Red Bean Pudding with Blueberry Sauce

Red Bean Panna Cotta with Wild Blueberry Sauce

This vegan “panna cotta” was inspired by a recent dinner at Kajitsu, a new Japanese restaurant here in NYC that specializes in shojin ryori. It’s a style of cooking developed by buddhist monks that uses no meat or fish.

As you step down into the restaurant, the pace of life seems to slow down before your very eyes. The pleasantly lit interior reveals a long solid timber bar along with a dining room furnished and trimmed in traditional Japanese woods. Everything from the understated decor to the cedar-like smell in the air will convince you that you’re in an old home in Kyoto, rather than a basement level East Village eatery.

Each course is a perfect balance of subtle flavours and colors allowing you to taste the quality of each ingredient without being too austere or simplistic. Watching Chef Nishihara behind the bar is like watching a sculptor working with clay. The attention to detail even carries over to the carefully selected dishes that the food is presented on, some of which are over two hundred years old!

For dessert we had a blueberry kinton filled with red beans. Kinton is a dense dumpling, traditionally made from sweetened chestnuts, sweet potato or beans. In this case, Chef Nishihara added blueberries, an unexpected combination that worked remarkably well. The whole meal was great, but I found myself contemplating the juxtaposition between the tart floral blueberries and the creamy bean paste during the entire walk home. This contemplation soon turned into a craving which is how I came up with this red bean “panna cotta” with blueberry sauce.

Wild blueberry puree on top of red bean pudding

I put panna cotta in quotes because it has no cream in it and the texture is quite different due to the red bean and use of kanten instead of gelatin. If you’re looking for a satiny smooth traditional panna cotta, you may prefer this one, or this one (although neither are vegetarian).

Kanten (agar agar) is a gelling agent common in Asian cooking that’s derived from seaweed, which makes it vegan friendly. The resulting gel isn’t the same as gelatin though, with a firmer more delicate gel that’s less resilient under pressure. If you can live with the slightly different texture, it’s a great substitute for gelatin in desserts ranging from marshmallows to fruit jellos.

Red Bean Pudding with Blueberry Sauce

for pudding
13.5oz can of coconut milk
1/2 C sweetened red bean puree (a.k.a. anko, adzuki bean paste)
3g of kona kanten (agar agar powder)

for blueberry sauce
10oz package of frozen wild blueberries
agave nectar to taste

Put the coconut milk, red bean puree and kona kanten in a blender, and blitz until completely smooth. Pour this mixture through a double mesh seive into a small saucepan, discarding any remaining solids.

Heat the saucepan over medium low heat, stirring constantly until it starts steaming (but not until it boils). Pour the mixture into individual ramekins and allow them to come to room temperature before putting in the refrigerator to set.

To make the blueberry sauce, just add the thawed blueberries to the blender and blend until smooth. Taste, then add agave nectar as needed to sweeten.

To serve, just unmold the ramekins and pour the blueberry sauce on top.

  • http://www.shesimmers.com/ Leela

    These look so elegant. The pairing of red bean paste and blueberries also very interesting.

    Do you think if one sticks with this ratio of 13.5 ounces of coconut milk + some sort of sweet starchy paste + and 3 grams of agar agar powder, one can substitute the red bean paste with similar starchy paste (e.g. lotus seed paste) in order to create other different flavors? Does anko contain anything else other than red beans and sugar? Any thickener or filler that might affect the gelling if left out?

  • http://www.shesimmers.com/ Leela

    These look so elegant. The pairing of red bean paste and blueberries also very interesting.

    Do you think if one sticks with this ratio of 13.5 ounces of coconut milk + some sort of sweet starchy paste + and 3 grams of agar agar powder, one can substitute the red bean paste with similar starchy paste (e.g. lotus seed paste) in order to create other different flavors? Does anko contain anything else other than red beans and sugar? Any thickener or filler that might affect the gelling if left out?

