Here’s how to make anko the proper way. A shortcut would be to find a tin of cooked adzuki beans in water and add 3 tbsp sugar or 2 tbsp agave syrup/honey if you prefer an alternative natural sweetener, then simmer for until most of the water has gone. An even shorter cut would be to find ready-made anko in an Asian food store or online!
Quick version: EASY PEASY
Home-made version: Takes quite a long time but tastes delicious
300g uncooked adzuki beans
225g caster sugar
- Bring water and beans to boil, reduce to simmer. Simmer for about 10 mins. Switch off heat and place lid on pan. Soak for 30-40 mins.
- Check the beans are soft and puffy and throw away just a little of the water – there should be about 3cm water above beans.
- Place pan on medium heat, when beans start DANCING, turn down heat and simmer for 30-40 mins. If drying out, add more water. Remove any froth.
- When beans are soft, switch off heat, put on lid, soak for another 40mins.
- Throw away a little water again, add 1/2 the sugar to the beans and simmer on mid-low heat. When sugar has dissolved, add the rest. Simmer on low and add water if needed.
- When beans are soft and mushy but not broken, turn off heat. Leave to cool for a while, then transfer to bowl and refrigerate.
- To make koshi-an (smooth version), push cooked beans through sieve to remove skins and get rid of lumps.
- Have this with some cream, ice cream, fruit, kanten jelly or on its own for a delicious snack or dessert!