Difference Between Adzuki Beans & Red Beans


1. Adzuki beans and red beans are often used interchangeably in recipes, causing confusion for cooks.
2. Adzuki beans are small, red beans commonly used in East Asian cuisine, particularly in sweet dishes such as red bean paste.
3. Adzuki beans are highly nutritious, low in fat, and contain high amounts of protein, making them a healthy alternative to meat. They also have beneficial effects on bladder, kidney, and reproductive functions, as well as potential cancer prevention properties.


Different recipes require different ingredients and it is common to be confused between the various options listed in a recipe, especially when there are variations within a single ingredient. Beans are one such ingredient that comes in many varieties, causing confusion for even experienced cooks. Adzuki beans and red beans are two names that are often used interchangeably, adding to the culinary confusion.

What are Adzuki Beans / Red Beans?

Adzuki beans, also known as Vigna angularis, are sometimes referred to as red beans because of their color. However, not all adzuki beans are red, as there are also white, black, grey, and mottled varieties. The red variety is the most popular in Asian cuisine and is harvested in November and December. Adzuki beans are widely cultivated in Japan and China. The name “adzuki” translates to “small” in Japanese, earning the beans the name “small beans”. In Chinese, they are known as hongdou or chidou, both translating to “red bean”.

Red beans, or adzuki beans, have a strong sweet and nutty flavor, which makes them ideal to be consumed sweetened in East Asian cuisine. They are commonly boiled with sugar to make red bean paste, which is used in a variety of dishes such as desserts, pastries, and buns. Red bean paste is popularly used in Chinese and Japanese dishes like zongi, tangyuan, mooncakes, red bean ice, baozi, dorayaki, anpan, imagawayaki, monaka, manjū, anmitsu, daifuku, and taiyaki. In Japan, red bean soup is a favorite dish made by boiling red beans with salt and sugar to create a more liquid-like consistency. Adzuki beans are also consumed sprouted or boiled in tea drinks. Additionally, adzuki beans with rice are prepared for consumption on special occasions in Japan.

In terms of nutrition, adzuki beans are high in magnesium, iron, potassium, manganese, zinc, copper, and B vitamins such as niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin. They are low in sodium, making them ideal for regulating high blood pressure and acting as a diuretic. Adzuki beans are also known for their beneficial effects on bladder, kidney, and reproductive functions. They have been credited with preventing breast cancer by reducing estrogen levels in the body. The high amount of soluble fiber in adzuki beans promotes regular bowel movements and helps lower bad cholesterol levels.

What is the difference between Adzuki Beans and Red Beans?

There is actually no distinction between adzuki beans and red beans since adzuki beans are also referred to as red beans due to their red color. Very rarely, kidney beans are referred to as red beans, but these are bigger in size compared to adzuki beans. Although the most common form of adzuki beans is red, there are also white, black, grey, and mottled varieties available.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azuki_bean, 16/07/2014

Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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