Oshiruko is Japanese traditional sweets. This name is different by region. Some area call it Zenzai. Oshiruko is made by red beans and sugar and omochi. There are many style to cook red beans. Someone is all grind and other one is half grind. In the Kansai area all grind one is Shiruko and little grind one is Zenzai. Oshiruko and Shiruko also ok. Both are same means.
When you go to Japanese traditional sweets stand called as kanmidokoro 甘味処, you can find this one in the menu. When in the stand maybe written as zenzai. You order and delivered zenzai, you can find something in the tray. There is also salty kelp or pickles on the same tray. What it this you think? Before to teach you the answer I will introduce the images of Japanese Oshiruko or Zenzai. Please enjoy them.
Images of Shiruko (open another window) click here
I had not liked zenzai before. When I had age I became trip with my parents and my wife. When I had went out with my mother and my wife, they went to sweets stand almost always. The women likes sweets. Then I had told by my wife about it. It is very interested in.
Japanese has distinctive taste and enjoy them. When we continue to eat sweets we had get tired of the taste. So we eat these salty one and reset the taste and enjoy again. It is called in Japanese okuchinaoshi お口直し. Actually I cannot understood why salty one with them. My wife laughed me to see that. It is common sense of women she said me. Japanese culture is profound.
There are some style and materials to put the omochi in it. When you order in the sweets stand, the omochi is round. The material also not mochi but shiratama. Shiratama is white and round one made by the powder which made by mochi rice. Some area called this one as Shiratama Zenzai. I write it in the New Year so I baked square cut mochi and put it in it. I will introduce the image of to bake two mochi and the Oshiruko to put square baked mochi in it. Real mochi is stretches well.
In the images which I introduced there were some can in it. There are often sold by vender machine in can. My wife likes it so much. In the vender machine cold drinks and this hot one was sold with in the same box.