  • marc

    Great question. While I haven’t tried it with other pastes, the kanten is quite good at solidifying things so you shouldn’t have any problem. Also depending on the amount of sugar in whatever you use, you may need to add a little more sugar. Good luck:-)

    • http://www.shesimmers.com/ Leela

      Dropping by to report — Made two versions: one with canned crème de marrons (Clément Faugier) as an experiment and one with red bean paste as instructed. Both were delicious. Thanks for making me look good at the dinner party. :)

  • marc

    Great question. While I haven’t tried it with other pastes, the kanten is quite good at solidifying things so you shouldn’t have any problem. Also depending on the amount of sugar in whatever you use, you may need to add a little more sugar. Good luck:-)

    • http://www.shesimmers.com/ Leela

      Dropping by to report — Made two versions: one with canned crème de marrons (Clément Faugier) as an experiment and one with red bean paste as instructed. Both were delicious. Thanks for making me look good at the dinner party. :)

  • http://cookappeal.blogspot.com/ chef E

    Marc your stuff is always amazing and cutting edge! I had red bean ice cream once that was to die for, but have never been able to recapture the experience or taste!

  • http://cookappeal.blogspot.com chef E

    Marc your stuff is always amazing and cutting edge! I had red bean ice cream once that was to die for, but have never been able to recapture the experience or taste!

  • http://www.pigpigscorner.com/ pigpigscorner

    Looks so pretty! Wonderful combination of flavours.

  • http://www.pigpigscorner.com pigpigscorner

    Looks so pretty! Wonderful combination of flavours.

  • http://onlinepastrychef.wordpress.com/ Jenni

    Lovely, Marc–I get so excited when I come over here and see a new photo. Then, I know I get to read something tasty written in a witty, thoughtful manner. I love that!

  • http://onlinepastrychef.wordpress.com/ Jenni

    Lovely, Marc–I get so excited when I come over here and see a new photo. Then, I know I get to read something tasty written in a witty, thoughtful manner. I love that!

  • http://duodishes.wordpress.com/ The Duo Dishes

    You always come up with something funky, unique and appetizing. Looks like this would be a very good dessert after any meal.

  • http://duodishes.wordpress.com The Duo Dishes

    You always come up with something funky, unique and appetizing. Looks like this would be a very good dessert after any meal.

  • http://easydoesitrecipes.blogspot.com/ Christelle

    Wow, original and it sounds quite like a delicate association of flavours, bravo!

  • http://easydoesitrecipes.blogspot.com/ Christelle

    Wow, original and it sounds quite like a delicate association of flavours, bravo!

  • http://www.practicallydone.com/ helen

    That sounds like such a neat restaurant.

    I’m a on a bit of a matcha kick recently. I’d be curious to try this using matcha as the base and red beans as the topping.

  • http://www.practicallydone.com helen

    That sounds like such a neat restaurant.

    I’m a on a bit of a matcha kick recently. I’d be curious to try this using matcha as the base and red beans as the topping.

  • http://thoughtfulplate.blogspot.com/ k

    I love azuki beans. Maybe you can experiment with matcha next time. :)

  • http://thoughtfulplate.blogspot.com/ k

    I love azuki beans. Maybe you can experiment with matcha next time. :)

  • http://www.diaryofafanaticfoodie.com/ heather

    wow! that is so creative and GORGEOUS!

  • http://www.diaryofafanaticfoodie.com heather

    wow! that is so creative and GORGEOUS!

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com/ we are never full

    this is really beautiful, marc. and it’s vegan…

    you introduced me to kanten.

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com we are never full

    this is really beautiful, marc. and it’s vegan…

    you introduced me to kanten.

  • http://constableslarder.com/ Giff

    looks and sounds delicious. Now I just need you to give me a tip as to where to get the ingredients!

  • http://constableslarder.com Giff

    looks and sounds delicious. Now I just need you to give me a tip as to where to get the ingredients!

