Thursday, January 29, 2009

Anko - Sweet Red Bean Paste

I recently found out that the small red beans are the number one antioxidant-rich food. Red beans happened to be one of my favorite foods. Many traditional Japanese sweets are made with Anko (sweet red bean paste). My husband hates it, my daughter and I love it....

Here is the recipe I use to make them. Many people suggest to boil the beans once and change water to make the paste tastier, but I don't do that because I don't want to drain out nutrients along with the water.

You will need:
  • 1 cup of small red beans (Adzuki Beans)
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
1. Wash the beans in a pot. Cover them with enough water and slowly bring them to a boil.

2. Let it simmer for 3 to 4 hours or until the beans are soft. Make sure you have enough water for the whole time. (You can soak the beans overnight and cut down the cooking time to 1 to 2 hours.)

3. Add suger 1/4 cup at a time over 10 minutes once beans are soft.

4. Simmer more until water is almost gone. Beans will soak up more water after you stop cooking, so make sure you take them off of the burner while it is still somewhat runny.

That's it! You can use this paste to make Oshiruko (sweet red bean soup), as a topping for Mochi (rice cake), and for many other dishes! Please check my other posts for Japanese Desserts also! If you have a chance to try out any of the recipes, please let me know how you liked it.