Sweet Bean Paste (Smooth)

This smooth version of bean paste, made with the skins removed, is perfect for making Japanese style cakes and desserts or just pouring over ice-cream. For a version using the whole bean, see tsubuan.


  • 400g tinned azuki beans (in water, no added sugar or salt), drained
  • 120g caster sugar (one part sugar to two parts beans) a pinch of salt


  1. Place a colander over a bowl filled with enough water for the bottom of the colander to just touch the water.
  2. Pour the beans from the can, a little at a time, into the colander, squashing them with the back of a spoon to force them through the colander. Discard the bean skins.
  3. Leave the skinned, squashed beans in the water, until they had sunk to the bottom. Gently skim off any scum.
  4. Moisten a tea towel and pour the beans into it, then wrap the towel around the beans and squeeze tightly to remove all excess water.
  5. Place the drained beans in a pan over a low flame. Add the sugar a little at a time, stirring with a spoon to make sure the paste does not burn.
  6. Once the paste has become smooth, turn off the heat and add a pinch of salt.