Homemade Dou Sha (Sweet Red Bean Paste)- Learn how to make dou sha or known as Anko in Japan that you can use to stuff in many Asian snacks such as steamed buns or just eat by spoonfuls if you wish. Instant pot-friendly. Vegan and gluten-free..
Sweet red bean paste (dou sha) is very commonly used as filling for steamed buns, breads, pastry. Some even used it for popsicles and ice cream. I remember my grandma making red beans popsicles when I was a kid. Oh my gosh….childhood memory! Making me all soft and teary! Homemade dou sha is pretty straightforward to make.
WHAT CAN I USE DOU SHA FOR?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR MAKING DOU SHA
1. Dou sha came out so runny
It is important to cook off the water. Too much moisture will make it soft and not suitable as filling for bread, steamed buns and pastry as this will affect the overall result
2. Does it have to be smooth or chunky
It can be both. It really depends on your preference. If you like a chunkier texture (you can still see some beans), then don’t process it in a food processor and just manually mash it
3. Can I pressure cook red beans?
You certainly can. In fact, I love to pressure cook beans because I don’t have to presoak the beans and it gives soft mushy beans in half the time and proceeds to cook off the bean on stove-top to evaporate water. See recipe for more detailed instructions
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Homemade Dou Sha Filling (Sweet Red Bean Paste)
- 300 gr Red beans / Azuki beans (not kidney beans)
- 200 gr Sugar more if you want it sweeter
- 20 gr butter
- 1000 ml Water for boiling the beans
- Soak the bean for at least 8 hours. I soaked mine overnight and then discard the water
- Prepare a big pot and add water. Boil the beans until they are soft or cracked open in most cases, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. You may need to top off with some water along the way. Proceed to "Sweeten and Cooking off the water"
Instant Pot method:
- You don't need to soak the beans. Place the beans in the insert of instant pot. Add water. Cover the lid. Turn the steam release handle to seal. Press pressure cooker and set timer to 30 minutes
- When the timer is up, wait for 10 minutes and then release pressure. The beans should be breaking apart and soft. Proceed to "Sweeten and Cooking off the water"
Sweeten and Cooking off the water:
- Drain off the water and pour the beans into your blender or use an immersion blender and puree until they become a paste consistency. Don't worry about discarding the shells of the beans, this will all be blended
- Spread the paste on a non-stick skillet with a rubber spatula or wooden spatula and add the sugar and butter. The sugar and butter 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 and most of the water has cooked off. If you are going to use this for steamed buns, definitely cook it as dry as possible, but not burnt
- Let them cool off before filling if you are using this for pastry. They will thicken further after they cool down
- You can portion them out into 2-3 servings in a glass jar and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. You may also freeze them and they can keep for 3 months. Just thaw in the refrigerator when ready to use them. No recooking required