Winter solstice in Japan (w/ pumpkin dessert recipe)

Today is the winter solstice. What do you do on this day in your contries? In Japan, there are two practices.

One is to take a “yuzu-bath” – putting several yuzu fruits in a bath, which is said to prevent cold and flu.

  

Another practice is to eat food which names include the sound of “n” to bring “un (luck)” – namely, nankin (kabocha = pumpkin), undon (udon= noodle), renkon (lotus root), ninjin (carrot), kinkan (Kumquat), ginnan (ginkgo nut ) and kanten (agar). Among them, the representative one is pumpkin. It is said that, in the old days when it wasn’t so easy to secure food in winter, they kept pumpkins they grew in summer and start eating them on this day.

So today, I made kabochazenzai (sweet bean soup recipe with pumpkin). Here’s how to.

  
Ingredients: pumpkin, red beans, sugar (60% of red beans: please adjust the amount as you like. I prefer less sweetened beans but usually red beans:sugar =1:1.) , a pinch of salt.

Method:

  1. Make anko (sweet bean paste). Wash beans, add them and cold water in a pod. Once it’s boiled, throw away hot water. Add cold water (4 times the amount of the weight of beans) in the pod again. Simmer for an hour. When the beans become soft enough, flavor with sugar and add a pinch of salt. *If it becomes too thick while cooking, add extra water.
  2. Cut the pumpkin into bite-sizes. Microwave (or steam) them till soft.
  3. Serve in a bowl.

 

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Winter solstice in Japan (w/ pumpkin dessert recipe)”

  1. Kabocha zenzai! That’s such an awesome idea. Just today, I was actually wondering if sweet potato zenzai would work, but now that I see this, maybe it wasn’t such a crazy idea after all haha 😛

  2. Hi,I’m new to crocheting and I’m attempting granny squares for the first time and using this pattern.I just wanted to know what is the average size of each square.I’m on my 3rd round of my first square and my swatch looks larger than what I perceived it to be(not that I actually know what it should be):)Thanks,Zee

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s