Red bean paste, made with adzuki beans (commonly called red beans in Chinese and other East Asian cultures), 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.
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, such as reducing the levels of oestrogen in the body. These tiny beans pack a lot of punch - you'll be looking for any opportunity to make red bean paste!
This recipe yields approximately 550g of paste.
200g Chinese red beans
35g light muscovado sugar
1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil