Friday, January 9, 2009

Tang Yuan & Sweet Potatoes in Red Bean Soup

I have to say this dish was inspired by both by my mom and my Mother-in-law. Why MIL? Well, when my family & I were back in Singapore last month, she made this delicious desert for us. The Tang Yuan was really tender, slight chewiness to it and it goes perfectly well with the red bean soup. It's these kind of deserts that reminds me of home and family. ;)

Why my mom? Well, when she went Hokkaido, Japan for vacation a couple months back, she bought me a packet of their Hokkaido Red Beans. We all know how the Japanese love their red beans. And you can imagine the quality of these red beans. To show you the difference of Hokkaido red beans and normal local red beans, click and see the picture below:

The Hokkaido red beans are shiny, uniform in shape and size, like little jewels! Sorry if the picture does not justify that. Even after I boil it for 1 hr, it still remains in it's original shape, not mushy or cracked like normal red beans. But when you bite into it, it's all soft and melt in your mouth, how great is that! ;) But of course you can use normal red beans for this dish, it's still tasty. ;) So here's the recipe for those interested:

Ingredients For Red Bean Soup:
150g of red beans
1 pandan leaves, tied with a knot in the middle
2 thin slices of ginger
50g of chopped Gula Melaka, to your own preference (or granulated sugar)
200g of Japanese sweet potato, peeled & cut into big chunks (optional)

  • Wash and rinse red beans and put in a boiling pot. Add pandan leave and 250ml of water or enough to cover the beans and start boiling.
  • After 45 minutes, add Gula Melaka to the red bean soup and continue to boil till tender.
  • Add sweet potatoes and boil for another 8 to 10 minutes. (optional)
Ingredients Tang Yuan:
100g Glutinous Rice Flour
1/2 tsp of confectioner's sugar
4 tbsp to 6 tbsp of cold water (depending on the texture of your dough)
A drop of food coloring of your preference

  • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and knead to form a soft and non-sticky dough.
  • Divide dough into 3 equal portions and add a drop of food coloring if desired. Knead the dough till color is uniform through the dough.
  • Pinch off a small dollop of the dough (about 1 tsp) and roll it into a small ball with the palms of your hands. (see below)
  • At this point you can refrigerate the Tang Yuan if the red bean soup is not ready. If red bean soup is ready, add Tang Yuan and boil for 5 minutes.
It's such a healthy desert, (if you don't add too much sugar). It really warms you up on cold days...not that there's a lot of cold days here in this tropical city, haha. ;) But it's still nice to have occasionally....try it! ;)

Actually I made this especially for my dear hubby, it's his favorite. Hope it's up to his standard. ;)

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