Fresh White Bean Paste (Shiroan 白餡)

Lately we’ve been experimenting with white bean paste (shiroan) more than our beloved red bean (anko) because shiroan is so versatile and is your base for any other flavor you want to put into your daifuku mochi. Unlike anko, shiroan does have to be soaked and skinned before cooking, so plan accordingly.

Homemade White Bean (Shiroan) Paste

Adapted from Namiko Chen’s Just One Cookbook


  • Pot or Pressure Cooker
  • Spatula
  • Strainer
  • Blender/Food Processor/Ricer/Masher
  • Fine mesh sieve (optional, for smoothest texture)


  • 454 G (16oz) lima beans
  • 340 G white sugar, you can adjust to taste but sugar aids in preservation, so less sugar means a shorter shelf life
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Water
  • Any additional flavorings, if desired. Hojicha: add 1-1.5 G hojijcha powder per 100g shiroan. Lemon: add about 1-1.5 lemons’ zest for a full batch (500g) of shiroan. All adjustable to taste!

How to Make White Bean Paste (Shiroan)

  1. The night before, soak beans (at least 8 hours).
  2. After soaking, peel beans and discard the skins.
  3. In a pot, put peeled beans and add enough water to cover at least an inch.
  4. Bring to a boil, cook for 2 minutes or until foam and scum form.
  5. Then drain and rinse the beans, and refill with fresh water to cover an inch again. This first boil is to remove any astringencies and to clean the beans.
  6. Bring back to a boil and then lower heat. Simmer the beans, mostly covered, for about 1 – 2 hours, removing any foam and adding water as needed. The beans are done when you can squish them with just your fingers. We prefer to use a pressure cooker, which takes 15-20 minutes.
  7. Drain the water once more, reserving some. You may need it to thin out your paste or aid the blender.
  8. Purée the paste in a blender, food processor, or manually by pressing it through a sieve. You can also blend and then finish with the sieve. You may need to add some of your reserved bean water to help the blending along or to make a thinner or wetter paste.
  9. Place mashed beans, salt and sugar in a pot, cook on medium heat until the paste thickens to the desired thickness. Stir often to prevent any burning or sticking. Typically you want it thick enough that you can just begin to draw a line through the paste and see the bottom of the pot.
  10. Remove from heat just before it reaches the desired texture, as the paste will continue to thicken until it cools completely.
  11. Optionally, add any additional flavorings at this point, like matcha or hojicha powder, mixing thoroughly.
  12. Store your white bean paste in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for a few days, or freeze it for a couple months.

We’ll make a video soon, but for more help follow our red bean (anko) recipe for photos and a video.

What to use white bean paste for:

Anything! Especially if you flavor it, like with matcha, sesame or fruits. You can put white bean paste in buns, dumplings (like oyaki!), pancakes (like taiyaki), or mochi (check out our mochi making journey here!). You can put it in drinks or top it on anything like ice cream or shaved ice.

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