Learn how to make smooth and shiny sweet red bean paste (dou sha) or known as Anko in Japan that you can use as filling for many Asian pastries, Chinese mooncakes, bread, baked buns, steamed buns, or just eat by spoonfuls if you wish. Instant pot-friendly. Vegan and gluten-free.
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 1 to 1 1/2 hours. 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 about 1 inch above the beans. 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,oil (if using), and salt. 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 and the paste can hold its shape. The paste will be smooth and shiny and leave 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 it. 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
You can omit the oil if you are using the red bean paste as a filling for steamed buns, bread, or baked buns. I won't recommend omitting the oil if you are using this as a filling for mooncakes or other pastries.