My mom came into town. ‘Some of this, some of that, mix until right’ recipes can be hard to follow, and I’m easily confused with things that are multi step processes. So with that in mind, we’ve been working on documenting favorite recipes complete with pictures and measurements.
Mom makes Red Bean Paste 紅豆沙 from scratch. You can buy this stuff in cans at the Asian grocery, or I’ve seen it in bags, but it’s not as good.
Red Bean Paste is also called ‘Dou Sha’ which quite literally translated means “Bean Paste”. Red Bean Paste for those of you not familiar, is a sweet filling used in many Asian desserts.
- 2 lbs dried Azuki beans
- 5 C sugar
- 1 C Vegetable Oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
Soak the beans overnight in a bowl with water enough to cover the beans. Drain the beans the next day. Put them in a pot large enough to hold them and a little more water to cover the height of the beans.
Bring the water and beans in the pot to a boil, then lower the cooking to a simmer and simmer until the beans are soft but not mealy. Add water if it looks like water is evaporating away, but don’t add so much that the beans are swimming in liquid. Simmer about 1 hour or until the beans are soft enough to smash with your fingers. (Try it with one)
Ladle a portion of the beans with some of the cooking liquid into a food processor or blender and puree. Add a bit more cooking liquid if the beans are too dry to blend well. Add in some of the sugar and oil and blend again.
Have a roasting pan ready to go into the oven. Scrape bean paste mixture into the roasting pan. Continue to repeat this in batches until all the beans are pureed and all the allotted sugar and oil has been mixed in. Give the mixture a stir to homogenize all of the batches in the roasting pan. Place in a 350 degree oven. Bake the mixture stirring every 30 minutes for about 2-1/2 hours or until the bean mixture is thick and the beans smell roasted. The mixture will quite a bit drier and thicker than before, and holds a shape. You should be able to roll it into balls for instance that don’t blob out.
This makes a lot of bean paste. I suppose you could make less by cutting the recipe in half, but it keeps well so if you like it as much as we do, I say go for the full amount.
We divide the finished mixture when cooled into packets and wrap them securely in plastic wrap and freeze the packages we’re not using immediately in one pound packages. It keeps well in the freezer and defrosts if left a couple hours on the counter.
This can be used as filling now in Eight Treasure Rice Pudding, Chinese Sticky rice tamales (zong zi), rice pancakes, taiyaki, sweet soup dumplings, mooncakes(yue bing), and bao.
Stay Tuned: Tomorrow I’m posting the recipe and process for making Dou Sha Bao 豆沙包, or Red Bean Paste Dumplings.