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Sweet azuki bean paste used in various Asian desserts

Anko is a sweet, dark brown paste that is made by mashing boiled azuki beans (see “azuki”) and sugar. Anko may be enjoyed plain or as a filling for Asian confections such as Chinese mooncakes or Japanese dorayaki.

In Japanese cuisine, an that has been filtered through a sieve so that it has a smooth in texture is called koshian, while tsubuan is rougher with partial beans still evident. Shiroan is off-white in color and most commonly made from white kidney beans, although chestnuts and lily root are also used.

Anko comes ready to use in cans and can be found in the grocery department.