(Willd.) Ohwi & H. Ohashi
The azuki bean (from the Japanese アズキ（小豆） (azuki?)), also known as adzuki or aduki, is an annual vine, Vigna angularis, widely grown throughout East Asia and the Himalayas for its small (approximately 5 mm) bean. The cultivars most familiar in Northeast Asia have a uniform red color. However, white, black, gray and variously mottled varieties are also known. Scientists presume Vigna angularis var. nipponensis is the progenitor.
Genetic evidence indicates that the azuki bean first became domesticated in East Asia and later crossbred with native species in the Himalayas. The earliest known archaeological evidence of the bean comes from the Awazu-kotei Ruin (Shiga prefecture) of the Japanese mid-Jōmon period of 4000 BC, and later occurs commonly in many Jomon sites of between 4000 BC and 2000 BC in Japan. The analysis of the unearthed beans indicates that it was first cultivated in Japan during the period from 4000 BC to 2000 BC. In China and Korea, specimens from ruins date from 3000 BC to 1000 BC, and these are thought to be cultivated ones.
|Nutritional value per 1 Cup 230 g|
|Energy||1,233 kJ (295 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||16.8 g|
|Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
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 listen (help·info), an example of ateji.
In China, the corresponding name (Chinese: 小豆; pinyin: xiǎodòu) is still used in botanical or agricultural parlance. However in everyday Chinese, the more common terms are hongdou (紅豆; hóngdòu) and chidou (赤豆; chìdòu), both 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. In normal contexts, "red cowpeas" have been used to refer to this bean.
The Korean name is pat (hangul: 팥), and in Vietnamese it is called đậu đỏ (literally: red bean). In some parts of India, they are referred to as "Red Chori". In Indian Punjab it is called "ravaa'n" and is a common ingredient of chaat. In Marathi, it is known as Lal Chavali (लाल चवळी)- literally means 'red cowpea'.
In East Asian cuisine, the azuki bean is commonly eaten sweetened. In particular, it is often boiled with sugar, resulting in red bean paste (an), a very common ingredient in all of these cuisines. It is also common to add flavoring to the bean paste, such as chestnut.
Red bean paste is used in many Chinese dishes, such as tangyuan, zongzi, mooncakes, baozi and red bean ice. It also serves as a filling in Japanese sweets like anpan, dorayaki, imagawayaki, manjū, monaka, anmitsu, taiyaki and daifuku. A more liquid version, using azuki beans boiled with sugar and a pinch of salt, produces a sweet dish called red bean soup. Azuki beans are also commonly eaten sprouted, or boiled in a hot, tea-like drink. Some Asian cultures enjoy red bean paste as a filling or topping for various kinds of waffles, pastries, baked buns or biscuits.
In Japan, rice with azuki beans (赤飯; sekihan) is traditionally cooked for auspicious occasions. Azuki beans are also used to produce amanattō, and as a popular flavour of ice cream either paste, or whole bean such as the 'Cream & Red Bean' product produced by IMEI.
Azuki beans, along with butter and sugar, form the basis of the popular Somali supper dish cambuulo.
In Gujarat, India, they are known as chori.
Azuki beans are a good source for a variety of minerals, with 1 cup of cooked beans providing 4.6 mg of Iron (~25% RDI), 119.6 mg of magnesium (~30% RDI), 1.223 g of potassium (~25 % AI), 4.0 mg of zinc (~25% RDI) and 278 µg of folic acid (~70% RDI).
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