What Does Red Bean Paste Taste Like?

If you’re interested in Asian cuisine, you may wonder, “What does red bean paste taste like?”. The fact that it looks sumptuous and is an excellent ingredient in many meals may not be enough. So, what does red bean paste taste like, and are there any similar pastes?

In this article, you’ll discover the yummy details of your typical red bean paste. Ensure you read to the end to determine whether it’s the ideal ingredient for your next culinary creation.

What Is Red Bean Paste?

Red bean paste is a sweet ingredient and condiment, popularized in China and Japan. A traditional red bean paste includes pureed red beans and sugar. It’s delicious whether made from scratch or purchased ready-made from an Asian grocery store or specialty shop.

The final product can range from light brown to dark red depending on the bean type and how much is used. Nevertheless, it should be a staple in your diet because it contains antioxidants and protein.

Several Asian desserts, such as sweet rice balls (Tang Yuan) and steamed buns (Dou Sha Bao) contain red bean paste. There are also several Korean dishes at incorporate this paste as an integral part of the meal.

Red bean paste can taste and look different depending on how it’s made. It can also be added to ice cream and baked goods like cookies and cakes.

What Does Red Bean Paste Taste Like?

If you want to discover the taste of red bean paste, keep in mind that there may be several varieties. The red bean paste made in each region differs slightly from the next. However, they are all made with adzuki beans at their base.

Many have likened its taste to mashed sweet potatoes with a hint of earthiness. This paste also offers a slight nuttiness, depending on how it’s prepared. The sweetness comes from the rock or dark brown sugar added to the beans when making the paste. While it is traditionally sweet, you can also use it in savory dishes without adding sugar.

What Other Bean Pastes Are Similar To Red Bean Paste?

Knowing what other bean pastes are similar to red bean paste may help you understand its taste. These are some bean pastes that can be used in the same way as red bean paste:

Black Bean Paste

A similar, earthier flavor can be found in black bean paste, also used in Asian cooking. Sugar is also added to this paste. And, for those who enjoy a nutty flavor, ground or chopped cashews or peanuts are sometimes included. Black bean paste is more widely available than red bean paste. Therefore, it should be easy to find at your local Asian food store.

White Bean Paste

White bean paste, also called Shiroan, is another filling that works well as a substitute for red bean paste. It is often used in traditional Japanese sweets like mochi and manju. If you don’t like red bean paste’s strong taste, this paste is a good alternative.


Red bean paste is a versatile paste when making sweet Asian-inspired dishes. And you shouldn’t hesitate to try this paste in your next dish. Especially now that you know the answer to, “What does red bean paste taste like?”.