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I recently bought a book of Asian recipes. The author seems to have a huge crush on red bean (azuki) paste, since about a half of the recipes call for it. Unfortunately, the availability of red beans seems to be on about the same level as dodo eggs. Is there something that can be used as a substitute to get a close approximate of the taste and texture?

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+1 for dodo eggs :) (and because it's an interesting question, of course!) –  nico Jul 4 '11 at 17:41
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Black bean paste is also incorporated into Asian cuisine, and has a similar flavor, although earthier. Add a little sugar, maybe a little ground cashew or peanuts for nuttiness. It won't be the same, but it should work well enough.

Since black beans are more common, this may work well enough for you.

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Thanks! I'll give black beans a go, they are luckily available at my nearest supermarket and I've tried and loved them before. –  Kaivosukeltaja Jul 5 '11 at 14:07
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Well it really depends on the dish. If we do a sweet dish with red beans like japanese mochi, you can be creative and add things like whipped cream, fruit or chocolate. But if its like a red bean porridge/soup, I recommend something like blackbeans or any kind of nut/beans and try sweetening the taste. The reason wht red beans are common in asian dishes is because they are easy to find in those countries and taste sweet. So substituting with something sweet would be a good idea.

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