I previously posted my shortcut recipe for Shiro-an, and just wanted to show you how to make sweet red bean paste using the same method. Just like the other post, this not-so-traditional method of making sweet red bean paste uses a high-powered blender and a nut milk bag to drain the beans of water before they’re cooked with sugar. The whole recipe for making sweet red bean paste is done within about 20 minutes, and you’ll end up with a pretty darn smooth and fine textured bean paste, almost like storebought!
What is sweetened red bean paste (koshi an)?
Sweet Red Bean Paste is a thick sweet paste made from cooked adzuki red beans, that’s been pureed and then cooked down with sugar or syrup. It has a creamy, fudgy soft texture and mild earthy sweetness that works so well inside many East Asian desserts such as mochi, sweet breads, steamed buns and mooncakes.
Ingredients Used to Make Sweet Red Bean Paste Using the Blender
**I’ve linked some of these ingredients to amazon.com to give you an idea of what they are, but you should also be able to find them in your local grocery store (usually, the natural & organic food section). They are also affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission as an Amazon Associate if you decide to purchase the items. The price will be the same for you, link or no link 🙂
- Canned Adzuki (Aduki) Beans -we’ll be using canned adzuki beans to save time, but you can also cook the beans from scratch using dried adzuki beans. Here’s a useful post on how to cook beans from scratch.
- Be aware that Red Kidney Beans are NOT the same thing as Adzuki Beans which have a more creamy texture and are sweeter.
- Sugar of Choice – you can use any granulated sugar of choice, including white or brown sugar, raw cane sugar, coconut, date, and maple sugars. Granulated sugar substitutes also work, but tend to make a drier bean paste.
- Corn Syrup – corn syrup is added to sweetened bean paste to both add shine and some viscosity, but it’s an optional ingredient that can be left out, if desired.
Equipment and Tools
- Nut bag – for this shortcut recipe, we’ll need a nut-milk bag to squeeze the water out from the bean pulp after it’s been blended in a high-powered blender. While cotton nut-milk bags are great, I prefer using a nylon nut-milk bag for this recipe since I feel that it drains the water from the beans faster. I recommend using an extra large bag like below if you want to speed up the draining process further!
- Blender – You can use any high-powered blender for this recipe, but if anyone’s looking to purchase a reliable, professional-grade blender, I recommend the Vitamix Blender. Mine is 12 years old, and it’s still running smoothly!
Step by Step Guide
How to Make Sweet Red Bean Paste Under 20 Minutes Using the Blender
Remove, wash and rinse the adzuki beans from the cans, and add the beans to a high-speed blender (like Vitamix) and add the water.
Blend high (setting 8) for a full 20-30 seconds
Pour the blended bean mixture (all at once, or in batches) through a finely meshed nut bag.
Squeeze as much water out of the blended beans as possible.
The leftover pulp of beans should be somewhat dry and crumbly. Once all the bean mixture has been squeezed of water, the water can be discarded
Transfer the bean “pulp” to a wide sauté pan or a wok.
Add sugar and cook over medium heat
Let the bean-sugar mixture cook and evaporate somewhat until it becomes a thick paste.
(Optional) add corn syrup at the very end to add light sheen and viscosity to the finished bean paste
For the best texture, let the beans cool completely (preferably in the fridge overnight) before using.
Additional note: the color of the red bean paste will appear lighter (and slightly pinker) than storebought, but once the bean paste cools down and is exposed to the air the color will turn more darker and browner. (see before image in Step 9 for reference)
Some Recipes where I used my Shortcut Bean Paste
Here’s the White Bean Version (Shortcut Shiro-An Recipe)
Shortcut Sweet Red Bean Paste (Koshi An) Recipe
- 2 15oz cans of adzuki (aduki) beans , or about 3 cups of cooked adzuki beans if not using canned beans
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar of choice*
- 1 Tbsp corn syrup
- Remove, wash and rinse the adzuki beans from the cans
- Add the washed beans to a high-speed blender (like Vitaminx) with water, then blend high (setting 8) for a full 20-30 seconds
- Pour the blended bean mixture through a finely meshed nut bag
- Squeeze as much water out of the blended beans as possible. The leftover pulp of beans should be somewhat dry and crumbly.
- Transfer the bean "pulp" to a wide sauté pan or a wok.
- Add sugar and cook over medium heat
- Let the bean-sugar mixture cook and evaporate somewhat until it becomes a thick paste
- (optional) add corn syrup at the very end to add light sheen and viscosity to the finished bean paste
- For the best texture, let the beans cool completely (preferably in the fridge overnight) before using.