I love japanese sweets, especially dango and everything with sweet bean paste. It’s easy to grab a few of these delicious sweet snacks in convenience stores which you find on almost every corner. That is – if you live in Japan. But outside Asia it might entail a trip to the next Asian food store and cost you far more than you would pay in Japan.
I tried buying dried Azuki beans several times, but often some of the beans were undercooked even though I soaked them overnight and cooked them for 4 hours! A friend of mine told me that might be due to the beans being old, which sometimes happen if you buy them in Asian stores. But then I heard that someone made sweet bean paste from canned beans. Why didn’t I think of that sooner? Well, maybe it was because I felt uneasy to use canned beans for japanese confectionary. I mean, isn’t it a sacrilege? But I was short on time and decided to try it anyway. Guess what! People liked the sweets anyway and even asked for the recipe.
So here it goes! Let me know if you liked it.
- 3/4 cup (100g) sticky sweet rice flour
- 3/4 cup (180ml) water
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- ~ 220g red beans (I used canned beans, 225g net weight)
- 3/4 cup (150g) cane sugar (or a little less of white sugar if you like)
- 10 cooked chestnuts (or fresh strawberries, peaches sliced into cubes, ...)
- cupcake liners
- Drain the liquid of the canned beans and wash them. Put them in a small pot and add cold water. The beans should be about an 1/2 inch below the water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Drain the beans, add fresh water about the same amount as before, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for another 10 minutes. If you can mash the beans between your thumb and index finger easily they are done. Drain the beans and put them back into the pot. Add the sugar and cook until they thicken, stirring constantly. When you stir and can see the bottom of the pot for about 2 seconds without the beanpaste running back again it is ready. The consistency should be mashed potatoe-ish. Don't worry, the paste will harden a bit when it cools down. Put it in a wide bowl and let cool down completely.
- When the bean paste is completely cold divide it into 10 pieces. Wrap each chestnut with the bean paste and roll it into a ball. If the paste is hard enough and easy to handle put it them into the fridge until ready to use. If it is still a bit soft and you worry about wrapping it with the rice dough you can put them in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
- To make the sticky rice dough put the rice flour, water and sugar into a microwave safe bowl and mix well. You don't want any lumps in your dough, so mix thoroughly. Cover the bowl with a lid (don't shut it completely!) or microwave safe plastic wrap and cook on high heat (about 1200 watt) for 1 minute. Stir the dough with a wet spatula. Then cover again an cook for another minute. The dough should start to look slightly more translucent. Stir well again, cook for 30 seconds. Now it should be ready. When the dough turned from white to translucent you're good to go.
- Cover some baking tray or any other tray with parchment paper and dust it generously with starch. Put the dough onto the tray and dust it with starch too (it's OK to use lots because it's super sticky). Divide the dough into 10 pieces with a cutter and flatten them into thin circle wrappers. Place the bean paste covered chestnuts onto the circles, wrap, seal tightly and place them in the cupcake liners. Be carefult to always have enough starch, they are very sticky and may stick to each other the cupcake liners.
- I adapted this recipe from Just One Cookbook, which is an amazing site if you're looking for Japanese recipes. They have step by step directions on how to make the dough and how to wrap them (with photos!) on their website.
- Daifuku taste best on the day they are made, but you can also freeze them. Just don't use fruit that gets watery when thawed.