Homemade Sweet Red Bean Paste (Dou Sha)

Homemade Sweet Red Bean Paste (Dou Sha)

Course: Condiment, Dessert
Cuisine: Chinese, Japanese
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 325 gr
Author: Marvellina
Learn how to make smooth and shiny dou sha or known as Anko in Japan that you can use as filling for many Asian pastries, bread, steamed buns, or just eat by spoonfuls if you wish. Instant pot-friendly. Vegan and gluten-free.
Print Recipe



Stove-top method:

  • Soak the bean for at least 8 hours. I soaked mine overnight and then discard the water
  • Prepare a big pot and add water, about 2-inches above the beans. 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 "Blending the paste"

Instant Pot method:

  • Place the beans in the insert of the instant pot. Add water, just enough to cover. Cover the lid. Turn the steam release handle to seal. Press pressure cooker and set timer to 40 minutes if you did not soak the beans. If you soak the beans, set the timer to 20 minutes
  • When the timer is up, wait for 10 minutes and then release pressure. Discard the water. The beans can be easily mashed with your fingers when you squeeze it. Proceed to "Blending the paste"

Blending the paste:

  • Drain off the water and pour the beans into your blender or use an immersion blender and puree until they become a paste consistency. You can add the cooking oil to help it goes if necessary. Don't worry about discarding the shells of the beans, this will all be blended 

Cooking the paste:

  • Spread the paste on a non-stick skillet with a rubber spatula or wooden spatula and add the sugar and oil. 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. Sprinkle in the flour. The paste will be smooth and shiny and leaves the side of the pot. This is perfect consistency if you are going to use the paste as filling in pastries, steamed buns, etc
  • 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