Also known as red beans or adzuki, this delightful food is a mainstay of Japanese confectionery.
Azuki beans are candied whole, used in sweet soups and eaten with rice, but the most common way they are used is in an, a sweetened paste. An can be used as a filling for pastries (anpan), steamed buns (manju), mochi-balls (daifuku), or waffles (taiyaki), served in cold gelatinized slices (yokan), or used as ice cream or snow cone toppings.

How to make an

Wash the beans, then put them in a saucepan with some water, and bring just to a boil. Then drain them, add fresh water and simmer them until soft. The water should be just about gone when they are done, add more water if needed, so they don't scorch or dry out. When they are very soft, add an amount or sugar equal to the amount of dry beans used (less or more to taste). And stir over low heat, crushing the mix into a paste. Add a pinch of salt to taste, mix, and that's it!

Azuki (小豆) beans are small red beans, primarily used to prepare anko paste for using in Japanese confectionery. While normal azuki beans are quite small -- the kanji for the name in fact even mean "small beans" -- the variety known as Dainagon azuki are considerably larger and highly esteemed for preparing quality anko.

The beans also have a few unexpected uses. Baskin-Robbins Japan makes a truly excellent azuki-flavored ice cream using Dainagon beans, and azuki can also be abused to make amanatto, a sweeter form of the infamous natto.

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