Azuki bean also known as adzuki or aduki, is an annual vine, Vigna angularis, widely grown throughout East Asia and the Himalayas for its small (approximately 5 mm) bean. The cultivars most familiar in Northeast Asia have a uniform red color. However, white, black, gray and variously mottled varieties are also known.
In East Asian cuisine, the azuki bean is commonly eaten sweetened. In particular, it is often boiled with sugar, resulting in red bean paste, a very common ingredient in all of these cuisines. It is also common to add flavoring to the bean paste, such as chestnut.
Matcha muffin with sweetened azuki beans.
Red bean paste is used in many Chinese dishes, such as tangyuan, zongzi, mooncakes, baozi and red bean ice. It also serves as a filling in Japanese sweets like anpan, dorayaki, imagawayaki, manju, monaka, anmitsu, taiyaki and daifuku. A more liquid version, using azuki beans boiled with sugar and a pinch of salt, produces a sweet dish called red bean soup. Azuki beans are also commonly eaten sprouted, or boiled in a hot, tea-like drink. Some Asian cultures enjoy red bean paste as a filling or topping for various kinds of waffles, pastries, baked buns or biscuits.
In Japan, rice with azuki beans is traditionally cooked for auspicious occasions. Azuki beans are also used to produce amanatto, and as a popular flavour of ice cream.
On October 20, 2009, Pepsi Japan released an azuki-flavored Pepsi product.
Azuki beans, along with butter and sugar, form the basis of the popular Somali supper dish cambuulo.
In Gujarat, India, they are known as chori.
Health Benefits of Azuki Bean:
1. Heart Health: Adzuki beans are an excellent source of soluble fiber, which helps to keep cholesterol levels in a healthy range. Lower cholesterol is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. They also contain folate, potassium, and magnesium, all of which are essential for a healthy heart.
2. Digestive Health: The fiber in adzuki beans helps to keep the digestive system running smoothly, prevents constipation and may help to prevent colon cancer.
3. Diabetes Prevention: Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels also help to prevent and treat diabetes. Being diagnosed with diabetes means that your body cannot keep blood sugar levels in balance - the fiber and nutrients in beans helps to keep them at normal levels.
4. Weight Loss: The fiber in adzuki beans fills your stomach and keeps you feeling satiated longer. They are also high in protein which helps to keep blood sugar levels low and which, in turn, may help to keep weight off.
5. B Vitamins: Adzuki beans are a good way to get B vitamins, including B6, B2, B1, B3, and folic acid.
6. Liver Detox: Just a quarter cup of adzuki beans contains 100% of the recommended daily intake of molybdenum, a trace mineral that produces the enzyme sulfite oxidase which is crucial for liver detoxification.
7. Trace Minerals: In addition to being a great source of the trace mineral molybdenum, they also contain good amounts of copper, zinc, and manganese.