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Anko Recipe from Japan

As you know, I’m trying in every way to make my learning of Japanese as pleasant as possible. New words every day, interactive grammar, music, manga … I really try them all. What do I like most? Watch movies. I’m still a beginner and my understanding is really minimal, but without a doubt, it is a useful pastime that keeps me “in exercise” even when I take a moment’s break from the books. Just two nights ago, I saw a film that was really impressive “The Recipes of Mrs. Toku”.

The protagonist of the story is a man with a turbulent past, committed to carrying out a small Dorayaki shop in a park with cherry trees in bloom in Tokyo. His life is turned upside down with the arrival of an adorable granny, along with his uncontrollable love for this sweet, through which he will give important life lessons. It is a film of friendship, respect, and love, which, with its silences scenes rich in color,  is able to leave a mark and (very bluntly) make you want to eat Dorayaki all day. It is precisely through his vision that I decided to experiment with their cooking, starting from the base: the Cream of Red Beans – Anko.

To eat with the eyes and the mouth (Anko Recipe)

I love Japanese sweets. It is not easy to explain the reason, but, starting from their different textures, their particular sweetness and their aesthetics that make them attractive only by looking at them, they are a pleasure of Japanese gastronomy which I can no longer stay away from.

The most famous is the mochi, ball of glutinous rice, with the famous and curious soggy texture. Then we have the Dorayaki, a soft pancake sandwich, and again the Dango, Ichigo Daifuku, Manju and many others. All characterized by incredible aesthetic beauty and, most of them, united by one particular ingredient: Anko, a cream of red beans (Azuchi) with a very sweet taste, whose preparation is very similar to that of our jam. Anko is undoubtedly a crucial ingredient in Japanese confectionery. It can be used as a spread, served in the form of gelatine or in sweet soups accompanied by cubes of mochi. It is a versatile ingredient, perfect for all seasons and its preparation requires very few ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 200 gr Azuki Beans
  • Water
  • 200 gr sugar
  • pinch of salt

How to make Anko Recipe

As mentioned above, the necessary ingredients are just a few, but this does not mean that the recipe is simple. You will need some time and a lot of patience! As in the lovely grandma said in the movie: “Azuki is the soul of Dorayaki” and for this reason, it requires its proper importance!

  • Dip the Azuki beans in a bowl filled with water and let them rest a night (minimum 8 hours);

  • The next day, drain and rinse them;
  • Put them in a saucepan and fill it with water. It must cover the surface approximately 2 fingers. (Attention: during cooking, the beans will tend to duplicate their size, so make sure you have a fairly large pot). Boil on high heat.

Anko Recipe

  • When the water starts to boil, drain the beans and place them in the pan. Repeat this operation 2 more times (3 in total) so that the slightly bitter aftertaste is lost.

Done? Now it’s time to boil them for the last time!

  • Put them back into the pot and fill it with water until completely cover the surface of the beans (just right to cover them). Cook them for about 1 hour on low heat. Warning: you will need to keep the water level constant by adding it regularly. When pressing the two fingers on a bean and it will be easily crushed, you will be ready for the last phase!
  • Increase the heat and gradually add the sugar (in at least 4 moments), add the salt, mix everything with the help of a spoon and extinguish the flame.

Here ready your homemade Anko!

Anko Recipe

I suggest you spread it on a plate and let it cool. If you have prepared it in abundance, I recommend you to keep it in the freezer! Ideal recipes in which Anko is the best filling ever?

Have you tried with:

Taste of Japan: Dorayaki!

Taste of Japan: Anko Dango Recipe!

Dango Recipe with Anko Recipe