Homemade Anko (red bean paste)

Kathleen Blumenthal
I love to cook and expand the boundaries of cooking
Homemade Anko Paste

Mochi is a delicious Japanese treat that is filled with red bean paste. The filling is the easiest part of the recipe, and homemade, fresh paste is always better than store-bought. Mochi dough is sticky and red bean paste helps keep the dough together. It has a very creamy and chewy texture and sweet taste.

You can cover your mochi in nuts or sesame seeds to add more flavor. I like red bean paste because of the contrast between the texture of beans and chewy and very delicate mochi. You can adjust the sweetness to your taste, traditionally paste is sweetened, but not very sweet. It has a very settled taste that doesn’t overpower the taste of mochi dough.

Red bean paste can be stored in a fridge for several days or frozen for a month. If you freeze the paste, use cling wrap and wrap it in individual portions. Then put the paste into a ziplock bag and freeze. When you want to use the past, put it in the kitchen table for an hour and it’s ready to eat.

If the paste is dry or not soft anywhere, you can put it in a microwave for 15 seconds. The paste will be very soft, like you just made it.

Homemade Anko (red bean paste)

Anko is a Japanese word that means sweet red bean paste. It's used in many regions in the country and cooked by steaming special type of beans, then mashing and sweetening them with sugar. Read beans is one of the most popular fillings for the cakes. They can be flavored and sweetened with different ingredients. My favorite is coconut powder, but you can have fun and add any powdery sweetener that you like. Just make sure not to add too much liquid.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 180 kcal


  • 250 g rice flour
  • 32 g sugar
  • 200 ml water
  • 64 g corn starch
  • 1 can red bean paste


  1. Take a big, heat-resistant bowl and add water, flour and sugar. You can also use food coloring, then add 2 drops of it to the mixture. Take a spatula and thoroughly mix everything together. The mixture should be like glue without any lumps.

  2. Take a plastic wrap, cover the bowl and put in a microwave for 2 minutes. Remove the wrap, give the mixture a gentle mix with the spatula. It should be very sticky, so you need a sturdy spatula.

  3. Cover the bowl again, put in a microwave for another minute. Remove the bowl and the wrap. 

  4. The dough should be very delicate and less sticky. If it doesn't, put it in a microwave for another minute or two, check every 30 seconds the consistency of the dough.

  5. Dust the flat surface and your hands with cornstarch. The dough is tricky to work with, so make sure your hands are covered in starch. Put the mixture onto the surface and stretch it gently. Rolling pins won't work because the dough will stick to it. Cut the dough into equal pieces, you should get 10 mochi balls.

  6. Make every ball flat until the mochi is a circle. Add red bean paste in the middle of every motchi and cover it with the sides. Pinch everything gently to seal, make sure mochi don't have holes in the dough.

  7. If your mochi are still very sticky, you should add more cornstarch until everything is covered. Mochi taste better immideately after they made but you can wrap them in individual plastic wraps and store for a day. Don't put them in a fridge or they will lose their chewy texture. 

  8. Preheat mochi in a microwave for 15 seconds when you're ready to eat them.

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