If you savor the straightforward delicious taste of adzuki beans, then this sweet bean jelly paste is perfect for you. The finished flavor is that of adzuki beans, so you'll want to make it with a flavorful, high-quality paste from the start.
Bring the tsubu-an at room temperature. Soak the kanten in water for 1 hour to rehydrate (If using powdered kanten, you can omit this step).
Heat a pot of water on medium heat. Wring out the moisture from the kanten, tear it up, and add it to the pot. Boil for several minutes until it is completely dissolved, then add the sugar. Add the tsubu-an little by little as it dissolves.
Continuously stir the pot by starting from the point closest to you and scraping the bottom away from you. When you can see the bottom of the pot, the paste is finished.
Take the pot off the heat and pour it into a tray. Once it has slightly cooled, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until it hardens. Remove from the tray and cut it into bite-sized pieces, and enjoy.
Story Behind this Recipe
Personally, I like it when they come out soft. Bites of this will melt in your mouth -- they'll feel nothing like the store-bought kind. In order for them to turn out soft, use a small amount of kanten. If you prefer a more sturdy texture, use 5 g.
The sweet bean jelly paste can be easily made, but knowing when to remove the mixture from the heat probably requires some experience. If the tsubu-an is on the hard side, or if too much liquid has evaporated, you can fix it by adding some boiling water. Find the right timing that works for you.