Zenzai (Sweet Red Bean Soup)

This recipe is for the zenzai topped with Rilakkuma-shaped 'shiratama' (mochi balls).

Ingredients: 2 servings

40 g
Silken tofu
70 g
Pumpkin powder
small quantity
small quantity
Cinnamon powder
small quantity
Japone (cherry blossom liquor)
small quantity
Chocolate pen (black)
Natural food dye (black)
small quantity
Natural food dye (pink)
small quantity
Boiled adzuki beans
1 can
as needed
Sweet chestnut in sugar syrup


1. This recipe has variety of ingredients. If you don't have some of them, use substitute ingredients such as regular food dye. The liquor is for fragrance, so it is okay without it!!
2. Add the shiratamako and silken tofu (40 g) in a bowl, and combine. Reserve the rest of silken tofu as you use it later for adjusting moistness.
3. Set aside small portions of the dough from Step 2 for coloring yellow, black, pink and green later.
4. For the yellow, add the pumpkin powder to a small portion of the dough from Step 2. Mix them by adding the silken tofu little by little until the dough becomes as hard as your earlobes.
5. Make the black (use the black food dye) and the green (use the matcha) in the same way as Step 4.
6. For the pink, after adding the pink food dye to the dough, mix them by adding small amount of the liquor instead of the silken tofu until it becomes firm as your earlobes.
7. Mix the cinnamon powder with the rest of the dough from Step 2 if you only plan to make Rilakkuma. Set aside a small portion of the white dough if you make Korilakkuma as well.
8. Make each colored dough into separate balls on parchment paper. Make the shape of Rilakkuma with them.
9. It is less likely fail if you attach a small patch of the dough on the back of joints between Rilakkuma's face and ears.
10. Cut the paper around Rilakkuma and clip it out.
11. For the three-color dango, make 3 different color balls and stick a toothpick into them. Cut the sharp end of the toothpick.
12. Boil water and turn down the heat to low. Add the Rilakkuma with the paper on and boil it. Add the three-color dango and boil it.
13. They are ready when they float to the top. Gently remove them (leave the paper on) from the hot water.
14. Wipe the sweet chestnut and draw the picture of Kiirotori (yellow bird) on it by chocolate pen.
15. Transfer the boiled adzuki beans into a heatproof bowl, add water as needed, and microwave.
16. Place the Rilakkuma, Kiirotori, and three-color dango on top of the boiled adzuki beans from Step 15. It's done.

Story Behind this Recipe

I was thinking to make a cute 'oshiruko' (sweet red bean soup) recipe for 'kagami-biraki' (day to break open the ornamental New Year's mochi decoration), but it turned into a totally different one!?
The mixture is easy to handle, so you can make any kind of shape.