When Polly came over, I decided to make a simple Red Bean Soup to share. The Read Bean Soup is a thick sweet soup made by boiling the red azuki beans until they are all softened and mushy. It is generally served as a sweet dessert after dinner.
Chinese like this dish because the vibrant color of red signifies happiness and luck. For this reason, it is always present at special celebrations such as weddings, birthdays and most of all in Chinese New Year.
Cooking this is simple and takes about two hours of boiling. For best result, I soak it at least four hours or preferably overnight. The ingredients are as follows:
- 1 cup of dried red azuki beans
- 1 slab of brown sugar (or use 1/2 cup of granulated sugar)
- 1 piece of dried tangerine skin (for a tangy flavour)
- A handful of sagi seeds (for chewy texture)
I did not include lotus seed because I do not have it on hand. I suggest that you add a quarter cup of dried lotus seed (soaked for 12 hours) to the ingredients. The lotus seed will create a dramatic contrast in colour and texture.
Here are the close-up look of ingredients that I used to make about six bowls of red bean soup. To cook, throw all the ingredients into a pot of 8-10 cups of water, depending on how thick you want the soup to be. You can start with the minimum cups of water and add more towards the end of the cooking. Remember, boiling takes 2 hours.
Oh yeah, add in the rinsed sago about 15 minutes from the end of the boiling. You don’t want to overcook the sago because it will break up and make the soup all starchy and overly thick.
The soup may be served hot, at room temperature, or chilled. Care to try it at home? I dig this but the rest of the family don’t care much for it.