Hodge Podge Kitchen

Sunday, January 23, 2005

IMBB #11 - Beans, beans, the musical fruit...

My second participation in the IMBB event. This time hosted by Cathy over at My Little Kitchen. Last time I didn't try anything fancy, just wanted to get my feet wet. But this time, I wanted to use some ingredients that I haven't tried using before. While I was in Hong Kong, we got into the habit of getting dessert at night before going back to the hotel. One of the favorite was at a tofu house where they sell sweet soft tofu with different toppings/mix-ins. So for IMBB, I decided to make "Red-White". It is a mixture of sweet red bean soup with sweet soft tofu together. I didn't get as far as to make my own tofu, but I did make the sweet soup from scratch. The recipe is from one of the many cookbooks I got while I was in HK. Here's a picture of the ingredients:

Sweet Red Bean Soup with Fresh Lily Bulb
300g Adzuki beans
2 fresh lily bulbs
113g fresh lotus seeds
1 quarter dried tangerine peel
188g rock sugar (I used more than that)
1. Rinse the adzuki beans. Soak in boiling water for 2 hours. Drain.
2. Soak dried tangerine peel until soft. Scrape off the pith.
3. Cut the yellowish, brown parts off the lily bulbs. Separate the petals off. Rinse well. Soak in cold water.
4. Remove the core of the lotus seeds. Rinse well.
5. Boil red beans and tangerine peels in 10 cups of water. Turn to low heat and simmer for 2 hours. Add the rock sugar and lotus seeds. Cook for another 10 minutes. Add fresh lily bulbs and cook for 5 more minutes.

To make it a "Red-White", you just have to add sweet tofu to the bowl. I got the sweet tofu at my local Asian market, where I also got the fresh lily bulbs and lotus seeds. Make sure the tofu is sweet tofu for dessert, you can find it near the fresh soy milk in most asian markets. The dried version of the lily bulbs and lotus seeds would also work, they just need to be soaked along with everything else. If it is difficult to find, you can skip the lily bulbs and lotus seeds altogether. Another version to try with the sweet red bean soup is to add a can of coconut milk to it. I make the coconut version often with the canned cooked sweet adzuki beans and Chris really likes it. But he pretty much likes anything with coconut. I know for some people it is a little strange to think of bean soup as dessert. I was at a wedding banquet once sitting with a bunch of non-Asian people and they pretty much think it's down right weird. A few did try it, but I don't think they could get over the whole bean soup for dessert concept. But if you're up for trying something different, I highly recommend trying this. Especially on cold winter nights when you need something warm and sweet to help you ease to bed.


  • Hi Winnie - your dessert sounds fascinating. Actually I don't think a sweet bean soup is that much of a stretch from more familiar western dishes like baked beans, which are also sweet. I've never tasted either lily bulb or lotus seeds - what are they like? Thanks so much for participating in IMBB 11!

    By Blogger Cathy, at 5:32 PM  

  • Hi Cai,

    Lotus seeds taste something like boil peanuts, kind of like beans. And lily bulbs is like a starchy onion, if that makes any sense.

    By Blogger Winnie, at 9:58 PM  

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