Anchor Out Anpan

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We moseyed our way down the Erie Canal.  We had 3-weeks to kill going through 9-locks.  Sailing is always game of hurrying up and waiting, but this was even more frustrating than normal.  We weren’t waiting for the right weather; we were waiting for work to get done.  To take a little more time and show Marion, our guest star crew, something a different side to boating, we anchored out on Oneida Lake for the night.

Clear skies, not a breath of wind, it was perfect weather for it.  In the crisp cool late-September air I decided to bake a little sweet treat to keep our spirits up.

My friend Helen’s son calls red bean paste “Chinese Chocolate,” and I think that’s the most accurate description I’ve heard.  I have loved the sweet paste since the first time I tried it.  Whenever I go to Chinatown I never fail to pick up one or two bean paste buns for the road.

It wasn’t until crewing on a Japanese boat that I discovered how easy anpan, the bean paste buns, were to make.  Well, especially if you have a can of red bean paste.  Net step, making it from scratch…

Anchor out Anpan


  • ½ recipe heave ho challah dough
  • ½ can red bean paste

Egg Wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 T water


  • Preheat oven to 350◦ F
  • Beat egg and water together to make egg wash
  • Form golf ball-sized balls of dough
  • Flatten into circle in palm – circle should be about 1/8 in thick
  • Spoon 2 T re bean paste into center of circle
  • Pull opposite ends of dough up, pinching together in the middle like a drawstring purse
  • Place on greased baking sheet pinched side down
  • Brush tops with egg wash
  • Bake 20 min or until tops are golden brown
  • Enjoy!
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