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com/ Manggy

    Hah, I was having a hard time describing the quality of an agar gel compared to gelatin. I would say something like “it fractures easily.” Nice that your scale was able to measure out 3g!
    I’d love to check out Kajitsu when I’m in town– the description is fascinating, especially since it’s in crazy NY. The panna cotta looks gorgeous– I love the unique combination of flavors :)

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com Manggy

    Hah, I was having a hard time describing the quality of an agar gel compared to gelatin. I would say something like “it fractures easily.” Nice that your scale was able to measure out 3g!
    I’d love to check out Kajitsu when I’m in town– the description is fascinating, especially since it’s in crazy NY. The panna cotta looks gorgeous– I love the unique combination of flavors :)

  • http://www.easyrecipesvegetarian.com/ werner from easyrecipesvegetar

    Looks Awesome! So great to find a completely new recipe!

  • http://www.easyrecipesvegetarian.com werner from easyrecipesvegetarian.com

    Looks Awesome! So great to find a completely new recipe!

  • Baker Tiffany

    I would love to have something poetic or at least inquisitive to write, but with my immeasurable love for red beans, it’s hard to type while licking my iPhone screen.
    ::goes into my recipe day pile::

  • Baker Tiffany

    I would love to have something poetic or at least inquisitive to write, but with my immeasurable love for red beans, it’s hard to type while licking my iPhone screen.
    ::goes into my recipe day pile::

  • http://www.gourmettraveller88.com/ Janet @ Gourmet Traveller 88

    Believe it or not, I have just bought the red bean paste from Japan Centre today in Ldn, maybe I should try to make this lovely creative dessert.
    Actually the chinese have also made the red bean cake like this but they are served in cubes. So chinese have made panna cotta all along too? : )

  • http://www.gourmettraveller88.com Janet @ Gourmet Traveller 88

    Believe it or not, I have just bought the red bean paste from Japan Centre today in Ldn, maybe I should try to make this lovely creative dessert.
    Actually the chinese have also made the red bean cake like this but they are served in cubes. So chinese have made panna cotta all along too? : )

  • http://www.deglazeme.blogspot.com/ Christina@DeglazeMe

    These looks truly amazing, I especially love the combo of red bean and blueberry.

    By the way, thank you for your kind words on my blog, I really appreciate the support.

  • http://www.deglazeme.blogspot.com Christina@DeglazeMe

    These looks truly amazing, I especially love the combo of red bean and blueberry.

    By the way, thank you for your kind words on my blog, I really appreciate the support.

  • http://www.sophiesfoodiefiles.blogspot.com/ Sophie

    Hey Marc, what a lovely idea to use the bean paste!
    I love using agar agar too!! But you have to experiment a lot with it!
    I also have made & panna cotta with silken tofu before & a fruit puree! Love your one!! MMMMM….

  • http://www.sophiesfoodiefiles.blogspot.com Sophie

    Hey Marc, what a lovely idea to use the bean paste!
    I love using agar agar too!! But you have to experiment a lot with it!
    I also have made & panna cotta with silken tofu before & a fruit puree! Love your one!! MMMMM….

  • http://www.glutenfreegourmand.blotspot.com/ Gina

    This looks really good. I’ve never made a panna cotta – or any other pudding – with anything but eggs as a binder. I’m not a fan of gelatin, but I like bean paste snacks like red bean mochi, so I imagine the somewhat softer texture of agar agar would work out well with certain recipes. I’ll have to experiment! Thanks for the idea.

  • http://www.glutenfreegourmand.blotspot.com Gina

    This looks really good. I’ve never made a panna cotta – or any other pudding – with anything but eggs as a binder. I’m not a fan of gelatin, but I like bean paste snacks like red bean mochi, so I imagine the somewhat softer texture of agar agar would work out well with certain recipes. I’ll have to experiment! Thanks for the idea.

  • http://foodhuntress.blogspot.com/ enrisa marie

    Hello. Wow, Japanese- inspired desserts are just one click away- just what I am working at these days. Why haven’t I thought of azuki- coconut combination before? :) Can I make a special request, though? Can a great cook like you please feature awayuki kan some time? Thanks :) and thanks for dropping by my page also.

