Japanese Beans and Beans in Finland


Knowing Beans, Enjoy Beans


Japanese Beans, Their Names and Products

When I am overseas, there are times when I realize that I do not understand Japan. Personally, “I don’t know the type of beans” is one of them. Even if I translate and am told that they are kidney beans, I don’t know what kidney beans are used for….

Before knowing the Finnish and English names of beans, let’s first find out what each bean is and what it is used for, as they are commonly used in Japan.

Japanesehow to read English product
小豆 azuki azuki beans azuki anko
大豆 daizu soybeans kinako, natto, tofu
枝豆 edamame edamame zunda anko
黒豆 kuromame black soy beans(*1) black beans for new year
えんどうまめ endo-mame green peas uguisu an
グリンピース green peas green peas uguisu an
さやえんどう saya-endo green peas
さやいんげん saya-ingen kidney beans
金時豆 kintoki-mame red kidney beans(*2) kintoki-an
白いんげん豆 shiro-ingen-mame navy beans white anko
緑豆 ryokuto mung beans moyashi sprout
そらまめ sora-mame board beans

*1 What we call kuro mame, black beans, is a type of soybean. It is the black soybeans that are used to cook beans for the New Year. The black beans (mustapavut) you see in Finnish supermarkets are black pea beans. Please note that they are not the same thing.

*2 Kintoki-mame is a type of red kidney bean, but kidney beans, which are often sold overseas, are also called red kidney beans in Japanese. The kidney beans have a thicker skin while the kintoki-mame have a thinner skin, and the taste is different.


The reason I wanted to write about beans was because I wanted to eat anko overseas! For more information, please click here.

Enjoy Anko Overseas
This is the story of me and Anko. In order to make Anko overseas, I tried azuki beans and many other beans. Let's enjoy Anko together!

Beans in Finland, Finnish, English and Japanese Names

Now that we have a clear idea of the types of beans, let’s take a look at some of the beans you can buy in Finland. If you have seen other types of beans in Finland, please let us know.

MUNGPAVUT mung beans 緑豆 dried
KIKHERNEET chickpea ひよこ豆 boiled,dried
LINSSIT lentils レンズ豆 dried
MUSTAPAVUT black beans(*a) 黒えんどう豆 boiled
VALKOISET PAVUT navy beans 白えんどう豆 boiled
RUSKEAT PAVUT brown beans うずら豆 boiled
KIDNEYPAVUT kidney beans 赤いんげん豆(*b) boiled
VOIPAVUT butter beans いんげん豆の仲間(ライマメ) boiled,dried
HÄRKÄPAVUT broad beans そらまめ fresh(*c)
HERNEET peas えんどう豆 fresh(*c,*d)
ADUKIPAVUT azuki beans あずき dried(*e)
SOIJAPAVUT soy beans 大豆 dried(*e)
MUSTAT SOIJAPAVUT black soy beans 黒豆 dried(*e)

*a Again, what we call black beans in Japan are black soybeans, while the black beans (mustapavut) you see in Finnish supermarkets are black peas. Please note that they are different.

*b Kintoki-mame is a kind of red kidney bean, but its skin thickness and taste are different from kidney beans, which are also called red kidney beans.

*c You can buy them in Finland, but only during the limited summer season.

*d In Finland, the fruit is eaten fresh.

*e You can buy them in Asian markets. Soybeans are sometimes available in large supermarkets if you are lucky.

Let’s Make Anko by Yourself

When making Anko overseas, there are two ways to make Anko: from dried beans or from boiled beans.

Making Anko from Dried Beans

Here is a recipe for azuki anko and white anko. It takes a lot of time and effort, but the taste is exceptional.

How to Cook Anko, Japanese Sweet Bean Paste
Anko, sweet beans paste, made by slow-boiling azuki beans, is indispensable for Japanese sweets. It goes well with both bread and pie.
White Anko and Matcha Anko with Butter Beans
I made white anko with butter beans, and it turned out to be delicious. A little tip, add matcha green tea to make matcha anko.

Making Anko from Boiled Beans

Because there are more kinds of boiled beans are sold in Finnish market than in Japan, I also made Anko from boiled beans.

White, Green and Matcha Anko with Canned Navy Beans and Peas
The easiest recipe for anko using canned beans. You can use navy beans for white and matcha anko, and green peas for green anko, uguisu an.


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