Sweet red bean paste is a nutritious and delicious cooking ingredient used in many Chinese sweet desserts and pastries. Red bean paste or adzuki bean paste is a sweet bean paste that is dark red in colour and normally made by boiling adzuki beans and sugar with water until the beans are soft. The soft bean can be either coarsely or lightly mashed depending on preference. The resulting bean paste can be a mashed paste with some broken beans and bean pods. Alternatively it can also be processed into a very smooth paste. Red beans are widely used in many Chinese dishes like soups, porridge, added to gravy and even tea. However, the most popular way of using red bean paste is in desserts and pastries like ice cream, popsicles, waffles, dumpling (Zongzi), glutinous rice balls in ginger flavoured soup (Tang yuan), mooncake, buns (baozi), cakes, pan cakes, fried glutinous rice balls (Jian dui) and as condiments for shaved ice (ice kacang). For my gluten free recipe, I am making a smooth red bean paste flavoured with orange juice and orange zest. This recipe is also vegan, soy free, dairy free, corn free, egg free, nut free and refined sugar free. For more gluten free red bean paste recipes, refer to my lightly mashed red bean paste and my Red Bean Paste Buns recipe plus my gluten free Chinese Five Spice Doughnuts (Ham Chim Peng) recipe. You also can find my gluten free Creamy Coconut Red Bean with Black Rice soup here.
- 180 g 4.2oz dried adzuki beans, washed and soaked overnight with 1 cup water
- 1 cup 250ml orange juice
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 2 cups 250ml water
- 5 tablespoons agave syrup
- Pour the soaked overnight red beans and water into a medium pot. Add a further 2 cups (250ml) water and bring to a rolling boil. Cover with lid, turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Then add in the orange juice and agave syrup, cover with lid and bring to a boil again. Turn the heat to low and simmer for another 30 minutes or until red beans are very soft and liquid has almost reduced completely or just covering the soft red beans. Stirring frequently to avoid sticking.
- Turn off the heat and remove the pot from the hot stove. Let the red bean paste cool down.
- Place the red bean paste into a Nutribullet or food processor. Blend until you get a thick and smooth puree paste.
- Place the red bean paste in a bowl and add in all the orange zest, mix well with a spoon.
- Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use or store in the freezer in an airtight container for future use.