Aduki Jelly (Mizuyokan)


8 oz (250 g) aduki beans or red soy beans
bicarbonate of soda
preserving sugar (cane sugar)
2 tbsp vanilla sugar or few drops vanilla essence
2 tbsp (2 sachets) gelatine powder

garnish with:

small mint leaves

serve with:

fruit salad or vanilla ice cream


1. Soak the beans overnight or for at least 12 hours in plenty of cold water; when they have finished soaking, rinse in a sieve under running cold water.

2. Place in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or flameproof casserole dish with 2 3/4 pints (1 1/2 litres) cold water. Bring quickly to the boil over a high heat, turn down the heat to low, add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda, stir and cover, leaving a chink for the steam to escape.

3. Simmer gently for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, until the beans are very tender. Add a small pinch of salt when they are nearly done. Remove from the heat and put the beans and any remaining liquid through the vegetable mill with a fine-gauge disc fitted. Return the puree to the saucepan or casserole dish and stir in the sugar.

4. Simmer the puree until it has reduced to a paste. In the early stages it will only need stirring occasionally but as it thickens you will need to stir almost continuously, otherwise it may catch and burn because no oil has been added.

5. Remove the red bean paste from the heat and pour 3 1/2 fl oz (100 ml) water into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan; add 1 tbsp caster sugar and the agar-agar powder and simmer gently for a few minutes while stirring until the sugar and agar-agar have completely dissolved. Stir into the hot bean paste, mixing very thoroughly.

6. Rinse the inside of a small, rectangular dish with cold water (you will need a dish of about 1 1/4 pints (700 ml) capacity) and fill with the mixture. Tap the bottom of the dish gently on the work top to make it settle and smooth the surface level with a palette knife. Leave to set (agar-agar will set at normal room temperature) then chill in the refrigerator unless you wish to serve it soon after it has jelled.

7. To serve the jelly, run the blade of a knife around the inside of the dish or container to loosen, and turn out on to a pastry board; cut it into fairly thick slices and garnish with mint leaves.

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