Foodie Blogroll

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Red Bean Paste

I am all about trying new ideas in my cooking. Although I like things that are quick, easy and impressive, I am willing to try new and challenging things. I love all types of international cuisines. My friend Kristy at My Little Space has been introducing me to so new and fascinating recipes. I would love to bake more and try to make Mooncakes. The only problem is the difficulty in finding all the ingredients. The Asian market I go to stopped carrying red bean paste because it came in to them already past date. So Kristy suggested that I try to make it myself because it was well worth it. So I did a little research and here is what I came up with.

One of the original recipes looked at is from is from Rhonda Parkinson on about.com

Sweet Red Bean Paste:
Made from azuki beans, sweet red bean paste is used in Sesame Seed Balls and Sweet Bean Paste Pancakes.
Prep Time: 8 hours, 00 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Ingredients:
•2/3 cup dried red beans
•Water for boiling
•1/2 cup sugar
•1/4 cup oil for frying
Preparation:
Wash the beans and throw out any that are damaged. Place the beans in a small to medium-sized saucepan, cover with water and soak overnight. (This helps shorten the cooking time).
The next day, bring the beans and water to a boil. Simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, until the beans have softened, adding more water as necessary. Drain.
Process the beans in a blender until smooth. Remove from the blender, and stir in the sugar.
Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan. Fry the beans on medium-low heat (about 4 on an electric stove) for a few minutes until they are dry, pressing them gently with the back of a spatula to form a paste. Cool and use as called for in the recipe. (Stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator, homemade sweet red bean paste will last for approximately one week). Yields approximately 1 3/4 cups.




I found all the recipes were basically the same ingredients, just different quantities. I started with a small batch just to play around with it. I cheated and did use a can of Organic Adzuki Beans and put them through the food processor to get a nice puree. I tried to push it through the mesh wire sieve that I have but I was getting no where. The skins just clogged up the holes. (I almost just went with the chunky version).

Next I tried it in my other strainer that I have. It can take more pushing on it than the wire one. But the skins just plugged it up too. So I ended up just doing it in small sections, then scraping up the skins and do another small amount etc...
What I was reading is the already prepared red bean paste can tend to be too sweet. I don't care for things too sweet. So I put a little canola oil to a pan and added the bean puree and a little sugar maybe 1/4 cup. Then sprinkled in a little more. I did taste it (at least now I know what it tastes like) and it seems sweet enough for me. I do think I needed to add a little more oil to get it to look more like the photos I've seen. Well here it is.
Looks lovely doesn't it? ha ha
It does handle well and I can always add more oil if I feel that I need to for the recipes I want to try. I would like to do at least one type of mooncake, and the coffee buns (I also have Nutella for that) and maybe some Chinese Steamed Buns! I will of course let you know what I end up doing with it, and post if you want to hear about it. Do you want to see my failures too? Ok Kristy I'm getting there one step at a time! he he