(Willd.) Ohwi & H. Ohashi
The azuki bean is a type of reddish-brown colored bean. It can also be spelled adzuki. The bean is grown in East Asia and the Himalayas. It is often boiled in sugar to make a red bean paste. This paste is used in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese cooking.Azuki beans are eaten in many places in the world. Especially, azuki beans are used in sweet meals, snacks and dishes in Japan, China, Korea and Vietnam. Azuki beans have a long and varied history and there are many recipes.
History and Origin [change]
Azuki beans are very famous red beans in Japan. Excavations suggest that people have been eating Azuki beans since the Jomon period. At that time, Azuki beans were called "shozu".
Azuki beans have been grown since the Yayoi period. The first time the word "Azuki" was used was in the book "Koziki". Old Japanese said "Aka" for red. And Azuki beans were called "zuki" because Azuki beans get soft when they are boiled. "Aka" plus "zuki" is "Azuki" and this is the origin of Azuki bean's name. Another Azuki beans has many origins.
Azuki beans are red, so many old people believed Azuki beans were a good luck charm. Azuki beans were used in many events and ceremonies in Japan, China and Korea. In the Edo period, people made rice mixed with Azuki beans. This was called "Sekihan" and many people gave sekihan at ceremonies. Azuki beans were used as medicine, because Azuki beans are nutritious. Now many people eat sekihan when there are ceremonies in Japan. In addition Azuki beans are used in many Japanese cakes, Many sweets use Azuki raw materials for the taste and colour. So Azuki beans are closely related to Japanese life from ancient times.
Azuki beans make bean jam. A sweet porridge of boiled and crushed azuki beans are eaten with rice-flour dumplings. Oval-shaped sweets are made from glutinous rice and covered with azuki bean. Bean-jam pancakes and bean-jam filled buns are also popular snacks. Azuki beans are also used in pillows and beanbags.
Azuki bean jam [change]
First, azuki beans are boiled until the azuki skin stretches. The azuki beans are put in the perforated basket. Next, the azuki are boiled again for a short time to remove harshness. The azuki are put into perforated basket to drain. After, a pan is prepared. The azuki are put in the pan. A lid is put on the pan. The azuki beans are steamed and the heat is turned off. The azuki bean mash is dried on cloth. The azuki are taken out of the pan which is hot from flame. Sugar is added. The sugar and azuki is mixed and the water of azuki is left, if the azuki falls down a large spoon dripping, the heat is turned off. Finally, the azuki is cooled. When the azuki is cold, it is finished. Azuki bean jam is used in many foods. For example, a fish-shaped waffle is filled with azuki bean jam. Azuki bean jam foods are famous in Japan, and they are eaten by many Japanese.