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Red Bean Paste and Chocolate Haystacks Recipe

Ryan Thomas is a university student who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.


When it comes to Christmas desserts, haystacks have long been a tradition in my family. There is something about the wonderful snap of the chow mein noodles, the crunch of the nuts, and the rich, creamy flavor of the chocolate that makes this treat irresistible.

It is also delightfully easy to make (if perhaps tiring for children to stir the chocolate as it melts in a double boiler on the stove, and yet so satisfying to lick the bowl once finished!).

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Traditionally, my family made this dessert with butterscotch, but this year I decided to experiment by substituting red bean paste (otherwise known as adzuki beans) instead of butterscotch. Red bean paste and chocolate is a wonderfully delightful pairing, with the sweet, almost fruity notes from the red bean paste complementing the rich, creamy chocolate. What is more, it continues to be very easy to make, quick, and pretty—the perfect holiday treat!

This recipe is entirely my own.


  • 12 ounces chocolate chips
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1.1 pounds red bean paste
  • 5 ounces chow mein noodles


  1. In a large double boiler with water in the bottom pot, combine the chocolate chips and red bean paste. Turn heat to high and stir constantly until the chocolate and red bean paste melt and form a smooth, thick liquid. The red bean paste will become smooth first. The chocolate will melt second, but continue stirring until all is smooth and homogenous.
  2. Chop 2 cups of walnut until they are reasonably fine, then mix with the chow mein noodles in a large bowl.
  3. Pour the chow mein noodles and walnuts into the chocolate-red bean paste mixture, and stir together until everything is well coated. Using two spoons, spoon this out onto cookie sheets covered with parchment paper.
  4. Allow to either cool in the air or in a refrigerator until the haystacks are set.

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