Sweet Azuki Bean Paste

How about trying your hand at making sweet azuki bean paste from scratch? You can adjust the amount of sugar to taste.

Sweet Azuki Bean Paste
Photographed by Masaya Suzuki

Recipe by
Kazunari Yanagihara


Beans & Tofu


  • 1/2 ml azuki beans
  • 800 ml water
  • 100 g sugar
  • 1/6 tsp salt



Rinse the beans and add to a pot along with 400 ml of water. Place over medium heat and simmer for 7-8 minutes until the water is slightly colored. Drain and discard the liquid. Return the beans to the pot and add 400 ml of water. Simmer until the beans are tender, adding water when necessary to make sure the beans are always covered.


Test the beans by squeezing one with your thumb and little finger. If you can squish it easily, stop adding water to the pot and continue simmering over medium heat until there's just enough liquid to cover the beans. (If it's taking a lot of time to reduce the liquid, drain some of the supernatant liquid.)


Add the sugar and salt and continue simmering over medium heat while mashing the beans with a ladle. Be careful not to burn the bottom of the pot. Try drawing a line on the bottom of the pot with a spoon. If the line disappears right away, the bean paste is ready. The consistency should be fairly loose.