One of my favourite ways to enjoy red bean paste is in dorayaki. If you’ve been to a Japanese bakery, or to Japan, you’ve probably seen dorayaki: two golden pancakes gently hugging a center of sweet bean paste. The pancake outsides aren’t technically pancakes, they’re more like soft and fluffy honey cakes, kind of like a pancake version of the ever popular Japanese castella cake.
They’re perfect with lightly sweetened red bean paste. Typically dorayaki is filled with a chunkier red bean paste, but I prefer eating smooth red bean paste.
Smooth Red Bean Paste Recipe
- 1/2 cup azuki beans
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons neutral oil
1. Rinse the beans and place them in a bowl. Cover with water so they are completely submerged and soak overnight. The next day, drain and rinse. Place in a pot and cover the beans with water (at least an extra 2 inches of water on top). Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer, for 1-2 hours, or until the beans are very soft and you are able to squish one between your fingers. If needed, add water to the pot so the beans don’t dry out.
2. Drain the beans. Place in a blender with the sugar and blend until completely smooth.
3. In a non-stick pan, heat up a touch of oil (start with 1 tablespoon) over medium heat. Add the azuki paste and cook, stirring often, until heated through, glossy, and smooth. The key here is to add moisture via the oil and remove any water content from the beans. Add a touch more oil if needed. You want a paste that resembles thick peanut butter. Remove and enjoy warm on toast, in dorayaki, or with cake!
Mini Dorayaki with Red Bean Paste Recipe
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons plus
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 40 grams flour (heaping 1/4 cup)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon water
- oil for the pan
- smooth azuki bean paste
1. Whisk the egg, sugar, and honey until light and fluffy. Sift in flour and baking powder. Stir until smooth and let rest for 5 minutes. Stir in water right before frying the pancakes.
2. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium low heat. I used a crepe maker on the lowest setting, but a pan works as well, just make sure that it’s non-stick. Dip a small piece of paper towel in oil and rub it over the surface. Use a clean paper towel and completely rub all the oil off the surface. This helps with an even golden brown color. For mini pancakes, use a 1/2 teaspoon measure and pour the batter onto the pan. It will spread out into a tiny circle. Repeat until your pan is filled. By this time, the first pancakes you made should be ready to flip. Just like regular pancakes, you’ll see tiny bubbles form on the surface. Flip and continue to cook for 30 seconds or until the pancake is golden brown and releases easily. Remove from the pan.
3. Fill the pancakes with a small amount of red bean paste and enjoy!