Apples Steamed with Red Bean Paste

Apples Steamed with Red Bean Paste

If you have a nagging need to apply heat to apples before enjoying it, try steaming for a change. Cooking and baking cultivars such as Granny Smith Apples can be steamed with good results, changing its distinctive crispness into a spoonable consistency. Steaming also intensifies the flavor of apples while retaining much of its fresh taste, and more importantly, its nutrients. There has to be some truth to that old saying, right?

Sweet red bean paste complements the tartness of Granny Smiths in this traditional Shanghai recipe for stuffed and steamed apples. Unlike steamed peaches with honey dates, in which the ingredients combine into a syrupy whole, the apples and red bean paste stay separate because of the firmer fruit. Enjoy the apples with a bit of the sweet filling in each spoonful.

recipe adapted from Eileen Yin-fei Lo’s The Chinese Kitchen

Apples Steamed with Sweet Azuki (Red Bean) Paste

makes 4 servings

Granny Smith Apples

4 firm Granny Smith apples
8 tablespoons azuki (red bean) paste


  • a large bowl containing 6 cups of cold water and 3 tablespoons of vinegar
  • a melon baller
  • 4 ramekins


  • Replace the azuki bean paste with mashed dried or fresh fruits, jams or preserves, or other sweet purees.

Slice off the tops of the apples about a quarter of the way from the top. Place the apples in the bowl of vinegar water as each is sliced.

Sliced Granny Smith Apples

Using a melon baller, scoop out the core of the apple to remove all of the seeds and create a cavity for the azuki bean paste. Place the apples in the vinegar water as each is cored.

Place the apples in ramekins or steam-proof bowls with high sides. Fill the cored apples with the azuki bean paste, about 2 tablespoons for each apple. Replace the apple tops to cover.

Sliced Granny Smith Apples Stuffed with Red Bean Paste

Steam the apples in an aluminum or bamboo steamer over medium heat for about 30 minutes, until slightly soft to the touch.

Serve warm or chilled.

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28 Responses to “Apples Steamed with Red Bean Paste”

  1. Y says:

    Wow. How interesting! I’ve never seen apples served this way before. Love the look of the end result too.

  2. Rosa says:

    An interesting recipe! I bet that dessert tastes very good! I love your pretty pictures!



  3. Ben says:

    Great idea, I need some healthy desserts or I’ll gain some weight this season again.

  4. Sandie says:

    Love this idea! Since we’re in the midst of orchard season, it’s so helpful to discover new methods and recipes for using apples that aren’t just more of the same.

    I can’t begin to tell you how appetizing these Granny Smiths look…

  5. snookydoodle says:

    this is a nice and healthy recipe :-)

  6. kat says:

    What an interesting alternative to a baked apple

  7. rainbowbrown says:


  8. Adam says:

    Cool! I like the texture contrast of the firm apple with the sweet bean paste. This will be quite awesome :)

  9. Mike says:

    I’ve never seen apples done this way–sounds like an interesting change. I like it!

  10. robin @ caviar and codfish says:

    what an interesting way to serve apples. :)

  11. Anh says:

    Very unusual but I am sure it tastes good!

  12. Jaime says:

    what an interesting dessert. i love red bean paste in asian pastries and such …but have never had it w/fruit? it’s beautifully simple to say the least.

  13. Jojo says:

    Wow! What an interesting idea. I’ve never been a huge fan of apples, but with some azuki…. MMmm… :)
    Now I also have a great excuse to invest in those ramekins I’ve always wanted.

  14. grace says:

    i’ve never seen or heard of anything like this, but given my love of all things apple, i’m intrigued. i’m so glad i found your blog–you introduce me to so much goodness! :)

  15. veggiebelly says:

    I love azuki beans! This is a great way to enjoy them other than in mochi.

  16. bee says:

    thanks for another fantastic way to eat apples.

  17. Thanks guys! Nice and healthy desserts are good every once in a while :)

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