Sunday, December 04, 2005

Sweetened Red Bean Soup

Sweetened soups are a stable with the chinese and it is served as a dessert. This is one of the classic which is just red beans sweetened with sugar but addition of dried longan, sago pearl, pak hup or thick coconut milk is quite common. The method of cooking over a chacoal stove until the beans are soft is the traditional way which will take hours, but a ceramic soup spoon in the soup helps the beans break up faster. Nowadays, the slow cooker or the pressure cooker does a good and fast job.The red beans from Tianjin, China is recommended.

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225 gm red beans
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1.35 L water
15 gm dried tangerine peel
1/2 cup sugaraccording to taste)
a handful of pak hup


Soak the tangerine peel, when soft, remove the pith.

Soak pak hup
Wash and soak red beans in cold water with the bicarbonate of soda for 2 hours. Drain.

Bring enough water to cover the red beans to a boil, let red beans boil for 5 mins. Drain.

In the pressure cooker, put the red beans, water and tangerine peel, cook for 1/2 hour. When pressure is released, remove lid and bring back to the boil.

Add the pak hup and cook until it is soft.

Add sugar and cook until sugar dissolves.

Serve hot or cold



Anonymous said...

Hi Lily, will adding in the bicrabonate of soda in red beans for soaking, helps to soften the red beans faster? I've ever soaked red beans for 1 whole day,but still can't soften them.

God Bless,

J.C. said...

I am curious too on why the red beans need to be soaked with bircarbonate of soda. Can you pls tell me the reason, Lily?

lilyng said...


the baking soda will reconstitute the dried beans and make them soft when you cook them

Spoon It On said...

I love red bean soup but it always gives me an upset stomach when I eat it but it's worth it!

What is pak hup?

Anonymous said...

pak hup is lilly bulb,

lotus seeds go well with pak hup in this red bean soup,

I would normally use cane sugar or rock sugar(ice sugar) instead of white sugar, better for the skin.

Eileen said...

When you were pressure cooking the red beans, did you use the high or low setting?

Why do you boil the beans before putting them into the pressure cooker?

Why are the red beans soaked in bicarbonate of soda?

lilyng said...


use 15 lb pressure that is high

the beans are boiled and water thrown away, is to wash away the bitterness from the red skin.

bicarbonate of soda is used to soak, so as to reconstitute the beans better

Anonymous said...

I read that bicarbonate of soda is required when soaking garbanzo beans in hard water to counteract the minerals in the water. Otherwise the beans will never soften no matter how long you cook them. The same must be true of red beans, because I've had a pot of them cooking for 3 hours and they still aren't soft.

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