Have you seen these ones?
These are called dorayaki, a sweet, traditional Japanese snack made with a reddish brown paste sandwiched between two soft pancakes. This paste is called "anko" 餡子 or "an" 餡 and is made from azuki beans 小豆 (literally "small beans" which you can buy here).
Some of you might know anko from the film called "An" (the English title: Sweet Bean) released in 2015. A dorayaki baker hired an elderly woman after tasting her delicious anko. He learns how to make tasty anko and how to live life from her.
To make anko from azuki beans, the beans are carefully simmered, and then mixed with sugar to produce a paste.
Anko is used for many Japanese sweets. There are so many different ways to enjoy it. From children to elder people, all ages like them.
Now, you might wonder, how can beans be sweet? I understand what you mean. I also wondered like you when I saw rice pudding for the first time while traveling in Europe. How can rice be sweet?
But I would like you to try and open a new world of anko sweets!!
You don't need to worry about how you can eat it. We can eat it in many ways. It is nice to have it with cereals and ice cream while drinking a cup of coffee.
It is also nice to have anko on toast with some butter. "Anko toast" is a famous breakfast menu in cafes in Nagoya, Japan.
Of course, anko goes very well with matcha and green tea. I made Strawberry Daifuku Mochi (rice cake) the other day and enjoyed them with matcha and hojicha roasted green tea !
(Daifuku: anko is wrapped around a thin mochi shell)
Anko is not difficult to make it. I often make it at home although I can also buy anko-paste.Home made anko is tastier and it makes me happy. You can also make it if you have Azuki beans, sugar, salt and a pot.
Here is the instruction video for making anko. You can make it in only an hour with this recipe.
『How to make anko understanding in 1 minute』with English subtitles
This time, I have shown you the anko called "Tsubu-an" which is lightly smashed bean paste. There is another type of Anko called "Koshi-an" which is a smooth paste without the bean skins. We also have other types of anko made from different beans, not azuki bean.
So, you can explore the world of anko more and more. Welcome to the world of anko !!
Enjoy homemade Japanese sweet beans at home !!
Other items used in this article:
- Matcha bowl: Kizoku Club: Black Bizen-yaki Mini Matcha Bowl
- Others: private items