Japanese red beans (adzuki) is soaked and then cooked until soft sweetened with sugar and processed into a paste. It is called anko in Japan and hong dou sha in Chinese.
Sweet red bean paste (anko) is very commonly used as filling for steamed buns, breads, pastry. Some even used it in popsicles and ice cream. I remember my grandma making red beans popsicles. Oh my gosh….childhood memory! Making me all soft and teary!
The “traditional” way of making this is by straining it with cheese cloth, etc..etc… lots of work to me. So, thank goodness for the discovery of what we called a “food processor” 😉 That gadget does improve our life, doesn’t it ?
Sweet red bean paste (Anko)
- 10 oz Red beans / Azuki beans
- 1 cup Sugar
Soak the bean for at least 8 hours. I soaked mine overnight and then discard the water
Prepare a big pot of water and boil the beans until they are soft or cracked open in most cases. Turn off the heat and set aside for about 15 minutes. Drain off the water
Pour the beans into your food processor and puree until they become a paste consistency. Don't worry about discarding the shells of the beans, this will all be blended and I don't mind extra "starchiness" for my red bean paste
Place the paste in a non-stick skillet and add the sugar. The sugar will melt and the paste will seem a bit "runny" at first but continue to cook it on medium-high heat until the color darkens and the paste is thickened again
Let them cool off before filling if you are using this for pastry. They will thicken further