Gastronaut: Red Bean Soup

Chinese red bean Soup recipe


Sweet Red Bean Soup, by thewoksoflife.comYou’re at a Chinese banquet, and you’ve made it.

You’ve thoroughly enjoyed the cold platter of meats & jellyfish, the delicate stir-fried squid with mixed vegetables, the heavenly five-spice fried chicken, the walnut-mayonnaise fried shrimp and broccoli, the Cantonese-style lobster with ginger and scallions, the whole steamed fish, the fried rice, AND the longevity noodles.

Well, technically you’ve blasted way past “enjoyment” into the realm of food coma.Sweet Red Bean Soup, by thewoksoflife.com You don’t know exactly how you crammed that many courses into your bloated stomach. You’re wondering why you went so crazy on the ice chips and Sprite. And did you really need that last bowl of noodles? WITH chili oil? You’re about to spiral into a long-winded contemplation about how it was supposed to be a genteel banquet, not a violation of one of the seven deadly sins….

And then, the waiters roll through. They distribute the takeout containers always required to handle the overflow of banquet leftovers and simultaneously put down hot bowls of red bean soup. The soup is thick, sweet, and studded with tiny, ever so slightly chewy, clear tapioca pearls.

You survey the wreckage one more time. You reach for the red bean soup. There’s probably a little more room left…

Sweet Red Bean Soup, by thewoksoflife.comWhat follows is a recipe for the red bean soup for which there always seems to be just enough room left. ;)

You’ll need:

First, rinse the beans under cold water. Then, soak the beans in water for at least 8 hours (overnight).

Drain the beans and transfer to a medium-sized pot. Add 6 cups of fresh water. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 1 hour. Over the course of the hour, add an additional 2 cups of water as needed.

When the beans look soft and broken down, use an immersion blender to blend until the beans are just broken up–it shouldn’t be completely smooth (unless that’s your preference–you’re the cook here!). You can also transfer to a blender and pulse a few times until you achieve your desired consistency.

Transfer the blended mixture back to the pot. If you like a soupier consistency, feel free to add additional water at this stage until you reach your desired consistency. Add the sugar and orange zest using your trusty microplane.

Stir over medium to medium-high heat to dissolve the sugar. The mixture should bubble very gently.

Sweet Red Bean Soup, by thewoksoflife.comCook for 20 minutes until the tapioca pearls become translucent. Some recipes recommend cooking the tapioca separately, but it works just fine to add them directly to the soup. When the tapioca pearls are totally translucent, it’s ready to serve!

Sweet Red Bean Soup

Total time

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried adzuki beans
  • 8 cups water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon orange zest
  • 2-3 tablespoons tapioca pearls

Instructions

  1. First, rinse the beans under cold water. Then, soak the beans in water for at least 8 hours (overnight).
  2. Drain the beans and transfer to a medium-sized pot. Add 6 cups of fresh water. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 1 hour. Over the course of the hour, add an additional 2 cups of water as needed.
  3. When the beans look soft and broken down, use an immersion blender to blend until the beans are just broken up-it shouldn’t be completely smooth (unless that’s your preference-you’re the cook here!). You can also transfer to a blender and pulse a few times until you achieve your desired consistency.
  4. Transfer the blended mixture back to the pot. If you like a soupier consistency, feel free to add additional water at this stage until you reach your desired consistency. Add the sugar and orange zest. Stir over medium to medium-high heat to dissolve the sugar. The mixture should bubble very gently.
  5. Next, add the tapioca. Cook for 20 minutes until the tapioca pearls become translucent. Some recipes recommend cooking the tapioca separately, but it works just fine to add them directly to the soup. When the tapioca pearls are totally translucent, it’s ready to serve!
Sweet Red Bean Soup,  by thewoksoflife.com Sweet Red Bean Soup,  by thewoksoflife.com


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