Home Korean Ingredient Glossary  Red Adzuki Beans in Korean Cooking (Pat)

 Red Adzuki Beans in Korean Cooking (Pat)

by Emily
An overhead shot of Korean red beans (red adzuki beans)

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For thousands of years, people in South Korea have used a unique ingredient, known as red adzuki beans, to make savory rice and porridge dishes as well as sweet fillings for desserts. For many, this ingredient may seem strange to you. After all, in the United States, we rarely, use beans to make sweet treats! Here, we go in-depth about red adzuki beans in Korean cooking! 

Red Adzuki Beans In Korean Culture:

In Korea, people refer to adzuki beans as ‘pat’ (팥). While mixed into rice and blended down into porridge, people in Korea have made sweet dishes using this ingredient for generations. To do so, they boil down the beans with sugar before mashing and mushing them into a red bean paste known as ‘Pat Ang-Geum’ (팥앙금). Often, people remove the skins to make a smoother paste as well. 

This paste is used as a filling for traditional Korean desserts such as pastries and rice cakes. 

An overhead shot of red beans in a pile.
Do You Like Beans? Have You Had Beans In Your Dessert?

Pat In Korean Cooking: 

As I stated above, people in South Korea refer to red adzuki beans as ‘pat’ (팥). Below, we list examples of dishes that use this ingredient. Often, people use this ingredient to make both savory and sweet dishes!

Examples of Savory Dishes:

Here, we list examples of savory dishes that use pat:

  • Japgokbap (잡곡밥): In English, this dish is known as Korean multigrain rice! Often, people add beans for a hearty and healthy option. 
  • Pat-Kalguksu (팥칼국수): Pat-Kalguksu is known as knife-cut noodle soup in English. The base of the soup is made out of red beans!
  • Hobakjuk ( 호박죽): In English, we translate ‘hobakjuk’ as ‘pumpkin porridge.’ Often, people add red beans as a garnish on top. 

Examples of Sweet Dishes: 

Here, we list examples of sweet dishes that use pat:

  • Bungeoppang (붕어빵): This popular Korean street food is known as fish-shaped bread. Often, there is a sweet red bean filling in the middle!
  • Patbingsu (팥빙수): This summer dish is known as shaved ice with sweet red beans in English. This is probably the most famous Korean summer dessert internationally. 
An overhead shot of pat bingsu and matcha bingsu.
An Overhead Shot of Pat Bingsu

Red Adzuki Beans Frequently Asked Questions:

Now that we learned about Korean red beans (pat), we want to answer some potential questions you may have as well! If we do not answer your questions, feel free to leave a comment in the section below or email us at carvingajourney@gmail.com

Red Adzuki Beans vs Red Beans: What Is the Difference?

Typically, when people refer to red beans, they mean red adzuki beans–There is no distinction between the two as people refer to adzuki beans as ‘red beans’ because of their color. Furthermore, Korean red beans are the same as adzuki beans. 

Once in a while, people refer to kidney beans as ‘red beans.’ If they do, you just need to know that kidney beans are larger than adzuki beans. 

Where Can You Buy These Beans? 

In the United States, you can find red adzuki beans in most well-stocked grocery stores. Usually, you can find them on the aisle with other dried beans and grains. 

Further, you can also find dried red adzuki beans at your local Asian market or online. Not only that, you can find products made of these beans! 

How Do You Store These Red Adzuki Beans?

Store these dried beans in a cool, dry place such as your pantry. If you store them properly, you can keep them for a few years!

We Hope You Enjoyed Learning About ‘Pat’ in Korean Cooking!

In the end, we hope you enjoyed learning about red adzuki beans! If so, let us know in the comment section! 

If you would like to read more about cooking, you can find further recipes on our blog. We listed some of our favorite Carving A Journey Korean recipes below! For reference, many recipes are influenced by our blended Korean and Southern heritage.

Korean Ingredient Articles: 

Further Carving A Journey Korean Recipes:

If you have any questions or comments, you can also email us at carvingajourney@gmail.com.

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