Tuesday, 7 December 2010

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Not-too-sweet Japanese Azuki Paste/Japansk Røde Bønner Mos/红豆酱[hóng dòu jiàng]


Ingredients:
- 2 cups washed red beans
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- Water
- Pinch salt (optional)

Directions:
1. Soak red beans overnight and rinse.

2. Boil under low heat with water just covering the beans for 1.5 - 2 hours until beans are cooked and tender and the water fully absorbed (however, make sure you check that the water doesn’t dry out before the beans are cooked and burn the pot. If so, adjust by adding more water)

3. Puree with blender. If you like it chunky, puree half of it in a blender and mix it together with the rest.

4. Mix in the sugar. Adjust accordingly. When making for diabetic people or babies, take a portion out and reduce the sugar even further. But if you prefer it sweeter, add more sugar as desired.

5. Serve it hot or cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use it to make red bean ice-cream. I like to leave mine overnight in the fridge for the sugar to be absorbed thoroughly, but you don’t have to.

Nutritional Value:
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Additional Information:
Azuki is the Japanese name given to red beans. Red bean is used widely in Japanese, Chinese and Korean desserts. And many of the red bean desserts (ice-cream, cakes, etc.) call for red bean paste (tsubushi-an) as an ingredient. Making red bean paste is like making puree baby food (shhh, don’t tell the Japanese that!) That’s how I learned to make red bean paste – by making puree food for J when he was a baby :-)

Commercial azuki bean paste can be tooth-achingly sweet and contains preservatives. Making your own unsweetened bean paste gives you the flexibility to adjust the sugar amount depending on taste preference. Here is a very simple recipe to make red bean paste. It can be enjoyed on its own though with a splash of milk or cream and a cup of green tea.

References:
http://www.applepiepatispate.com/japanese/sweet-azuki-red-bean-paste/

http://japanesefood.about.com/od/japanesedessertsweet/r/greenteaice.htm

http://japanesefood.about.com/od/japanesedessertsweet/ss/makinggreenice.htm

http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Azuki-Bean-Ice-Cream

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-adzuki-beans.htm

http://www.justhungry.com/2006/06/notsosweet_tsub.html

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