Tsubuan (Sweet Red Bean Paste)

Posted by on May 4, 2010 in Blog, Wagashi | Japanese Sweets | 9 comments

 

 

 

Tsubuan Sweet Red Bean Paste Bebe_Love_Okazu

My tastes  have certainly changed as I’ve matured. In my youth, I never cared for anko, which is a broad Japanese term for sweet azuki bean paste. I shied away from anything that contained anko. It’s only in the last 10 years that I’ve begun to appreciate the taste and versatility of azuki beans. (Photo Credit: Hideki Ueha)

From what I understand, there are three general types of anko which I have learned about: 1) koshian; 2) tsubuan; and 3) tsubushian.

In March, on Girl’s Day, or Hinamatsuri, I made koshian which is a smooth sweet red bean paste for Sakura Mochi. This is the type of anko that my mom prefers. It is commonly used in Japanese confectionery (wagashi) such as mochi or ohagi.

Tsubuan is koshian’s cousin, and is a sweet red bean paste that is also commonly used in Japanese sweets but it is chunky with some azuki beans still in tact.

Another type of anko is called, tsubushian, where some of the cooked azuki beans are smashed and others are left whole. It’s debatable whether the anko recipe shared today is tsubushian or tsubuan, but it’s just terminology, right? I’d rather focus on the fact that it tastes good.

One of the best things about this tsubuan recipe is that the sweetness of the red bean paste can be adjusted to your liking. Anko is typically quite sweet, almost too sweet for me, but the version shared today is not as sweet as other anko I’ve tasted.

It takes a bit of TLC to make tsubuan since it’s not the kind of dish that you can leave to simmer on the stove.  You’ll need to stir it regularly to make sure the beans don’t burn and stick to the bottom of the pot. As the beans cook, it might also become necessary to add more water.

Tsubuan (Coarse Red Bean Paste)

  • 2 cups azuki beans (red beans)
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4-6 cups water (or more as needed)

In a large bowl, soak azuki beans in water overnight.

Azuki 1a

The beans will expand over night, and some may even split.  Rinse the beans, transfer to a large pot, add water, bring to a boil.

Azuki 2a

Turn down the heat to medium and simmer beans for about 10 minutes.  Skim foam and any residue that floats to the top of the pot.

Turn down the heat to low and simmer the azuki beans for about 1 1/2 hours, or until softened.  Stir beans occasionally to make sure that the beans don’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.

A tiny glitch:

I had to add an extra 1 1/2  – 2 1/2 cups of water because not all of the beans were tender and I had to cook this for an additional, what seemed like, an hour.

Most of the liquid should boil off.  If the azuki beans have a slightly watery texture.  Don’t worry. As the tsubu-an filling cools, this water will be absorbed into the beans, and you will end up with a thick, creamy filling.

Add sugar and salt into the tsubuan mixture and stir constantly for about 5 minutes until the sugar dissolves.  Don’t leave the stove unattended because your koshi-an will burn!  Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Tsubuan can be covered and stored in the fridge for 3-5 days.  I’ve stored some in the freezer before and defrosted it in the fridge.  It didn’t taste as fresh as when it was first made, but it was still good.  Stay tuned for wagashi!

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to leave me a message under comments and I’ll happily respond as soon as possible.  Even if you don’t have a question, please feel free to leave me a comment as I would enjoy hearing from you! :)

Cheers,

Judy | bebe mama

Tsubuan Sweet Red Bean Paste 2 Bebe_Love_Okazu

(Photo Credit: Hideki Ueha)

 

Tsubuan (Sweet Red Bean Paste)
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups azuki beans (red beans)
  • ¾ cups granulated sugar (add more to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4-6 cups water (or more as needed)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, soak azuki beans in water overnight. The beans will expand over night, and some may even split.
  2. Rinse the beans, transfer to a large pot, add water, bring to a boil.
  3. Turn down the heat to medium and simmer beans for about 10 minutes. Skim foam and any residue that floats to the top of the pot and discard.
  4. Turn down the heat to low and simmer the azuki beans for about 1.5 to 2 hours, or until soft. Stir beans occasionally to make sure it doesn't burn.
  5. Most of the liquid should cook off. If the azuki beans have a slightly watery texture, as it cools the moisture will be absorbed into the beans, and you will end up with a thick paste.
  6. Add sugar and salt into the tsubuan mixture and stir for 3 to 5 minutes until the sugar dissolves. Don't leave the stove unattended because your anko will burn! Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  7. Tsubuan can be covered and stored in the fridge for 3-5 days. It can also be stored in the freezer.

9 Comments

  1. avatar

    Whoa that’s so cool! I want to make that myself now. Thanks again Judy!

  2. avatar

    I love red bean filled mochi – never tried making my own! The filling looks like a delicious labor of love – something I’d love to try for sure!

    • avatar

      Definitely a labor of love for such a simple recipe. :) Thanks for visiting, Liren!

  3. avatar

    I love all types of beans, this looks fabulous! Thanks for sharing!

    • avatar

      My pleasure! Thank you! :)

  4. avatar

    What a great post — you’re such a good mom, making your own mochi! So impressive!

    I didn’t grow up with it, so I always forget when it is Girls’ Day and Boys Day. Bummer — we didn’t hang up our carp kite yesterday!

    • avatar

      Thank you! It’s much easier to be able to do things like this since I’m not working right now. Otherwise things might be different. ;) My parents had my brother’s carp flying for my nephew but it was funny because there were only 2 fish. My dad said something unspecified happened to the 3rd one. :)

  5. avatar

    Thank you for sharing your recipes. It has really helped me keep shiogatsu more tradtional than just going to the grocery store!

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