Anko, Japanese Sweet Red Bean Paste, Recipe

Anko or azukian or red bean paste in English is made from azuki beans, and is a staple of Japanese cuisine. You must have seen it many times if you've traveled in Japan.

Anko has been popular since the Edo era, eaten with mochi, and now, is also eaten with cakes and cookies as well as Japanese traditional confectionery.


Read more about anko and how to enjoy it.

How to Enjoy Anko, Japanese Sweet Bean Paste



This recipe is for tsubuan that is a chunky azuki beans paste, rather than koshian which is a completely smooth paste. You only need 3 ingredients; azuki beans, sugar and salt, and a pan. No overnight soaking is required. 

Some of you might get some anko in stores, but the taste of homemade one is totally different. Please try and enjoy anko with your style!


Anko Recipe 



For about 500g /18oz of anko  [1cup = 200ml] 

  • azuki beans   1cup (170g/6oz)  rinsed quickly with water 
  • sugar   0.8cup (100g/3.5oz)
  • pinch of salt


  1. Place 4 cups of water in a pan and bring to the boil. Add the azuki beans, and heat for 2-3 minutes until boiling again. Remove the heat and leave it for about 30-40 minutes.

  2. Drain the water, and place the beans again with 4 cups of cold water in the pan. Simmer with the lid for about 45-60 minutes until the beans can be crushed easily between your fingers. 

  3. Leave for 30minutes or more.You can leave it overnight.

  4. Ensure that there is just enough water to cover the beans. If there is too much water, remove the excess. Add the sugar and stir with a spatula and heat gradually without the lid. When it boils, reduce the heat, and stir continuously with a spatula until just before your desired consistency. Add the salt and stir, then remove from the heat. * Anko get thick and firm when it cools, so you can stop heating before your desired consistency.


Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.



An-butter-toast (あんバタートースト) is one of popular ways of eating anko!


Recipes with anko 

Sakura Daifuku Mochi (さくら大福) Recipe


Tofu Dessert, 豆花(Douhua) Recipe



Today's Recommendations

Azuki beans
Morita Beans: #3 Azuki Beans (300g)




Instant koshi-an (smooth sweet red bean paste) powder 

If you can't get the Koshi-an (smooth sweet red bean paste), you can make it easily with this dried Azuki powder just by adding water and sugar.  

Hokkaido Azuki Bean Powder used for Red Bean Paste 北海道産小豆 あずきあん



NaturaliTea #19: 2023 Mountain-grown Fukamushi Sencha, Yabukita  

Anko and sencha are the perfect combination. This fukamushi sencha is grown carefully by the Kinezuka family in Fujieda, Shizuoka, without pesticide. 


What is fukamushi sencha? 

Fukamushi sencha and how it differs from a regular sencha










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