Ogura An vs. Tsubu An vs. Koshi An: Sweet Red Bean Paste

Japan has many Wagashi confections made with sweet bean paste called Anko (餡子) or An (餡), including Manju, Daifuku, and Dorayaki.

There are various varieties of Anko, but many use a red bean species called Azuki (小豆) as the main ingredient.

Anko has different names depending on the form of red beans, and its representatives are Koshi An, Tsubu An, and Ogura An.

Ogura An vs. Tsubu An vs. Koshi An

Nonetheless, many people (even Japanese) can’t tell the difference between Tsubu An and Ogura An because they are very similar.

Then, how does Ogura An differ from Tsubu An and Koshi An? This article will explain that.

Koshi An (こしあん)

Koshi An

First, Koshi An is a smooth red bean paste without skin, made from Azuki boiled in water, mashed, strained through cloth, and kneaded.

We often use Koshi An interchangeably with Tsubu An. (e.g. Oshiruko and Zenzai)

Tsubu An (つぶあん)

Manju with Tsubu An

In contrast, Tsubu An is carefully made grainy without removing the outer skin of Azuki so as not to collapse the shape.

Tsubu An is sometimes considered the same as Ogura An as they are very similar.

Ogura An (小倉あん)

Ogura Toast with Ogura An

Ogura An is a mix of Koshi An and the large species of Azuki called Dainagon (大納言) simmered in a molasses syrup with its shape retained.

By the way, the specialty food of Nagoya, Ogura Toast, is a slice of toast topped with Ogura An.

(Reference Page: Wikipedia 餡 )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

1 Response

  1. March 29, 2021

    […] Dorayaki (どら焼き) is two round slices of castella-like cake, filled like a sandwich with red beans, not the the smooth paste but a more bean-y paste called Tsubu-An (粒あん). The cake batter traditionally contains Mirin and even some soy sauce and is sweetened by honey. (Find a nice list of different Anko textures here) […]

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