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Wagashi (Japanese Sweets and Cakes)

Pig-Shaped Pancake Filled with Sweet Bean Paste (1)

pig-shaped pancake

Sweet Bean Paste



adzuki beans 150 grams (this makes 10 pig-shaped pancakes)
sugar 120 grams (90 grams if you prefer a paste that isn't as sweet)
pinch of salt

  1. Rinse the adzuki beans well, place in saucepan with lots of water (about three to four times the amount of beans), and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for four or five minutes. Drain the water away. Be careful not to scald yourself!

    This is the key to making really good-tasting beans. It takes away the bitter flavor.
  2. Return the beans to the pot and add lots of water again. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, skim off the scum (foam) that rises to the surface, and simmer. This part takes a while - between 40 minutes and an hour. Cook until the adzuki are nice and tender and you can easily mash one between two fingers. Be sure not to rush things here. If you don't cook the beans long enough, they won't taste good. (They'll taste raw.)

    step 1 step 2 step 3
  3. After the beans are tender, drain away any remaining liquid.
  4. Add the sugar. The mixture will burn easily, so take care to stir constantly.
  5. Once the bean mixture has thickened, add salt and cook over a low heat until the paste is firm. Try a spoonful. You'll like it!

    step 4 step 5