Adzuki Beans in Japan

Vivian Yiwing

Vancouver, BC, CA


Adzuki bean in Japan and their Stories!
Nerikiri is an edible art. They are traditional Japanese sweets that are mochi on the outside, and adzuki bean paste on the inside. They are beautifully molded into flowers, fruits and birds of the season. It used to be a luxury confectionery for the Japanese Nobility in the Edo Era. Nowadays, they are often served together with green tea in Japanese tea ceremony.
Sekihan literary means “red rice” in Japanese because the rice is red from cooking with adzuki beans. It is a traditional dish served during New Years, birthdays, and weddings. The red color represents good luck, good health and happy life.
Oshiruko is a sweet adzuki paste soup with mochi. It is loved by many Japanese, especially during the winter. It is believed to have mysterious power to fight evil spirits!!
Taiyaki a fish-shaped pancake filled with sweet adzuki bean paste. Why Tai fish?  The original taiyaki iron mold was round. Back in Meiji Era, Tai (sea bream) was considered a very expensive fish and only eaten for special celebrations. They decided to change the snack from its circular shape to the sea bream shape to make it more special, and became a huge hit!