I just got a new toy, a pressure cooker. (Though finding one which actually cooked at a full pressure of 15 PSI was surprisingly difficult) So obviously I had to cook something with dried beans to really appreciate the speed of cooking at pressure. Enter Anpanman’s brains…
Anpanman is sort of the Japanese equivalent of Popeye, except rather than eating spinach to gain strength his head is made of anpan (sweet bread filled with red bean paste) that gives him super powers, which are lost if his head gets dirty, but can easily be regained via a head transplant from his baker ‘father’. This obviously all makes sense to kids.
The moral of the story is that anpan is tasty enough to endow you with super powers mainly due to the anko contained within. Anko is the basis of many Japanese confections, or wagashi, like yokan or daifuku, it’s made from azuki beans and seems the ideal candidate to cook in half the time with my new kitchen toy.
- 120g dried azuki beans
- 100g caster sugar
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce
- Soak the beans overnight in water.
- Discard the soaking water, place beans in the pressure cooker with enough water to cover, and without sealing the lid bring to a boil briefly.
- Drain the beans and rinse, place back in the pressure cooker with enough water to cover by at least a couple of centimetres.
- Follow the instructions of your pressure cooker and cook at 15 PSI for 25 minutes after which let cool to release the pressure slowly.
- Drain the beans (they should be completely soft), put on a medium heat, add the sugar and soy sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
- The paste will thicken and can be mashed with the back of a spoon. Let cool and you have some delicious super hero brains.
P.S. it might just be impossible to take an attractive picture of anko, if anyone knows how to light mashed bean paste to make it not look like, well, mashed beans then comments would be appreciated!