Azuki Bar: Imuraya’s Classic Red Bean Ice Cream
“Azuki (小豆)”, also spelled as Adzuki, is a small red bean native to East Asia which is an essential ingredient for Wagashi or traditional Japanese sweets.
This is because “Anko (餡子)“, the sweet red bean paste that is an indispensable part of the Wagashi confections, is made from the Azuki red beans.
In fact, sweet treats made with Azuki red beans can be seen everywhere in Japan, and ice creams are no exception.
In addition to the Monaka Azuki Ice Cream about which I wrote before, what I introduce here, “Azuki Bar (あずきバー)” from Imuraya is also a quintessential example of the Japanese ice cream whose main ingredient is Azuki red beans.
Imuraya Azuki Bar Ice Cream
With a familiar classical package design that reminds many Japanese of their childhood memories, the Imuraya’s red bean ice cream that was introduced in 1973, Azuki Bar has been a favorite summertime refreshment for decades in Japan.
The Azuki Bar ice cream has a reddish-brown color and spots that make people think it must be made using lots of Azuki red beans, and I think that’s absolutely right as shown in the picture below.
If you haven’t tried Anko red bean paste yet, you might think the Japanese ice pop looks unappetizing, but it actually tastes good and is easy to eat.
With a subtle Anko flavor, the reddish-brown ice cream part is mild, refreshing, and not overly sweet, while the whole Azuki beans embedded throughout are very tender and melt in the mouth.
Ingredients and Nutrition Facts
Next, let’s see the ingredients and nutrition facts of the Azuki Bar ice cream. Based on the labels pictured above, it is a simple popsicle made from sugar, Azuki red beans, starch syrup, corn starch, and salt, without using milk.
The Japanese bean ice cream has 156 kcal per bar (85 ml) and contains 0.2 g salt equivalents.
Price and Where to Buy
Today, the Imuraya Azuki Bar ice cream has gained deep-rooted popularity in Japan, so it is available in many supermarkets and convenience stores around the country.
By the way, I bought this one at a 7 Eleven for about 130 yen (about 1.2 USD).