Red Bean is another staple in Asia, mostly China and Japan which uses this ingredient mostly in their sweet and dessert category. The size of this bean is smaller and rounder than the kidney beans and sold in dried packets, alongside the green mung bean. The Chinese palate believes that red beans can replenish energy and prolong concentration, and a good type of food to serve to often fatigue and overtired individuals. There are always differences in the beliefs and practices of Asian and Western ideas in terms of the benefit in the ingredients and food that we take and in this particular case, I believe the Asian idea is right. Everytime I make this dessert soup and eat it, I feel energized the next day with longer attention span and energy to last the whole day. This dessert can be served hot or cold and I like it both ways. When refrigerated, the consistency thickens further and just before serving, add in some water to dilute it slightly.
340g Red Beans
150g rock sugar/granulated sugar (add more to your taste)
1500ml hot boiled water
25g Dried Tangerine Peel
Extra boiled water
1)Wash the beans in a colander under running water. Place in a large bowl and pour in 3 times the quantity of cold water to soak the beans. Soak for at least 4 hours or overnight.
2)Rinse and throw out the soaking water. Place the beans into a rice cooker and pour in the 1500ml hot boiled water. Turn on the rice cooker and let it cook for 1 hour. The beans can be cooked over the stove too, but leave the lid partially open or else it will boil over, turn on medium heat.
3)After an hour, check the water content, the beans will start to get mushy and soft. Slowly stir with a spatula and gently crush the beans inside the rice cooker. Add in extra 800ml to 1000ml hot boiled water and the dried tangerine peel. Close and continue to cook for another 45mins to 1 hour till the water content is reduced to half.
4)Add in the rock sugar/granulated sugar and stir. Add more to your taste. Cook for another 15 mins. The soup is ready when the beans are all mushy and the texture is heavy and thick like congee.
5)Turn off heat and serve hot or let cool completely before chilling in the refrigerator.
Serves: 4 to 5 person