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When I go to my grandmother's house in Fukushima Prefecture at New Year's and other holidays, she always cooks rice cakes for me. In the old days, people in Fukushima made rice cakes to enjoy together at times of celebration, such as children's birthdays, children's entrance to school, weddings and moving. Rice cakes are eaten with bean paste, soybean flour, fermented soybeans, grated radish or zunda. Of all these, I was most interested in zunda and decided to study about zunda rice cakes.
The meaning of zunda is mashed green soybeans. This is known as a local delicacy of Miyagi Prefecture. Zunda rice cakes are sweet and bright green in color. Zunda rice cakes can be made using store-bought rice cakes, so they are very easy to make.


(Serves four)


Rice cakes (mochi)  500 g (8 rice cakes)
Green soybeans (edamame)  300 g (1 lb.)
Sugar  200 g (1 cup)
Water  100 g (1/2 cup)
Salt  a pinch


1. Rub green soybeans with salt, and boil for about 5 minutes on high. Remove beans from pods and take thin skin off beans.

2. Mash in a mortar until smooth.

3. Mix half a cup of water with sugar, boil for a moment, and cool.

4. Gradually add sugar water to mashed beans and mix until it turns the consistency of cream.

5. Add salt to taste.

6. Boil store-bought rice cakes for about two or three minutes.

7. Coat rice cakes with zunda (bean mixture).

8. Enjoy!

Satomi Kusakabe
Bunkyo Women's College