It wasn't until I made a steep overestimation in the amount of red beans and red bean paste required for a glutinous rice ball recipe that the suggestion was brought forth.
After acquiring the proper ingredients, I decided to give it another try. And, with this production, I can proudly proclaim its wonderfulness. No longer shall I need to endure the dismal, gritty formulas of Chinese diners ever again.
(Recipe inspired by and adapted from The Woks of Life)
- 300g red beans
- 30g dried Chinese tangerine peel (also known as 陳皮) *
- 200g rock sugar (as desired)
1) Allow the red beans to soak overnight.
2) Water levels should have decreased noticeably the next morning. Discard the soaking liquid and rinse thoroughly before transferring to a large pot.
3) Add water until the beans are well submerged, or until the pot is half full.
4) Over the stove, boil the beans on medium-high heat, with a lid affixed on top of the pot. Beware of overflowing due to the massive air bubbles during the initial stages.
5) Once the water comes to a roaring boil, turn the heat down to low-medium. Add in the dried Chinese tangering peel.
6) Replace the lid and continue to boil until the beans soften, stirring every often. This process takes roughly 25 minutes.
7) When the skin of the beans fall off with ease, use an immersion blender to incorporate some of the whole beans into the soup. This percentage can be adjusted based on preference; personally, the ideal ratio of smoothness to chewiness is 7:3.
8) Add in the rock sugar as well as 1-2 cups of water. Simmer over medium heat until the soup has reduced to a semi-viscous consistency.
9) Remove from the heat and let cool. Transfer to an airtight container for storage.
10) Serve warm or chilled. Enjoy!
- It should be observed that the specific ingredient amounts for this recipe are not fixed. Similar to Chinese Almond Tea, all aspects can be adjusted to suit one's preferences.
- The dried Chinese tangerine peel (陳皮 / chen pi) does not need to be soaked in advance, as they quickly become soft with boiling.
- Chen pi can be found in certain Chinese grocery stores, if not herbal shops in your local Chinese neighbourhood. Orange peels (without the white fibrous bits) can be substituted if dried tangerine peels cannot be found, however the depth of flavour will be compromised.
- Should an immersion blender not be handy, one can opt to continue boiling the beans at a low heat until they disintegrate naturally. Using the blender reduces the total active preparation time, however the tool is not mandatory for success.
- Red bean soup is sufficiently tasty on its own, though some may prefer to consume it alongside sago pearls or purple rice. A splash of sweetened coconut milk is another delectable topping.