What are aduki beans?

The aduki bean is a tiny, reddish-brown bean with a cream coloured seam and sweet, nutty flavour. It is particularly popular in Asian cooking, most often used for sweet dishes including soups, desserts and as a dim sum filling.

Aduki beans are regarded as the king of beans in Japan and are prized for their health-giving properties: reputedly benefitting the liver and the kidneys. In Japan and China aduki beans are often cooked, puréed and mixed with sugar to make a chocolatey paste which is used to fill cakes and desserts.

How to prepare aduki beans

Soak beans overnight in water. Drain and simmer in water for an hour. Alternatively, pressure cook the soaked beans in 2 cups of water for 5-9 mins at high pressure. If you don't have time to soak the beans, pressure cook for 15-20 mins.

If you are making a dish and want to retain the colour, shape and aroma of the bean, do not soak before cooking.

How to store aduki beans

In a sealed container in a cool, dark environment.

How to cook aduki beans

Ground in flour for use in cakes, breads and pastries; in casseroles and bakes; with rice or sprouted for use in salads and stir fries.

Alternatives to aduki beans

Try black-eyed bean, borlotti bean or haricot bean.