Making Anko (red bean paste) is the base of all Japanese sweets. There are some detailed steps, but the process is very simple. With careful preparation, you will be able to taste the natural flavors of azuki beans, which is a great dish by itself. In addition to zenzai and oshiruko, it is also delicious with toast. It also goes well with dairy products such as butter and ice-cream, so adding it to western sweets is also a tasty idea.
Nutrition per Serving
- 8.82 oz Red beans (Azuki beans)
- As needed Water
- 8.82 oz Sugar
- 1 pinch Salt
Gently wash the red beans in a strainer.
To remove the astringency of the red beans, place the red beans in a pot with enough water to immerse them. Put on medium heat. When the water comes to a boil, add 4/5 cup /200ml of water and wait until it comes to a boil again.
Transfer cooked red beans into a strainer, discarding the water. Pour running water over the beans in the strainer to remove tannins and other astringent substances.
Repeat by transfering red beans back to a pot with enough water to immerse the beans. Cook over medium heat. When the water comes to a boil, add 4/5 cup /200ml of water. Continue to add about 4/5 cup /200 ml of water every time the pot comes to a boil for a total of four cycles.
Transfer the red beans into a colander and run under water to remove any additional tannins.
The next step is to cook the red beans. Wash the pot clean, add red beans and enough water to immerse them, cover with a lid, and cook over medium heat.
Once the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook with a lid for about an hour. During the cooking process, open the lid and check the red beans to make sure there is just enough water to keep them immersed. Add water as needed.
The cooking is complete once a bean can be easily crushed between your thumb and ring finger. Turn off the heat.
Line strainer with sturdy kitchen paper and transfer contents of the pot. Gently mix the red beans while running water over them.
Return beans to a cleaned pot, add sugar and heat over medium-high heat.
Gently mix with a large spatula to prevent the red beans from being crushed. Add a pinch of salt and turn off the heat.
- After the anko is cooked, remove it from the pot and let cool. Once sufficiently cool, preserve by puting anko in a tupperware and cover it with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.