Basic Koshi-An (Smooth Sweet Bean Paste)

Check out my video that demonstrates this recipe.


Azuki beans
200 g
200 g


1. Rinse the beans in water, and remove any that float to the surface.
2. Soak the beans in plenty of water for 8 hours (they should swell up to 3 times their original size).
3. Put the beans in a small pan, add plenty of fresh water and cook over high heat.
4. When it comes to a boil, drain off the water, add fresh water, and bring to a boil again over high heat.
5. Repeat this process (bring to a boil, drain off the water, add fresh water) 3 times.
6. Put the beans and water in a small pan and bring to a boil over high heat again. Skim off the scum once it comes to a boil.
7. Turn the heat down to low, cover with a lid and simmer for an hour and 30 minutes. (Add water to the pan if it boils down too far.)
8. Once the beans are tender, turn off the heat. Pour in water to reduce the temperature.
9. Drain the beans. While still in the sieve, place the beans in a bowl filled with water.
10. Mash the beans with a spoon or similar utensil. Discard any skins that can't be strained through the sieve.
11. Next, strain the mashed beans through the sieve while sprinkling a little water over them.
12. Line a sieve with a clean cheesecloth or muslin (or similar porous, unbleached clean cloth) and pour in the strained beans.
13. Squeeze the anko in the cloth to drain the moisture. (This is fresh anko or "nama-an").
14. Put the nama-an in a small pan. Add the sugar, and mix until it starts to turn watery.
15. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes or so while constantly stirring and kneading it with a spatula.
16. Line a tray with a sheet of clean muslin or cheesecloth or a kitchen towel. Place small portions of the koshi-an on the cloth and leave to cool.
17. When it has cooled down, it's done.

Story Behind this Recipe

I made this for people who live in countries where it's difficult to buy koshi-an.