I adore red bean soup. It can be served warm to fight off the Winter chill or served cold to ease Summer’s heat. It’s also served to top off the 10 (20?)-course Chinese banquet! Add in your favorite Chinese desserts sides such as tapioca, condensed milk, tang yuan (rice balls–stuffed or plain), and or coconut milk to fancy it up, or keep it plain and simple with just red beans and sugar.
1/2 cup tapioca (sago pearls)
1 cup red beans (soaked in water over night)
1 can coconut milk
1 slab of rock sugar
2 tbs of condensed milk
1/2 orange peel (try to remove piths if possible); cut into 2 pieces
1. Soak red beans in water over night – the beans should double in size
2. Bring a large pot with fresh water to a boil. Add in the beans and orange peel and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the beans are tender and have fallen apart slightly (about 2-3 hours). Add in the rock sugar and taste. The soup should taste slightly sweet (do not make it too sweet at this step as you still need to add the coconut milk and condensed milk)
3. Meanwhile, bring a medium size pot with fresh water to a boil. Add tapioca and let boil for 5-6 minutes. Cover and turn off the heat. The tapioca will turn completely translucent after 8-10 minutes. If it does not, add more water, and repeat step 3. Set aside
4. When the soup has finished in step 2, add in the tapioca, condensed milk, and 1/2 cup of coconut milk into the soup. Taste and add either more rock sugar, condensed milk, and or coconut milk until desired sweetness is achieved. Remove the orange peel before serving.