Sweet Red Bean Paste

Sweet red bean paste

 The Spruce

Prep: 8 hrs
Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
Total: 10 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 5 servings
Yield: 1 3/4 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
259 Calories
11g Fat
35g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5
Amount per serving
Calories 259
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 15%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 21mg 2%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 335mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

With this simple recipe, you can make sweet red bean paste, a staple in Chinese cuisine. Made from adzuki beans, red bean paste is used in Chinese dishes served for the New Year and other festivities. Foods served during this time of year, such as sesame seed balls and sweet bean paste pancakes, contain the paste. Sticky rice cakes, sweet rice pudding, and dumplings are other New Year foods made with red bean paste. Such dishes are said to help one start the New Year with luck, good health and prosperity alike. 

Once you learn to make the paste from scratch, it will be that much easier to make the foods filled with the condiment. In fact, you can make a large batch of the paste to reserve as filling for a variety of dishes at the same time. So, why is red bean paste associated with the New Year? The color red symbolizes luck in China. You'll find that even many Chinese Americans paint the doors on their homes red for precisely the same reason.


  • 2/3 cup dried red beans

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup oil, for frying

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Sweet red bean paste recipe ingredients
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  2. To begin, wash the beans and throw out any that are damaged. (They may be misshapen or discolored.)

    Wash the beans for Sweet red bean paste
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  3. Place the beans in a small to a medium-sized saucepan. Cover them with water and soak them overnight. (This helps shorten the cooking time and rids the legumes of gas.)

    Place the beans in a medium sauce pan
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  4. The next day, bring the beans and water to a boil. Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the beans have softened. Add more water as necessary.

    Bring the beans and water to a boil
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  5. Drain.

    Drain the beans
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  6.  Process the beans in a blender until smooth.

  7. Remove them from the blender, and stir in the sugar.

    Remove from blender and stir in the sugar
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    Sweet red bean paste mixture
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  8. Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan. Fry the beans on medium-low heat (about 4 on an electric stove) for a few minutes until they are dry, pressing them gently with the back of a spatula to form a paste.

    Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan
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    Fry the beans on medium-low heat
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    Cook the beans for about four minutes
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    Pressing the beans gently with the back of a spatula to form a paste
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  9. Cool and use as called for in the recipe.

    Cool the beans
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  10. That's it!


  • If you store homemade sweet red bean paste¬†in a sealed container in the refrigerator, it should¬†last for approximately one week. Throw out any unused portions after then.¬†