June 15, 2015
Interm├Ęde
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pouding des haricots
(bean pudding)
We first visited the Otowa‑san Kiyomizu‑dera in 1986. It’s more popularly known by Westerners as the Kiyomizu Temple. It’s located on the eastern edge of Kyoto although when it was founded in 778, the city was probably still to the west but a bit farther away. I’ve been back twice since my original visit, but I think the first was still the best.
Thirty years ago, there wasn’t a tourist street filled with tourist shops leading up the road to the temple’s entrance. Back then, there was just a few craftsman in partial shelters making and selling their wares. We purchased the bamboo hashi (chopsticks) holder that we still use on our first trip up that road.
The route through the temple proper is one‑way. On that first trip, the path ended at a snack stand that served only zenzai and yu‑dofu. The early November weather was foggy and drippy, and the warm zenzai was a welcome nibble. Zenzai is a sweet porridge of azuki beans (a type of dried red beans) boiled and slightly crushed. It is served in a bowl with mochi. The liquid is sweetened with sugar.
Zenzai was one of the dishes that came to mind when I received the beans that I mentioned in last week’s posting. I first thought about the warm zenzai without the mochi. Then I thought about zenzai without any whole beans in it. Then I thought about zenzai as just a pudding. Then I thought about zenzai as a cold pudding. Then I just made it. It was no longer zenzai.
200 ml (7 fl oz)
whole milk
20 g (2 T)
dried bean flour
30 ml (2 T)
grape molasses
1. Place all the ingredients into a small saucepan over high heat. Whisk continuously until a thick porridge is formed. Transfer the porridge to a bowl, and refrigerate.
2. For serving, rapidly whisk the pudding to homogenize it if it separated. Spoon the pudding into individual serving bowls.
Yield: six 40‑ml (223 T) servings.

© 2015 Peter Hertzmann. All rights reserved.