Cookbook:Red Bean Paste

Red Bean Paste
Ogura Toast (Toast with Sweet Red Bean Paste) (6639292463).jpg
Category Bean recipes
Servings 500 ml
Time Soaking: 4 hours+
Boiling: 1½-2 hours
Making: 15 minutes

Cookbook | Recipes | Vegetables | Beans | Chinese Cuisine

Red bean paste (in simplified Chinese: 红豆沙, in traditional Chinese: 紅豆沙, Pinyin: hóngdòushā, meaning "red bean sand", due to its texture) is a sweet paste used for many things in Chinese, Japanese and Korean cuisine. It is made from mashed adzuki beans (known as red beans in Chinese), mixed with sugar.

A range of texture from coarse and gritty to fine and smooth is possible. For a coarse paste, boil the beans for less time and mash by hand. For a fine paste, boil for longer and use a blender to mash the beans.

75 ml sounds like a lot of oil, but it is required to drive out the water properly.


  • 200 ml dried adzuki beans
  • Water as needed for soaking and boiling
  • 150 ml sugar
  • 75 ml vegetable or peanut oil for frying


  1. Wash the beans, checking for and removing any that are damaged or diseased. Soak the beans in cold water for at least 4 hours or, preferably, overnight. This softens the beans slightly and reduces the cooking time greatly.
  2. Drain the beans and rinse once soaked.
  3. Place into a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil.
  4. Simmer the beans for 1½-2 hours, until soft and disintegrating slightly. Longer boiling will result in a smoother paste. Remember to top up the water occasionally so the beans don't boil dry and burn.
  5. Drain away the water.
  6. Depending on the desired texture, mash the beans by hand (coarse) or in a blender (fine) until they are as you want. Note that the paste is very thick, so if using a blender, it is easier to do it a bit at a time.
  7. Stir in the sugar. You should now have a thick but damp paste.
  8. Preheat the oil in a frying pan or wok, and fry the bean paste, using a spatula or spoon to stir, until the water has been driven off. The bean paste will now be quite dry, with a slightly grainy texture.
  9. Cool, and store in an airtight container until needed. This paste will keep for at least a week in the fridge.

Uses of Red Bean PasteEdit

Red bean paste is used in many recipes:

  • As a filling for baozi
  • As a filling for daifuku
  • As a filling for mooncakes
  • As an ingredient in red bean soup
  • As a filling for tangyuan, boiled glutinous rice balls
  • For zongzi, made of steamed or boiled rice and red bean paste
  • Spread on toast, much like peanut butter or jam