I would like to preface this by saying that I love all things red bean. I especially love red bean desserts. I think this product may have been my introduction to red bean.
Azuki is the Japanese term for the sweetened red bean paste that is typically added to some Asian desserts and soups. You may or may not have seen red bean ice cream in your local supermarket because it's not something that a lot of people find appetizing until they've tried it. It has a starchy texture with tiny pieces of beans hidden in the ice cream to make things interesting, but the bean itself is naturally sweet and confectioners add sugar to keep bringing you back for more. If you like pound cake or cheesecake or dense, complex flavors, this treat may be up your alley.
What is best is that red bean is easy on your waistline. It's just beans, so you only need get as fatty and rich a preparation as you crave. Some days I go to the Chinese bakery and get cakes made with red bean paste. I try to ignore that they are made with lard and oil and lord knows what else. This ice cream on the other hand is light as a feather but still fluffy and delicious. Maeda-an used to be 6g of fat per serving, with 4 servings per pint. It has a new packaging now and an even lighter texture, with only 4g of fat per serving (yes, I keep track of this). It's low in calories too, with 140 cal per serving.
I honestly am not an ice cream person, but red bean ice cream is one of my guilty pleasures and not in a breach of diet sort of way. It just makes me happy and it lets me imagine I'm in some exciting place other than my apartment. Please let me know if you get to try Häagen-Dazs's version. I see that they make it, but somehow that just doesn't seem right.
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About the reviewer
I'm a vegetarian and kung fu fanatic. I'm learning Chinese language and cooking. I an open to learning any vegetarian cooking for that matter. If you have recommendations for good, tasty, healthy recipes … more