Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Red Bean Paste filling

As promised in my wholemeal steamed Pau post, this post I will illustrate  how to make homemade red bean paste. Red bean paste is a common ingredient for Asian cuisine especially for Chinese and Japanese cuisines. It is usually used as a filling ingredient for buns, dumplings, desserts and confectionaries.
I know it is not difficult to source ready-made red bean paste at bakery ingredients shop. In fact even when I was in Auckland I could easily find it in most Asian groceries shops. However, the homemade version always seems to taste better and feels healthier, doesn’t it? J
In return to enjoy better quality and healthier food we have to spend a little more time and hassle to prepare for it.  It is quite time consuming to cook the dry red bean into its paste form. Normally you will need to soak the beans for hours or even overnight before cooking to soften the beans. A quicker alternative is to skip this step  is by using a pressure cooker or a slow cooker.  Cook until the red beans turn soft. To have very fine and smooth texture, it is best to blend the cooked red bean puree until creamy form. Lastly, cook it again with oil and sugar to transform it into smooth creamy red bean paste that is ready for use.

For this trial, I used slow cooker to cook red beans overnight, this has cut down my hassle in spending time to monitor the red beans over stove.  The whole process took me more than 9 hours, but my actual working hours on blending, and stir frying the bean puree into paste only took me around an hour.

As mentioned it was pretty time consuming to get this paste done, but when you think of your loved ones getting to consume homemade paste which is free from preservative and unknown additive, plus the added benefits of adjusting the sweetness to your own preference, it all seems to justify the effort.

Mid autumn festival is around the corner. Why not give it a try to make your own red bean paste for the moon cake fillings to enjoy a healthier red bean flvaour moon cakes? You can also try out Yam/Taro paste filling, and the traditional moon cake recipe here. 


1 cup dried red beans
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil for frying (more oil if wish texture glossy and creamy)
½ tsp. salt (add in little salt can enhance sweetness of red beans paste)
Enough water for boiling

1.      Rinse red beans and soak for 2 hours. Transfer into slow cooker and cover with water slightly over the red beans about 1 inch and switch on auto/low mode and cook over night.
2.      The next day, switch off slow cooker and leave to cool.
3.      Transfer the red beans soup into a blender and blend until smooth, remove from the blender.
4.      Pour puree into wok/sauce pan and add in oil and stir fry beans on medium-low heat and slowly add in sugar, taste test.
5.      Stir gradually until red beans puree dry up to form paste.
6.      Cool and use as called for in the recipe.
7.      Stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator, homemade sweet red bean paste will last for approximately one week.



1、红豆洗净, 浸泡2小时. 转移到慢炖锅中,后加适量水盖过红豆稍逾约1英寸,自动模式煮开通宵。


  1. Hi Yin,
    Love your bean paste. Wouldn't mind to have some for those chinese pancakes. Yummm or your buns :)

    1. HI Sylvia:
      Thanks. Yes, you are right just remember the type of pan fried red bean pancakes dessert which always serve in Chinese wedding dinner here. :-)

  2. This filling is also great for making buns. Nice one, Yin!

    1. Veronica:

      Thanks. Yup,you are right great for bun fillings, one of my boy favourite fillings for steamed buns.

  3. Thanks for sharing this recipe :) Would like to try making this soon for mooncakes. I don't own a slow cooker, so will be using stove :p do u have any tips on how much water must I put in the pot if boil on stove?

    1. Hi there:
      If using pot and cook over stove, make sure you soak overnight for the red beans first.
      I suppose you can just try to use fill up the water 1-2 inches above the beans and monitor on the simmering, you do not wish to have too much liquid coz you are making paste. Try with this ratio first and if you find too dry add hot water into it and simmer until the bean soft.

  4. It's really helpful thanks for sharing.
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