I have a can of Red Kidney Beans, and I want to use it to make Japanese Red Bean Paste Buns. Looking online, I found that these buns require Azuki Beans for the paste, not Kidney Beans. Is there a way to turn Kidney Beans into a replacement for Azuki Beans?


2 Answers 2


Welcome. According to the excerpt below from this page , kidney beans are an acceptable substitute.

azuki bean = adzuki bean = Tiensin red bean = aduki bean = asuki bean = field pea = red Oriental bean = feijao bean = red chori Equivalents: 1 cup dried yields 3 cups cooked beans Pronunciation: a-ZOO-kee Notes: The Japanese use these small red beans to make sweet red bean paste, but they're also good in rice dishes or salads. Azuki beans are sweet and relatively easy to digest, so they won't make you as gassy as other beans. They also don't take as long to cook. Substitutes: black azuki beans OR red kidney beans OR Tolosana beans

That said, while you may be able to substitute them you may need to make adjustments to end up with a similar bean paste. For example you may need to add more sugar as adzuki beans have a natural slightly sweet flavor.

Also, even though you have canned beans, they may require a bit of cooking to get them to the right softness. (Adzuki beans tend to have a very creamy texture.) Note that dark red kidney beans tend to be more firm than light red.

All said and done, you can probably make adjustments and end up with a slightly different result. But as for me, I would get the adzuki beans.

  • 4
    I'd be interested to know how good of a substitute that is; in that context, it might just be a "here's as close as you'll get without the real thing" substitute.
    – Cascabel
    Mar 30, 2015 at 17:35
  • I'd also suggest pureeing the kidney beans - in many cases kidney beans have a shell/skin that won't be pleasing if you just mash the beans down. The idea of adding some sugar to get the taste right also makes sense to me. But you'd want a comparison azuki bean to get the flavor right. But if you have a comparison, why not just use it, instead of the kidney bean? Mar 30, 2015 at 21:00
  • 1
    @SteveMidgley The point is for us to tell the OP whether it'll work, not make the OP do the experiment himself.
    – Cascabel
    Mar 30, 2015 at 23:03

No, azuki beans are very different in texture and flavor from kidney beans, you won't be able to use them as a substitute.

  • I think it would require a lot of trial and error to get the sweetness right. Better to buy them from a Japanese market, but if you don't have one nearby online should be OK, as you can get them canned or as raw beans.
    – user3169
    Mar 30, 2015 at 20:03
  • who is going to stop them
    – c..
    Mar 25, 2021 at 23:24
  • 1
    I will @c.. I'll find them wherever they are.
    – GdD
    Mar 26, 2021 at 8:38

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