Amanatto – The Bean Jujube

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Amanattō [甘納豆] is a traditional Japanese sweet made from adzuki beans or other grains. Amanatto is a Japanese dessert where beans are boiled in water with sugar, and then dried topped with more sugar.

This recipe was developed around 1860, shortly after sugar became widely available throughout Japan. Before sugar, beans were and still are used to sweeten Japanese desserts. And now the combination of sugar and beans sweetens your mouth even more.

Amanattō was developed by Hosoda Yasubei over the years Bunkyu (1861-1863) in the Edo period. he opened a wagashi in Tokyo, which he called by his childhood name: Eitaro. This store works to this day.

Amanatto - the bean jujube

Not just azuki, but soybeans and other beans can be used to make an Amanatto, thus creating its own flavor. Amanatto is most popular with seniors over 60, and is often served with tea in Japanese nursing homes. Amanatto is also used to make other recipes like Sekihan.

The amanattō was originally called the amananatto (甘名納糖) the name was shortened to amanattō after World War II. The similarity of the name to the fermented soy dish born it is a mere coincidence.

Amanatto - the bean jujube

Amanatto Recipe


  • 1 package of ready-to-use beans (preferably adzuki)
  • 1 cup (tea) of sugar
  • 2 cups of water (tea)

Way of doing:
Drain the water from the box of ready beans. Reserve.

Place the water and sugar mixture in a heavy-bottomed pan. Boil until the sugar is completely dissolved. Turn off the heat and add the strained beans. Store this soaking beans in syrup in an airtight container overnight in the fridge.

Place in a clean, large plastic bag:
1+1/2 cup (tea) of sugar
1+1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Way of doing:
Shake the sugar and cinnamon mixture so that the two ingredients mix.

Strain the dormant beans in syrup and discard the sugar syrup.

Arrange the beans in the plastic bag, in the mixture of sugar and cinnamon.

Twist the end of the bag and shake so that all the grains are coated in the sugar.

Pour this mixture into a coarse sieve, reserving the remaining sugar and cinnamon mixture.

Place the sugared beans on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180oC for about 30 minutes.

During this time, the beans will release water and the sugar will caramelize, forming a thin caramel.

After this time, strain the beans with a slotted spoon (or metal sieve) and toss the beans in the reserved sugar and cinnamon mixture, involving it completely. Let cool completely.

When cool, store in tightly closed containers.

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