How to Make Red Bean Paste

Red bean paste filling is popularly used in Chinese snacks, from steamed buns to mooncakes; here are some examples of what I’ve been using my most recent batch in, with recipes to follow in my upcoming posts –

You can buy canned red bean paste filling at Asian grocery stores, but I like the idea of making my own when I can; it’s pretty easy especially if you have a pressure cooker and a food processor on hand.

This recipe is one from Cecilia J. Au-Yang’s Chopsticks Recipes Dim Sum cookbook series from 30 years ago, with tweaks.


Red Bean Paste Filling


500g red beans

8 cups water

500g brown sugar

2 cups vegetable oil


  1. Combine red beans with water and cook in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes or in a saucepan for about an hour.
  2. Remove and blend into a smooth paste in a food processor (I use my Thermomix).
  3. Combine sugar and red bean paste in a non-stick wok and fry on low to moderate heat, adding oil gradually.
  4. Cook until most of the moisture has evaporated and it’s a thick porridgy consistency. Remove and allow to cool, then refrigerate or freeze until use.

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