Updated: Aug 22, 2021
What is red bean?
Red bean, also commonly referred to as "Adzuki beans" or "Red Mung Beans" is a yearly cultivated staples that are widely used in South East Asia.
Not confusing it with red kidney bean, Adzuki Red beans are smaller and rounder in shapes, very much like pinto beans ( a similar looking beans that are widely consumed in Latin American countries). Kidney beans on the other hand is bigger, flatter and shaped like a miniature kidney, hence the reference name.
Is adzuki beans good for you?
Adzuki beans are known for its richness in different nutrients. It is high in fibre which aids to improve digestion, protein and minerals such as manganese. Manganese is an important mineral, although only needed in a small amount, it plays a vital role to the human body as it helps metabolise amino acids, cholesterol and complex sugar. Some people includes adzuki beans in their diet as it is said to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Other food source that are high in manganese is such as brown rice, dark chocolate, whole wheat bread, almond nuts and other beans and legumes.
What does Adzuki plant look like?
Adzuki beans come from pods that look very much like green peas. However, rather than being harvested when it is vibrant green for peas, adzuki beans are cultivated when the pods starts to turn tan and dry.
What does Adzuki beans taste like?
Adzuki beans like most legume beans has a mild nutty flavour with a natural sweetness to it. The texture of adzuki beans is best described as starchy and has mealy texture even after you blend them in the blender to smooth them out after they are softened.
It is said that Adzuki beans is the sweetest beans compared to other legume beans, which is what makes it such a great combination for sweet treats!
200 g Adzuki beans
600 ml Water
110 g Castor sugar
1 teaspoon Corn Flour
When making the adzuki bean paste, it is advised that you soak the beans in water above the beans levels overnight or for at least 6 hours as the beans will absorb some of the water and soften slightly during that time. . This is to make life easier as it will shorten the cooking time. Make sure that the water is at least 1 cm above the level of the beans.
1. The next day after you have soaked the beans, strain off all of the water. In the same pot with the adzuki beans, place 600 ml water with the beans and start boiling over medium heat until all of the water has been absorbed by the beans. This roughly takes around 35 minutes and the beans should be really soft in texture.
2. Place the salt and castor sugar in to the soft beans and stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat, ensuring the you scrape the bottom often so that it does not catch and burn. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of corn flour and keep stirring until the beans have thicken in to a paste.
Note: When you are stirring the beans in the pot, press the beans against the side with the wooden spoon to crush the beans as much as possible.
3. Transfer the sweetened adzuki bean paste into a clean bowl, wrap with cling film touching the surface of the paste and leave aside to completely cool.
Alternatives : For a smoother paste
If you prefer the adzuki bean paste to be on a smoother side, simple add 30 g of unsalted butter with the adzuki bean paste while it is still warm, then place them in the food processor and process until they become smooth.