This anko recipe, also known as azuki paste, can come in two forms: tsubuan and koshian. Tsubuan is simple– red beans, sugar, and salt. Because the skins are not removed, tsubuan can have a slight chewy texture when eaten. Koshian is simple, too, but it’s the smooth red bean paste that is found in many Japanese confectories. The smooth texture is achieved by straining the beans through a sieve to remove the skins and can be tedious!
But don’t assume that anko is just red bean paste– it can come as chestnut, kurian, or even Japanese white beans, shiroan! This recipe is using red beans, though, so don’t worry. 🙂
The recipe below is for tsubuan, since this is the easier of the two. I had made this because I mistakingly cooked too many azuki beans for the Sekihan recipe.
The experience I had with this was actually very fun! When I had figured out that I cooked too much azuki beans, I knew I had to make an Anko Recipe. I figured, “Seriously, what does the paste have in it besides beans and sugar?” I was almost right– the paste needed a little something else. But what could it be? Then I figured it out– salt.
Making a recipe without any guideline is always fun but comes with risk… Being a college student, I can’t afford to waste food! But I’m glad this came out fine. When you make this, I have one tip– stir frequently. The beans look like they will burn if you don’t, and the sugar wouldn’t fully incorporate if you don’t. Also, when the paste begins to look like the picture below, I suggest to take it off the stove. 😛
AND ONE MORE THING! The beans must be soaked overnight. Meaning, this is not a recipe that you can make out of the blue. It must be planned… :O
- 1 c dry Azuki beans
- ¾ c sugar
- Pinch of salt
- After letting the beans soak overnight, drain and wash the beans slightly.
- In a pot, pour the azuki beans in along with enough water to cover them 1-2 inches above. Turn the heat on high and let boil.
- Once the azuki beans are boiling, turn off the heat, cover, and let stand for 5 min. After 5min, strain the azuki beans. Return to pot and add just enough water to cover the beans.
- Put the heat on high and boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 30-45min, or until the beans are soft. Remember to add water when the beans become uncovered and exposed.
- Once soft, turn the heat back to high and add half of the sugar in. Mix to incorporate. Stir frequently for 3 minutes, then add the other half of the sugar. Stir frequently.
- Continue to cook beans until you can draw a line at the bottom of the pot and can see the surface for more than 2 seconds. Add pinch of salt, stir, and then take off heat. Transfer anko paste to pan and let cool in fridge.