Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Sweet Red Bean Soup

When we came across this recipe on the 'Net, my beautiful Thai Bride knew she had to make it. It is quite easy to make, and tastes very good, the red beans sweetened with the contrast of the tangerine and dried lily bulbs, is very interesting. We used light muscovado sugar and azuki beans. Dried tangerine peel and dried lily bulbs can be found in any good Chinese supermarket. This is the fast method, using a pressure cooker (I christened my pressure cooker with this dish, my first succesful meal made by myself, though my brother-in-law used it several times succesfully), if you don't have a pressure cooker, just simmer on the stove for 2-3 hours, making sure that there is enough water to cover the beans at all times, and stir occasionally to prevent the beans from burning. We found that the beans absorbed the water in the pressure cooker, so add some more at the last cooking stage. This ended up being very thick, so add some more water till you get the right consistency.

Sweet Red Bean Soup
225 g red beans (azuki or other small red beans)
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
small handful dried tangerine peel
1/2 cup light brown sugar (according to taste)
a handful of dried lily bulbs

Soak the tangerine peel and the lily bulbs; when soft, remove the pith from the tangerine peel.

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

Boil the red beans in enough water to cover. Drain.

In the pressure cooker, put the red beans, water and tangerine peel; cook for 30 minutes on high pressure. When pressure is released, remove lid, add the soaked lily bulbs and enough water to cover and bring back to the boil. Cook until the lily bulbs are soft.

Take off heat, add sugar and stir in until dissolved. Add more water to bring to desired consistency, if necessary.

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