Azuki bean

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Azuki bean
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Azuki beans
Azuki beans
Plant Info
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Kingdom: Plantae
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Division: Magnoliophyta
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Class: Magnoliopsida
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Order: Fabales
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Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
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Tribe: Phaseoleae
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Genus: Vigna
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Species: V. angularis
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Binomial name
Vigna angularis
(Willd.) Ohwi & H. Ohashi
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Type Species

The azuki bean (also called pat and spelled adzuki) is an annual vine widely grown throughout East Asia and the Himalaya for its small (approximately 5 mm) bean. The cultivars most familiar in northeast Asia have a uniform red color, but white, black, gray and variously mottled varieties are also known.

Genetic evidence indicates that the azuki bean was first domesticated in the Himalaya.[citation needed] It was cultivated in China and Korea before 1000 BC. It was later taken to Japan, where it is now the second most popular legume after the soybean.


The name azuki is a transliteration of the native Japanese name. Japanese also has a Chinese loanword, Shōzu (小豆), which means "small bean" (its counterpart "large bean" (大豆; Daizu) being the soybean). It is common to write 小豆 in kanji but pronounce it as azuki Template:Audio.

In China, the corresponding name (Template:Zh-cp) is still used in botanical or agricultural parlance. However in everyday Chinese, the more common word is hongdou (紅豆; hóngdòu), meaning "red bean", because almost all Chinese cultivars are uniformly red. In English-language discussions of Chinese topics, the term "red bean" is often used (especially in reference to red bean paste), but in other contexts this usage can cause confusion with other beans that are also red.

The Korean name is pat (hangul: Template:Lang).


In Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cuisine the azuki bean is almost always eaten sweetened. In particular, it is often boiled with sugar, resulting in red bean paste, a very common ingredient in all three cuisines; it is also common to add flavoring to the bean paste, such as chestnut.

Azuki bean paste being used as a filling for taiyaki in Kyoto, Japan.

Red bean paste is used in many Chinese foods, such as tangyuan, zongzi, mooncakes, baozi, and red bean ice. It is also used as a filling for Japanese sweets such as anmitsu, taiyaki (Korean: bungeoppang), and daifuku. A more liquid version, using azuki beans boiled with sugar, lotus seeds, and orange peel, produces a sweet dish called red bean soup. Azuki beans are also commonly eaten sprouted, or boiled in a hot, tea-like drink.

In Japan, rice with azuki beans (; sekihan) is traditionally cooked for auspicious occasions. Azuki beans are also used to produce amanattō, and as a popular flavour of ice cream.

External links


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