Hey! This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.

Red beans are a type of bean that comes in all shapes and sizes, with uses in a variety of dishes, be it sweet or savoury. Red beans can be found canned or dried, they are most popular in Latin American Cuisine. Their flavour can be compared to black beans or pinto beans. Red beans are also known as Adzuki beans and are often enjoyed boiled with sugar and mashed into a sweet red bean paste, that can be used in desserts that are mainly popular in Asian cuisine.

Red Bean

What Do Kidney Beans Taste Like?

Although kidney beans are also referred to as red beans, kidney beans are twice the size of red beans and shaped like kidneys. They are known for their health benefits such as being an excellent source of protein. The taste of kidney beans is quite pleasant and can easily be incorporated into your diet. Kidney beans have a delicate and slightly sweet flavour, in some dishes, kidney beans are cooked with tomatoes and served as a curry which would give the beans a deliciously sweet tangy taste. Kidney beans can be used as a substitute for red (adzuki) beans but only in savoury dishes.

Red Bean Vs Kidney Beans

Although red beans and kidney beans share the same reddish tinge, followed by health benefits, with good sources of protein, iron and fibre they are quite different. The main difference between red beans and kidney beans are found in their shape, size, texture and taste. Red beans are much smaller than kidney beans, they are oblong shaped and have a pinkish-red colour, with a smooth texture.

Kidney beans are shaped like kidneys and are a much darker shade of red, they provide a good source of minerals and proteins. Whilst red beans are a good source of iron and antioxidants. Red beans give out a sweet, nutty flavour, and go well in cold foods, such as desserts, whereas kidney beans absorb the flavours of ingredients they are cooked with, they can taste spicy, tangy or salty and taste much better when served in hot foods.

What Do Adzuki Beans Taste Like?

Adzuki beans have a mild, nutty taste with a sweetness that allows them to fit so well in sweet dishes, these beans are often enjoyed boiled with sugar and mashed into a sweet taste that is used as a filling in many Asian desserts such as ice cream. Adzuki beans originated from China where they’re commonly used in desserts due to their natural sweetness, but that does not mean that they can’t be used in savoury recipes.

Why Are Adzuki Beans So Good?

Adzuki beans are perfect for vegetarian diets, packed full of protein and low in fats, they are commonly transformed into a paste for baked goods, such as pastries and sweet red bean buns, imagine having a dessert that’s actually good for you! They make a great replacement for other beans and proteins in salads, casseroles and soups. Their taste is light, sweet and nutty, giving a generous helping of nutrition and texture with plenty of antioxidants and fiber to a variety of dishes. Lets list a few of these.

  • Adzuki bean tofu
  • Adzuki bean hummus
  • Sweet potato and adzuki bean sliders
  • Red bean flower bread
  • Macro bowl with ginger, carrot, and almond sauce
  • Pumpkin adzuki bean curry
  • Black rice, adzuki bean and walnut stuffed squash.

Red Bean Paste

Red beans are roasted till tender and mashed into a paste. Red bean paste, or “Anko” in Japanese, is a sweet flavoured paste that can be made from adzuki beans and can be used as an ingredient for desserts like red bean ice cream, or pancakes which can have coconut sugar added to them.

Red Bean Buns

A popular Chinese dessert that is especially enjoyed for breakfast, are red bean buns. These round, plush, soft steamed red bean buns taste sweet, the dough is kneaded then flattened and laid out on a flat surface, so that red bean paste can be placed on top of it, and then sealed when shaping the dough into a circle. Sweet red bean buns can be eaten with milk.

Red Bean Ice Cream

Red bean is one of the most popular flavours used in traditional Japanese sweets, its prominent use and appreciation can be compared to that of chocolate in Western desserts. Adzuki or red beans are a deep red colour and have a mildly nutty taste, whilst bearing a light sweetness, which is why it is so perfect to use as an ingredient in desserts.

Japanese red bean ice cream is much different from the ice cream we know, and this is because of the main ingredient. The best way to describe red bean ice cream is that it is satisfying. Its texture is much harder, without the rich and creaminess of our typical ice cream. Adzuki ice cream can be made using store brought red bean paste, which is said to be sweeter and provides that much-needed sweetness that just happens to make so much sense in ice cream.

Beans Beans Good For The Heart

We certainly know what sets them apart! Kidney beans are much larger absorbing flavours beautifully holding power in dominant ingredients, whether that is tomatoes or coconut milk etc. Red beans also known as Adzuki beans are much sweeter, and can be made into the red paste, commonly enjoyed as a dessert such as ice cream. Sprinkle it with sesame seeds for that beautifully added nutty flavour.

FAQ’s

Does Red Bean Taste Good?

Red beans have a mild, nutty taste with a sweet aroma, that allows them to be a perfect ingredient in sweet dishes.

Is Red Bean Sweet?

Red beans are not naturally sweet, but can be sweetened with sugar and are exclusively used in baking.

Do Red Beans Taste Like Kidney Beans?

Red beans don’t blend into a dish as well as kidney beans do, red beans have a taste of their own and stick to it no matter what they are served in.

What Are Red Beans Good In?

Red beans are good in sweeter recipes such as pastries or buns and are preferred in cold desserts such as ice creams. But they can be enjoyed in salads and casseroles.