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Red bean paste
Alternative namesRed bean jam, adzuki bean paste, anko
TypeSweet paste
Region or stateEast Asia
Main ingredientsRed beans, sugar or honey

Red bean paste (traditional Chinese: 豆沙/紅豆沙; simplified Chinese: 豆沙/红豆沙; Japanese: あんこ or 小豆餡; Korean: 팥소) or red bean jam,[1] also called adzuki bean paste or anko (a Japanese word),[2] is a paste made of red beans (also called "adzuki beans"), used in East Asian cuisine. The paste is prepared by boiling the beans, then mashing or grinding them. At this stage, the paste can be sweetened or left as it is. The color of the paste is usually dark red, which comes from the husk of the beans. In Korean cuisine, the adzuki beans (often the black variety) can also be husked prior to cooking, resulting in a white paste.[3][4] It is also possible to remove the husk by sieving after cooking, but before sweetening, resulting in a red paste that is smoother and more homogeneous.


Regional names
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese豆沙 / 紅豆沙
Simplified Chinese豆沙 / 红豆沙
Literal meaning"Bean paste" / "red bean paste"
Korean name
Literal meaning"Red bean filling"
Japanese name
Kanji / 小豆餡
Kanaあん / あずきあん

In Japanese, a number of names are used to refer to red bean paste; these include an (), anko (餡子) and ogura (小倉). Strictly speaking, the term an can refer to almost any sweet, edible, mashed paste, although without qualifiers red beans are assumed, while azukian (小豆餡) refers specifically to the paste made with red beans. Other common forms of an include shiroan (白餡, "white bean paste"), made from navy or other white beans, green beans and kurian (栗餡), made from chestnuts.

Similarly, the Chinese term dòushā (豆沙), applies to red bean paste when used without qualifiers, although hóngdòushā (紅豆沙) explicitly means "red bean paste."

In Korean, pat (, Vigna angularis) contrasts with kong (, "bean"), rather than being considered a type of it. Kong ("beans") without qualifiers usually means soybeans. As so () means "filling", the word patso (팥소) means "pat filling", with unsweetened dark-red paste as its prototype. Dan (, "sweet") attached to patso makes danpat-so (단팥소), the sweetened red bean paste, which is often called danpat (단팥; "sweet pat"). Geopi (거피, "hulled, skinned, peeled, shelled, etc.")[5] attached to pat makes geopipat (거피팥), the dehulled red beans[3][4] and the white paste made of geopipat is called geopipat-so (거피팥소).


Red bean paste is graded according to its consistency, sweetness, and color.


In Chinese cuisine, the most common types are:[6]

Adzuki beans are boiled with sugar and mashed. The paste is smooth with bits of broken beans and bean husk. Depending on the intended texture, the beans can be vigorously or lightly mashed. Some unmashed beans can also be added back into the bean paste for additional texture. This is the most common and popular type of red bean paste eaten in Chinese confections. It can also be eaten on its own or in sweet soups.
Adzuki beans are boiled without sugar, mashed, and diluted into a slurry. The slurry is then strained through a sieve to remove the husk, filtered, and squeezed dry using cheesecloth. Although the dry paste can be directly sweetened and used, oil, either vegetable oil or lard, is usually used to cook the dry paste and improve its texture and mouth feel. Smooth bean paste is mainly used as a filling for Chinese pastries.


In Japanese cuisine and confectionery, the most common types are:


Patso (red bean paste)

In Korean cuisine and confectionery, the most common types are:



Red bean paste is used in many Chinese dishes, such as:


Red bean paste is used in many Japanese sweets.


Red bean paste is used in various Korean snack foods and desserts, including:

See also


  1. ^ Shurtleff, William; Aoyagi, Akiko (2013). History of Tofu and Tofu Products (965 CE to 2013). Soyinfo Center. p. 339. ISBN 978-1928914556.
  2. ^ Mishan, Ligaya (2013-10-17). "Hungry City: Shalom Japan in Williamsburg, Brooklyn". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  3. ^ a b (in Korean) Korean Society of Food Science and Technology (2008). "geopipat" 거피팥 [dehulled red bean]. Encyclopedia of food science and technology. Seoul: Kwangil publishing. ISBN 9788986752106. Retrieved 2017-02-25 – via Naver.
  4. ^ a b (in Korean) "거피-팥 (去皮-)". Standard Korean Language Dictionary. National Institute of Korean Language. Archived from the original on 2017-02-25. Retrieved 2017-02-25.
  5. ^ (in Korean) "거피01 (去皮)". Standard Korean Language Dictionary. National Institute of Korean Language. Archived from the original on 2017-02-26. Retrieved 2017-02-25.
  6. ^ "Homemade Sweet Red (Azuki) Bean Paste, Chunky and Smooth". 2012-04-11. Retrieved 2013-12-11.[permanent dead link]