  • http://foodhuntress.blogspot.com enrisa marie

    Hello. Wow, Japanese- inspired desserts are just one click away- just what I am working at these days. Why haven’t I thought of azuki- coconut combination before? :) Can I make a special request, though? Can a great cook like you please feature awayuki kan some time? Thanks :) and thanks for dropping by my page also.

  • http://foodhuntress.blogspot.com/ enrisa marie

    P.S. Does shojin ryori also prohibit other animal products like egg and milk?

    • marc

      Great question. Buddhist monks are not allowed to eat eggs, but I’m not sure about milk.

  • http://foodhuntress.blogspot.com enrisa marie

    P.S. Does shojin ryori also prohibit other animal products like egg and milk?

    • marc

      Great question. Buddhist monks are not allowed to eat eggs, but I’m not sure about milk.

  • http://colloquialcookin.canalblog.com/ colloquial cook

    Another blogger suggested Clément Faugier crème de marron as a base, and guess what I have two boxes of those on my bedroom table (you never know when the craving is going to kick in). One of them is yours if you want to do something creative with sweet chestnut purée :-)

  • http://colloquialcookin.canalblog.com/ colloquial cook

    Another blogger suggested Clément Faugier crème de marron as a base, and guess what I have two boxes of those on my bedroom table (you never know when the craving is going to kick in). One of them is yours if you want to do something creative with sweet chestnut purée :-)

  • http://www.culinarywannabe.blogspot.com/ Culinary Wannabe

    Hi Marc – It was so nice meeting you the other night at the foodbuzz event. Your site has been a real treat to read through, and I’ve already set aside your salmon miso soup recipe to make (and impress!) my Japanese mother-in-law.

  • http://www.culinarywannabe.blogspot.com Culinary Wannabe

    Hi Marc – It was so nice meeting you the other night at the foodbuzz event. Your site has been a real treat to read through, and I’ve already set aside your salmon miso soup recipe to make (and impress!) my Japanese mother-in-law.

  • http://simplyscrumptiousfoodie.com/ Jessie

    really beautiful looking dessert! I love looking at your photos too because you capture food so well :)

  • http://simplyscrumptiousfoodie.com Jessie

    really beautiful looking dessert! I love looking at your photos too because you capture food so well :)

  • http://www.whatdoiwant2cooktoday.blogspot.com/ Jan

    Oooh yum! I don’t really like desserts but that looks GOOD! Love blueberries. Fantastic photos too!

  • http://www.whatdoiwant2cooktoday.blogspot.com Jan

    Oooh yum! I don’t really like desserts but that looks GOOD! Love blueberries. Fantastic photos too!

  • http://www.melangerbaking.com/ Julia @ Mélanger

    Marc, these look amazing. I only recently had an experience with red bean ice-cream. It was delicious. I had never tasted anything like this before. In remembering that beautiful flavour, I am trying to pair it with blueberry. I think I can almost taste it. Amazing. Your photos and recipes are wonderful.

  • http://www.melangerbaking.com Julia @ Mélanger

    Marc, these look amazing. I only recently had an experience with red bean ice-cream. It was delicious. I had never tasted anything like this before. In remembering that beautiful flavour, I am trying to pair it with blueberry. I think I can almost taste it. Amazing. Your photos and recipes are wonderful.

  • http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/ Kevin

    I like the sound of the red bean and blueberry combo!

  • http://closetcooking.blogspot.com Kevin

    I like the sound of the red bean and blueberry combo!

  • http://www.candypenny.blogspot.com/ marie

    This looks great! I really want to try Kajitsu soon.

  • http://www.candypenny.blogspot.com marie

    This looks great! I really want to try Kajitsu soon.

  • Judy

    This dessert was awesome and got rave reviews at a dinner party! I changed it by making red bean paste from scratch (cooked the beans and then processed it). I used lite coconut milk, about 1 tbsp of honey and 1-2 tbsp of sugar, and 1/2 a packet of gelatin. I left it in the fridge for 24 hours and served it with fresh blueberries. Thanks for the recipe. Red beans and blueberries are a great combo!

