Azuki bean paste

The night before
  1. Place the azuki beans in a pot and cover them in water. The water level should rise to a couple of inches above the beans.
  2. Let the beans soak overnight.
The next day
  1. Add more water to the pot if necessary.
  2. Put the pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the water. Re-fill the pot and bring to a boil once more.
  4. Simmer for about 90 minutes, or until the beans are soft.
  5. Drain the water.
  6. Stir the sugar and salt in with the beans.
  7. Simmer, stirring regularly, until the paste is thick.
  8. Let cool. (I like to spread the paste out on a baking sheet; the increased surface area helps it cool faster.)
  9. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.