Sakura An

sakura an on pancakes

For some reason I am somewhat obsessed with sakura flavor this year. This is my eighth sakura season but the first time I have been interested in sakura flavored anything. I asked on Facebook and Twitter about the best flavoring to use and was told that the flavor is in the leaves, which are preserved in salt and need to be rinsed well. I bought both the leaves and the flowers (also preserved in salt) as well as some extract but it smells too floral. I decided to make sakura an (bean paste) and put in on pancakes (see above picture). I replaced 1/2 cup of the flour in the pancakes with kinako powder (soy bean powder) to make them match better with bean paste. I added a preserved sakura flower on top (rinsed with boiling water as they are very salty).

Apparently it takes a little while for the flavor to come out so I made the bean paste the night before. Many visitors to Japan don’t really like bean paste because it is sickly sweet. The great thing about making it yourself is that you can control the sweetness. I put just enough sugar to make it sweet but not so sweet that I couldn’t eat is as part of my breakfast.

Sakura Bean Paste

1 cup cooked white beans
1 preserved sakura leaf
enough water to puree the beans
sugar to taste
red food coloring

Rince the sakura leaf in boiling water to remove most of the salt. Puree the beans and the sakura leaf in a food processor adding only as much water as necessary to get a smooth paste. Blend in sugar to taste and add a bit of red food coloring to get that nice pink color (if desired). Let sit overnight for the flavour to blend.

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7 thoughts on “Sakura An

  1. This looks amazing. I have never really cooked any Japanese dishes before. I think I will need to give it a try. :-)

  2. Pingback: Sakura Love « Cooking In Japan

  3. I like to incorporate beans in my food. I guess, the Sakura leaf is to give the special flavor. I really have to find out where it is available in Toronto. Then, sure, I am going to try it. Just one question though…Can I east it just like that or as a spread on the bread?

    • Thanks for stopping by. If you don’t put too much sugar in it you can eat it with a spoon. Sakura leaves are seasonal here so if you are going to look for them you might want to do it soon :)

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