Glossary - Ingredients

Adzuki beans


Small, reddish beans used primarily as "anko" (sweet red bean paste) for "wagashi" (traditional Japanese confectionery)


Written as adzuki beans, aduki beans, or red beans.  These small, reddish-brown beans are usually boiled in sugar and processed into anko paste.  The anko paste is then used in various confectioneries like "yokan" (a jellied dessert made from anko paste, agar, and sugar), "daifuku" (rice cake stuffed with anko paste), and "dorayaki" (dessert sandwich made from two pancakes and anko paste).


Contains plenty of dietary fibers that help maintain the gut's microbiome, as well as proteins.  Also contains polyphenol and saponin which function as antioxidants.  It also works to remove reactive oxygen, which is said to act as rust in the body.


If used within a single year, dried beans can be stored in a cool, dark place with low humidity at room temperature. Any longer than a year, but the adzuki beans will dry out and take more time to get boiled.  In Japan, adzuki beans are sold pre-boiled with added sugar in cans or pouches, and these can be kept at room temperature for around 2~3 years.


Adzuki beans have been eaten in Japan for such a long time that they're even noted in Japan's oldest books from the Nara period (710-794) like the "Kojiki" (Records of Ancient Matters) and the ”Nihon Shoki” chronicles.  The beans used in "sekihan" (rice steamed with red beans) are actually called "sasage" (cowpea), which are similar to adzuki beans.

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