Red Bean Paste, Anko

Red bean paste is thick and sweet like a jam. It is delicious on toast and is frequently used in Japanese sweets. Include it in meals for Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Low Fat and Vegan diets.

Azuki beans are the basis of this paste. They are boiled until tender and then sweetened with sugar. The mix can be either mashed, giving a rough texture known as Tsubuan, or pushed through a sieve for a smooth-textured paste, Koshian.

This paste is high in protein making a good addition to the breakfast table. I enjoy it on toast as a snack or as an alternative to my breakfast of bircher muesli or winter porridge. Replace butter with coconut oil for a variation in flavour and for Dairy Free and Vegan diets. (Coconut oil is best served at room temperature, it is very hard when chilled.)

When smooth the paste is not dissimilar to chestnut puree. Try it as a topping for ice cream or as a filling for pancakes and crepes.

Diets for which Selinda Chilli Sauce are suitable:

Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Low Fat, Nut Free, Vegetarian and Vegan.


Preparation: 12 hrs soaking| Cook: 75 mins| Serves: 1+ cups (seived)

220 gm (1 cup) Azuki beans
200 gm (1 cup) sugar


SOAK the beans overnight, 8-12 hours.
RINSE the beans.
PLACE the beans in a large saucepan and cover with water.
BOIL, turn off the heat and leave for 5 minutes.
DISCARD the water and cover with fresh water.
BOIL with the saucepan lid on. Lower the temperature and simmer for approximately an hour. (The beans should remain covered by water, add more if necessary.)
TEST to see if the beans are cooked. They are cooked when they squash easily between your fingers.
POUR off any excess water.
ADD the sugar, turn up the temperature and stir constantly.
COOK until you see the bottom of the saucepan as you stir with your spoon. (The paste will be soft and will thicken further as it cools.)
REMOVE from the heat, cool and refrigerate or freeze.*


– As a filling for pancakes
– As a topping for ice-cream
– On buttered toast. (Replace butter with coconut oil or tahini, as in this photo, for Dairy Free and Vegan diets.)
Red Bean Paste


* Freeze for up to a month.


– Sweet Soup or Cocoa: dissolve a couple of tbsp red bean paste in a cup of hot water. Boil, add sugar and a little salt; and for a chocolate ‘soup’ add cocoa powder.

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