This is a popular snack in China and Japan. The buns are great right out of the steamer and can also be saved in the fridge for several days and reheated or eaten cool. Extra azuki paste can refrigerated for about a week, frozen, or used as a spread. I got the recipe for the buns themselves from a RecipeZaar recipe by Ms. See. The azuki paste is a modified version of a recipe I found on About.com Prep & Cooking time do not include the time taken to make the azuki paste.
Azuki (Red Bean) Paste
- 1 1⁄3 cups azuki beans
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup sugar (do no substitute)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄3 cups flour (all white or half white half whole wheat)
- 3 1⁄2 tablespoons sugar (or other sweetener)
- 1 pinch salt
- 3⁄4 teaspoon instant yeast
- 3⁄4 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1⁄3 fluid ounces milk
- 3 1⁄3 fluid ounces water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
- Making the Azuki Paste.
- Put the azuki beans in a large pot and fill with water. Let them soak overnight.
- Bring the beans to a boil.
- Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove the beans from the pot and drain them.
- Put the beans back in the pot and add 4 cups of water.
- Brings the beans to a boil.
- Turn down the heat and simmer the beans for around an hour, until they're soft.
- Drain the beans again.
- Put the beans back in the pot and add the sugar and salt.
- Simmer and stir the beans until they're thickened.
- Remove from heat and cool.
- Making the Buns.
- Combine the flour, suar, salt, yeast, and baking powder and mix well.
- Add the milk and water and mix well.
- Add the shortening and knead the dough until it's smooth (add a little extra flout if it gets too sticky).
- Let the dough rest for around 30 minutes, it will rise slightly.
- Divide the dough into 10 balls and flatten them.
- Take 1-2 spoonfulls of azuki paste, roll into a ball, and place in the center of one of the flattened dough balls.
- Wrap the dough around the azuki and pinch it closed on top (twist if needed).
- Repeat for the remaining dough balls.
- Let the anman sit for 15 minutes.
- Steam the anman for 15-20 minutes (a bamboo steamer works best). Add a little bit of white vinegar to the water to prevent discoloration.