  • Judy

    This dessert was awesome and got rave reviews at a dinner party! I changed it by making red bean paste from scratch (cooked the beans and then processed it). I used lite coconut milk, about 1 tbsp of honey and 1-2 tbsp of sugar, and 1/2 a packet of gelatin. I left it in the fridge for 24 hours and served it with fresh blueberries. Thanks for the recipe. Red beans and blueberries are a great combo!

  • http://www.bodydetoxdiet.net/ Body detoxification diets

    i became a Vegan three years ago and i can say that my health have been very very good. meat and dairy substitutes like soy also works well for the body.

  • http://www.bodydetoxdiet.net Body detoxification diets

    i became a Vegan three years ago and i can say that my health have been very very good. meat and dairy substitutes like soy also works well for the body.

  • Anonymous

    This looks amazing! I love red bean, and blueberry seems like just what it needs — especially with the good blueberries we get up here.

    Previous experiments with red bean yielded another unexpected combination — coconut-milk crepes with a touch of toasted sesame oil, spread with chunky red bean paste, sliced banana, and a swipe of durian jam. I wonder if something similar can be done here? — use some kind of caramelized bananas and durian on top rather than the blueberries, possibly with some sliced citrus of some kind? Hmmm.

  • octopod

    This looks amazing! I love red bean, and blueberry seems like just what it needs — especially with the good blueberries we get up here.

    Previous experiments with red bean yielded another unexpected combination — coconut-milk crepes with a touch of toasted sesame oil, spread with chunky red bean paste, sliced banana, and a swipe of durian jam. I wonder if something similar can be done here? — use some kind of caramelized bananas and durian on top rather than the blueberries, possibly with some sliced citrus of some kind? Hmmm.

  • http://www.propeller.com/member/iahaoiu/ Nyx Washi

    Lovely pics – they look so tasty and delicious =)

  • http://www.propeller.com/member/iahaoiu/ Nyx Washi

    Lovely pics – they look so tasty and delicious =)

  • janekm

    Wait you can make marshmallows with Kanten? I always assumed that wouldn't be possible as the method of making marshmallows I know seems to depend on the temperature profile of gelatin… Do you have a recipe reference by any chance? It would be great news for Vegetarians! (I actually once sourced halal gelatine from Indonesia to make marshmallows for a friend who holds to a halal diet…)

  • norecipes

    To be honest I've never tried it but there's no reason why it
    shouldn't work as gelatin is a gelling agent that stabilizes tiny air
    bubbles, which is how marshmallows get so big and puffy. Kanten should
    do the same thing. My suggestion, give it a try using a conventional
    marshmallow recipe, but replace the kanten for the gelatin. It may not
    work, but worst case, you're out a few bucks in ingredients. Or, if
    you're patient, I've added it onto my list of things to try making and
    I can let you know how it goes.

    -Marc

  • Happy Cook!

    This recipe is FABULOUS!!!!!!  It looks exactly like the picture and tastes MARVELOUS!  I had a dinner party for a couple who both observe strict Vegan eating habits.  My Husband and I are not Vegans but we wanted to entertain our friends and make them feel warm and comfortable and I did not disappoint them – or my non-Vegan Hubby – with this recipe!!!!  It was beautiful in pale cobalt martini glasses and instead of the frozen blueberries, I used fresh ones perched atop the MAGNIFICENT Coconut Cream whipped cream.  My Hubby actually licked the inside of the glass!!!  Pleasantly and mildly sweet and very satisfying after a 5-course Vegan feast.  I heartily recommend this beautiful dessert!  :)

  • Pingback: Tiffany Who?: Bon Appétit: Chicken Piccata and Azuki Panna Cotta with Blueberry Sauce()

  • Pingback: Blueberry Yogurt Pancakes()

  • Pingback: Food Therapy: Azuki Beans | Thots and knots of a Cancerianlady()

Welcome!

I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

All text and photos ©2007-2014. All rights reserved. [ No Recipes ] - Privacy Policy