Adzuki Bean Brownies

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Adzuki are small red beans commonly used in Korean, Japanese and Chinese confections. Called 팥 pat in Korean, these beans have a natural sweetness uncommon in legumes. Added sugar or honey during boiling to make the bean paste accentuates the sweetness for use in a number of East Asian desserts.

Based on archaeological findings, Asians have been cooking adzuki beans since 4000 BC. That’s more than 6,000 years of culinary history. How I wish I had a cookbook from back then.

Black bean brownie recipes have been around for some time, especially here in California. Most versions are flourless, which is helpful for those on gluten-free or Celiac disease diets.

Every time I would talk to people about black bean brownies, I’d scratch my head at why anyone would use black beans when red beans seemed a more logical confection choice. In my culinary world, it’s just a given that the black beans had to go and red beans should take center stage.


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4 thoughts on “Adzuki Bean Brownies”

  1. In Louisiana, I remember having pinto beans in a sweet pie. I just think that hearty beans work very well with desserts considering that they can taste sweet when not spiced and full of seasonings like onions, garlic, and peppers. I can’t wait to try this recipe.

    • I have never made it with cocoa chips so I can’t say if they are a substitute because I’ve always used cocoa powder.

      I would advise you to stick with the cocoa powder and add some cocoa chips separately if you want to add some of that creamier layer of texture.


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