Red bean paste is used in a number of different recipes for Chinese pastries such as red bean paste buns and moon cakes. It can also be found canned in most Chinese grocery stores. However, making homemade bean paste allows you to control both the texture and the taste depending on your tastes and what recipe you will be using it for. The recipe below is for a smooth sweet bean paste that is perfect for red bean paste buns. If you want a rougher, chunky texture then you can simply mash the beans instead of blending them in a food processor. To make the paste less sweet, simply use less sugar. Try this red bean paste recipe and let me know what you think in the Chinese food forum found here. Enjoy!
½ lb azuki red beans
1/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup sugar
- Start preparing the beans the night before you are planning on making the paste. In a colander, rinse them under cold running water, tossing them a bit to clean them off. Then place them in a large pot and cover them with lukewarm water and let them soak overnight.
- The next day, drain the beans in a colander. Then place them back in the pot, cover them with hot water and bring them to a boil.
- Once the water boils, turn the heat down and cover them and let them simmer for about 1 ½ hours or until they are soft and fall apart. Check them every so often to make sure that the water does not evaporate. If it does then add more water so that they are completely submerged.
- Once the beans are soft, carefully drain off as much water from them as possible.
- Then place a cheesecloth inside a strainer and slowly pour some of the mixture into the cloth. Then pull up the cheesecloth and squeeze it to get the excess water out. Then place the drained beans into a food processor. Repeat this until all the beans are drained and in the food processor.
- When all the beans are in the food processor, process until they are smooth.
- Then place the bean paste in a sauce pan and add the shortening and sugar. Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly until a thick paste forms.
- Then remove it from the heat and let it cool. Now it is ready to be used in another recipe such as the red bean paste buns. Place it in a container that has a tight fitting lid and store it in the refrigerator. It will last about a week and a half. Makes about 1 ½ cups.