Sweet Red Bean Paste

August 25, 2021

Sweet Red Bean Paste (Anko) is super easy to make from scratch, and its better than the store bought.

 Red bean paste

 The red beans or adzuki beans is one of the most important ingredients in Asian cooking.

What is red beans used for?

As red beans have naturally sweet flavour, we tend to make them as dessert.

To name a few, we use red bean in our steam buns known as bao (or pau).
Or we cooked these red beans in sugar with mandarin peels added and enjoy as sweet red bean soup.

My favourite childhood dessert is to have soft cooked red beans in shaved iced with syrup. (which reminds me, I need to update this post!!)

I used red beans for blind baking. It is definitely cheaper than using pie weight.

 sweet red bean paste

Red beans and red kidney beans, are they the same?

Do not mistaken red beans to red kidney beans. These two are not the same. 

Red kidney beans is bigger in size compare to red beans. 
Red kidney beans has darker red colour almost crimson.

While red beans are smaller in size and brighter red.

How to make red bean paste?

Printable recipe, ingredients list and method is in the recipe card below.

 dry red beans
1. Dry red beans

 Soak red beans
2. Rinse and wash thrice 

 soaking red beans
3. Soak for at least 4 hours 
I usually soak overnight.

 strain off water red beans
4. Drain off water.

 Cook red beans in Instant Pot
5. Place soaked red beans in an Instant Pot.
Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.
Switch off Instant Pot and Natural release for 15 minutes.

 Cooked red beans
6. Strain water (reserve some)
This is known as Tsubu-an or chunky red bean. Add sugar to the reserved strained water and make red bean porridge or soup, add some mandarin peel. 

Point to note : I forgot to  push these cooked red bean through a sieve just like when I did for Shiro-an, in my previous post. My bad!!

It will less time consuming when turning these red beans into paste.

or blend as per photo below.

 Blend red beans
7. Use a stick blender and blend till smooth to make anko or smooth red bean paste.

  Add sugar to Blended red beans
8. Transfer blended red bean to a pot.
Add sugar.

 soupy stage red beans
9. Red bean in its soupy stage.
{See my note 6 above}

 cooking red beans in pan
10. Getting there...

 Adzuki bean paste

 Japanese red bean
12. Finally... red bean paste is ready :)

How to store red bean paste?

Store red bean paste in an air tight container.

And keep them refrigerated.

How long can I keep red bean paste?

Once refrigerated, used red bean paste within 7 days.

Place any left over red bean paste in a zip lock bag, do not forget to label and date the bag, and place in the freezer.
This should be good for 3 months.
Thaw before use.

 red bean paste recipes

Other recipe using red bean paste.

Steam bao 
Matcha buns 
Mooncakes (can substitute lotus paste with red bean paste)
Red bean ice cream

Video on How to Make Red Bean Paste

Sweet Red Bean Paste (Anko) is super easy to make from scratch, and its better than the store bought.  Let's learn how to make red bean paste, also known as adzuki beans paste. And I cooked red beans in Instant pot for convenience. This sweet red bean paste is excellent for Japanese dessert, Chinese dessert, as mooncakes' filler, for red bean paste buns or bread and pastries.