Saturday, June 27, 2015

Spirited Away: Steamed Tsubushian (red bean paste) Buns

Steamed Tsubushi-an (red bean paste) Buns

Somehow, Studio Ghibli is able to make food look so incredibly delicious, it's kind of unbelievable. And Spirited Away is a movie that stands out in its delectable illustrations. From the get go, we see Chihiro's parents gorge themselves on juicy, golden brown and delicious looking meats and pastries. Even if it DID turn them into literal pigs after, I would so risk it for a taste of that gorgeous feast.

In any case, these steamed red bean buns are a classic snack that are both stupid easy to make, and the perfect amount of sweetness. Take a big bite, Sen style. 

What you'll need:


- Red bean paste (recipe courtesy of - Click here for the recipe!)
- 1 1/2 cups milk, heated
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour (you may require more, add an 1/8 cup at a time until the dough is only slightly sticky)


Wax paper
Bamboo steamer
Large pot
Large mixing bowl

Step 1: Pour milk into a large mixing bowl, followed by the yeast and the sugar. 

Step 2: After the yeast has proofed and the mixture has thickened into a slurry, add the flour. 

Step 3: Knead dough until combined and is slightly sticky. Form into a ball, and let double in size in a warm place. 

Step 4: Once risen, roll the dough out into a cylinder.

Step 5: Cut the roll into six equal pieces.

Step 6: Press into a flat-ish disc with your hand, and place about two tablespoons of your red bean paste into the middle of the dough.

Step 7: Fold the dough into itself, making sure to encase the paste inside, and seal it in there by pinching the ball closed. 

Step 8: Cut some wax or parchment paper squares, roughly 3"x3".

Step 9: Place your balls (Heh, balls...) seam side down, onto the paper squares, and place the paper side down into your bamboo steamer.

Step 10: Steam the buns for 10-12 minutes on medium-high heat.

Step 11: Let cool and rest for 5 minutes before biting into this delicious, gooey, chewy treat.

Enjoy with your favourite Miyazaki film. 

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