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  5. Red Bean Paste (Hong Dou Sha | 红豆沙)

Red Bean Paste
(Hong Dou Sha | 红豆沙)

Red Bean Paste

Here is an easy recipe for red bean paste (红豆沙 or hóngdòu shā), made with adzuki beans (commonly called red beans in Chinese and other East Asian cultures), which is a popular ingredient in many Chinese and East Asian desserts and pastries. Although you can buy it at most East Asian grocers, it's hard to beat the taste of the homemade version. The recipe below is so quick and easy to make that you won't want to go back to shop bought alternatives. Use this  paste in Baked Sticky Rice Cake (Hong Dou Kao Nian Gao | 红豆 烤年糕) or any other recipe of your choosing.

You'll notice the recipe suggests cooking the bean puree a bit to evaporate some of the moisture. You may find that this is unnecessary, if the consistency of the blended beans mixed with sugar is just right. If that is the case, simply skip this step. If your blended beans do contain excess moisture, then cooking them for a few minutes is helpful.

Even amongst pulses, adzuki beans are high in protein and low in fat. They are nutrient dense, high in beneficial vitamins and minerals, and low in sodium. As well as having diuretic properties, adzuki beans can also help regulate hormonal imbalances, nourish the blood and boost energy levels. These tiny beans pack a lot of punch - you'll be looking for any opportunity to make red bean paste and not feel guilty about it!

Here's what you'll need to make this:
(Click here to jump straight to the recipe)

200g Chinese red beans or Adzuki beans
35g light muscovado sugar
1 1/2 tsp flavourless vegetable oil

And here's what you'll need to do

  • Rinse and soak the red beans in plenty of fresh water for 8 hours minimum or overnight.
  • Drain and discard the soaking water, and put the red beans into a lidded saucepan with plenty of fresh water. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer gently for about an hour or until the beans are really soft and tender.
  • Drain and discard the cooking water.
  • Using either a food processor or a handheld stick blender, blend the cooked red beans for a few minutes.
  • Depending on personal preference and/or the dish you are making, you can either blend the beans into a smooth paste or leave it slightly textured.
  • Add the sugar, and blitz for a little while longer until fully combined.
  • In a large saucepan, heat up the oil on medium heat until fairly hot.
  • Gently cook the bean mixture for a few minutes until most of moisture has evaporated and you are left with a thick paste.
Red Bean Paste
  • Do a taste test comparing your home made red bean paste to shop bought versions, and let me know which you prefer!
  • You can use the paste directly in your recipe of choice, or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Red Bean Paste
(Hong Dou Sha | 红豆沙)

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Best Baking Recipes: Red Bean Paste (Hong Dou Sha, 红豆沙)

Red bean paste is used in many East Asian dessert, and you may be surprised at how easy it is to make your own delicious homemade version.

Prep Time: 8 hours minimum or overnight soaking time
Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield: 500g
Course: Filling, Dessert, Pudding
Cuisine: Chinese, East Asian
Tags: Hong Dou, Adzuki Bean

Ingredients

200g Chinese red beans or Adzuki beans
35g light muscovado sugar
1 1/2 tsp flavourless vegetable oil

Method

  1. Rinse and soak the red beans in plenty of fresh water for 8 hours minimum or overnight.
  2. Drain and discard the soaking water, and put the red beans into a lidded saucepan with plenty of fresh water. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer gently for about an hour or until the beans are really soft and tender. Drain and discard the cooking water.
  3. Using either a food processor or a handheld stick blender, blend the cooked red beans for a few minutes. Add the sugar, and blitz for a little while longer until fully combined.
  4. In a large saucepan, heat up the oil on medium heat until fairly hot. Gently cook the bean mixture for a few minutes until most of moisture has evaporated and you are left with a thick paste.
  5. You can use the paste directly in your recipe of choice, or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

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