Red Bean Ice Cream

Red Bean Ice Cream

The inspiration for making Red Bean Ice Cream recipe actually came from my sister. She made to much red bean paste and asked me if I could make something with it. Hell yeah, I could make some ice cream with it. The result is a creamy, sweet, and slightly nutty cold refreshing treat with bits of chewy red adzuki beans inside.

Red bean is a widely popular flavor you will encounter in traditional Japanese sweets. Red bean paste is a paste made of adzuki beans. The paste is made by boiling and mashing the adzuki beans, and then it is sweetened or left as it is. It is not that difficult to make, but it does take some effort and time. You can certainly purchase ready made red bean paste in cans, but it can be quite sweet. However, if you prefer a less sweet version, making your own is the way to go. Check out my Red Bean Paste recipe if you decide to make it your own.


How to Make Red Bean Ice Cream

1. Make ice cream base

The ice cream base is the essential component for preparing your artisan ice cream. I use custard ice cream base to prevent everything turning into a block of ice because red bean paste already has a lot of water content. Custard ice cream base involves cooking egg yolks together with cream and sugar. It makes a creamy, smooth, and scoopable ice cream right out the freezer.

Adding eggs to make ice cream requires some caution as heating eggs in ice cream base might result in curdles of cooked eggs in your ice cream. To prevent this from happening, you need to temper the eggs by warming the milk-heavy cream-sugar on its own, and whisk a small scoop of the hot mixture into the eggs yolks and sugar. This is making the egg yolks less likely to curdle when you stir them into the pot with the rest of the milk to cook over direct heat. Heat everything slowly until it is thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon and then turn off the heat. Please note not to let the mixture boil.


2. Puree half of the red bean paste

There are mainly two types of red bean paste, mashed and smooth red bean paste. The mashed one is smooth with chunks of broken beans and bean husk. Meanwhile, the smooth one is diluted into a slury, and then strained through a sieve to remove the husk to achieve its velvety texture. You can use both types for Red Bean Ice Cream. However, I prefer the chunky one because I love the tiny bits of whole red bean in my ice cream.

I wanted to make rich and nutty red bean flavored ice cream. Thus, I decided to enrich the base with red bean puree. Half of the red bean paste was blended together in a food processor with some ice cream base to aid the blending. The result is smooth purplish red bean puree like the picture below.


3. Chill and freeze

After chilling the mixture for at least 4 hours, we are ready to process the base into ice cream. Assemble your ice cream maker and process according the manufacturer’s instructions. A your ice cream maker churns the custard, you will gradually see it thickening.


4. Add chunky red bean paste

This is the fun part of making ice cream, adding the mix in into the ice cream. Add the remaining half of red bean paste at the last 5 minutes of churning. This will make sure everything is well incorporated instead of stirring in the red bean paste manually. When it is finished, put the ice cream into tight container and wait for at least 4 hours to harden.


Red Bean Ice Cream is ready to serve. I put it on top of my Matcha Pancakes along with some toasted almond slices. Can you see the red bean chunks in it? They really add nice texture and flavor to the whole combination.



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Red Bean Ice Cream

Red Bean Ice Cream is a creamy, sweet, and slightly nutty cold refreshing treat with bits of chewy red adzuki beans inside.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword Ice Cream
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 1 quart


  • 2 cups heavy cream (480 ml)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk (360 ml)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (150 gr)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp vanila extract
  • 300 gr chunky red bean paste divided


  1. In a medium saucepan, stir heavy cream, milk, and salt over medium heat until it starts to simmer. Remove from heat.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale.

  3. While whisking egg yolk mixture constantly, gradually add hot cream mixture. Return to saucepan to low heat. Stir the mixture slowly, but constantly, scraping the bottom and sides of the pot until the base is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. (Do not let the mixture boil or you will end up with egg curdles)

  4. Let the mixture cool completely. Add vanilla extract and stir until well combined.

  5. Blend together half of the red bean paste and 1/4 cup of ice cream base with food processor until smooth. Transfer the mixture back to the ice cream base and mix until well combined.

  6. Cover the mixture and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

  7. Process the ice cream base in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. During the last 5 minutes of the churning, add the remaining red bean paste.

  8. Transfer the churned ice cream to a freezer container. Freeze for least 4 hours before serving.


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[…] latest trip to Japan. I decided to make some Matcha Pancakes because I still had half of previous Red Bean Ice Cream. Matcha and red bean combination seems obvious, given how these two ingredients to Japanese people […]