Azuki red beans Anko



Red Beans, "small beans" (azuki 小豆 )

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: see below
***** Category: Humanity


Azuki Beans, adzuki beans 小豆 ( あずき)
red beans for sweet bean paste

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Because of their red color, they are auspiciuos and ward off evil influence.


kigo for early summer
azuki maku 小豆蒔く(あずきまく)sowing (planting) red beans

kigo for all summer

yude azuki 茹小豆 (ゆであずき) boiled azuki beans
niazuki 煮小豆(にあずき)
hiyashi shiruko 冷し汁粉(ひやししるこ)sweets with red beans
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

azuki aisu 小豆アイス(あずきあいす) icecream with red beans

koori azuki 氷あずき(こおりあずき)red beans on ice

Minazuki 水無月Kyoto sweets for June
with a layer of azuki


kigo for all autumn

azuki arai 小豆洗い(あずきあらい)washing adzuki beans


azuki no kayu 赤豆の粥(あずきのかゆ)
rice gruel with red beans
kigo for mid-winter
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o-kayu, okayu, kayu 粥 rice gruel

Dicke Reissuppe mit roten Bohnen


The red bean paste (anko 餡子) is made from these beans.
. . . CLICK here for Photos of dishes with ANKO !

anko made from minced meat was originally used in China for making manju. Around 600, when the kentoshi ambassadors to China brought this back to Japan, it was then used in temples, where the monks and nuns were not allowed to eat meat.
So instead of meat the bean paste was used for manju.
The red color of the bean paste is also auspicious for warding off evil.

Red bean paste or Azuki bean paste is a sweet, dark red bean paste originating from China. It is used in Chinese cuisine, Japanese confectionery, and Korean cuisine. It is prepared by boiling and mashing azuki beans and then sweetening the paste with sugar or honey. The husk of the beans may be removed by sieving before sweetening, which leads to a smoother and more homogeneous paste.

Red bean paste is graded according to its consistency. In Chinese cuisine, the most common types are:

Mashed: Azuki 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. Can also be eaten on its own or in sweet soups.
Smooth: Azuki 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 found as fillings for Chinese pastries.
In Japanese cuisine, the most common types are:

anko ... süßes Bohnenmus
Tsubuan (粒餡), whole red beans boiled with sugar but otherwise untreated (grobes süßes Bohnenmus)
Tsubushian (潰し餡), where the beans are mashed after boiling
Koshian (漉し餡), which has been passed through a sieve to remove bean skins; the most common type (feines süßes Bohnenmus)
Sarashian (晒し餡), which has been dried and reconstituted with water
(getrocknetes, pulverisiertes koshi-an)

In Japanese, a number of names are used to refer to red bean paste; these include an (餡), 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.
Common alternatives include
shiroan (白餡), made from white kidney beans, and
kurian (栗餡), made from chestnuts.

Red bean paste is used in many Japanese sweets, such as:
Anmitsu (an and jelly)
Anpan (an and bread)
Dorayaki (azuki bean pancake)
Oshiruko or Zenzai (azuki bean soup, commonly served over shaved ice with dango. Sweetened condensed milk is often poured over the top for added flavor)
Uirō (uiroo, a traditional Japanese steamed cake)
Yōkan (yookan, red bean jelly)
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

ankohii, an koohii あんコーヒー anko and coffee
A big spoon full of sweet red beans tsubuan is put into the coffee cup, than black coffee is added. It is served with a spoon to stirr the mixture for extra sweetness and then eat the beans with the coffee flavor (and savor the coffee with the sweet bean flavor).
Served at Gyokuen Tea Shop 茶寮ぎょくえん


Bichu, Kurashiki Anko Meguri Stamp Ralley, October 2009
備中・倉敷あんこめぐり スタンプラリー


dainagon azuki 大納言あずき special Dainagon-brand of azuki
they are much larger than the normal ones. The Dainagon beans from Tanba are especially famous.
The ANKO made from them is of high quality.
dainagon is the word for the "Great Counillor" of the ancient Japanese government. This food is therefor eaten with the wish for a good career and prepared expecially for auspicious days of children.
azukimeshi, azuki-meshi 小豆飯 rice with red adzuki beans
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erimoshoozu えりもしょうず Erimoshozu
variety from Hokkaido, Tokachi area, with very small beans.

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Azuki Daruma

source :  www.loftwork.com : Sakai


. Anko Daruma Wrapper 餡子だるま


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Azuki-Arai 小豆洗い Monster washing azuki beans

and a sake with this label !

. Mizuki Shigeru and GEGEGE (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎) .  


. Doing Business in Edo - 江戸の商売 .

Shiruko 汁粉 in the Edo period
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Shirukoya, by Utagawa Hiroshige

There were quite a few yatai stalls which sold this sweet. Some had a shop sign saying "New Year Store" (shoogatsuya 正月屋). Maybe because they also sold zooni mixed soup, which in special on the first of January.
Sometimes the red azuki beans were made into a powder (ko 粉) and put into the soup (shiru 汁).
Or the name derives from the beans left as such in the broth (ko 子/ 実) served with mochi (餡汁子餅)and the name later contracted to shiruko written with the Chinese character for powder..

There is also the dish called zenzai 善哉(ぜんざい).
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
It developed during the Edo period. In Kyoto and Osaka, the beans were boiled in brown sugar in a broth with round white mochi (shiratama). In Edo the beans were skinned first and boiled in white sugar and then square kirimochi were boiled in the broth.
This is also called "country soup with sweet red beans" inaka shiruko.

In Kansai when beans were skinned, the broth was called shiruko and koshian was called zenzai. In Edo, benas prepared for zenzai werw called tsubushi-an つぶし餡, chunky paste of sweet beans).

In Kansai there is also kameyama 亀山, a white mochi with a tsubushi-an on top and no broth, it is said to resemble the "turtle mountain" Kameyama of Kyoto.


yo no sumi ni ima shin azuki yudeagaru

in a corner of this world
now the new red beans
are cooked and ready 

Suzuki Setsuko 鈴木節子


azuki meshi asa kara haha ni hima ga nashi

rice with red beans -
from morning on my mother
has not a free moment

Ikeda Kashoo 池田可宵

Related words


WASHOKU : YASAI . Vegetable Saijiki


Ningyooyaki, ningyoyaki 人形焼 figure waffles

Daruma Museum Japan



Unknown said...

When I am watching this Azuki page, I wish to eat Oshiruko 御汁粉.
Can I find it at your blog?


Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Sake 酒 for rituals and festivals


Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Fukushima 須賀川市 Sukagawa city
On January 8 people make an offering of azukigayu あずきがゆ rice gruel with small soy beans to see the Deity off. In former times it was the 15th of January, when the offerings contained some white rice gruel. But as the farmers got poor, they could not afford this and used small soy beans.
Kanagawa 神奈川県
Toshigami 年神 / 歳神
Toshigami comes every year on the first day of January and leaves on the 14th day.
In other villages he leaves on u no hi ウの日 / 卯の日 the first day of the rabbit.
On this day people make offerings of azuki mochi 小豆餅 rice cakes with auspicious red beans.
On the first day of the New Year people make offerings of zooni 雑煮 to Toshigami and Kuwagami 桑神 the protector deity of mulberries and silk.