Chinese Red Bean Soup with Longan, Red Date and Goji
This is the topics that I always want to write, because red bean soup is my all time favorite food. Many of you might have eaten some in Chinese restaurants as after dinner dessert. Simple to make and always delicious, you will never get bored with this simple, healthy nutritional food with endless variations. From morning to the evening, from meal to dessert, Red Bean can be part of almost every thing.
One of the most complicated red bean soup is called 八宝粥 – ” Eight Treasure Rice Porridge”. Eight is a very luck number in China. As name implied, there will be eight different kinds of ingredients in this rice soup. The essential ones are: sweet rice, red bean (or Adzuki Bean in Japanese), peanut, red date (Jujube Fruit) , longan dragon eye, rock candy or Black Sugar . The others will be the local varieties or personal favorites: such as goji (wolfberry) , green bean, black beans, lotus seed (my personal favorite), yam, lili bulb, barley, black sweet rice, wild rice, Tremella (white mushroom), dried fruits such as raisin, cranberry , kombu kelp seaweed etc. To make it even more nutrition, add or substitute white rice with black one.
Chinese Red Bean
The picture above is a my simplified home made version of ” Six” (:)) Treasures Chinese Rice Porridge. I used Red Date, Dried Longan dragon eye (4 largest fruits in the picture), red bean red bean, lotus seed, goji, and Japanese black Sugar. Sometime, I would add wild rice, sweet rice, broken corn or millets, Barley or whole oat. Red bean is the foundation to all.
The cooking is quite simple, special with a slow cooker.
(1) 1 Cup of Red Bean (Tianjin red bean is preferred, since it has higher starch content. It will leave less bean skin in the soup)
Longan - Dragon Eye Fruit
(2) 4 Oz Dried Lotus seed
(3) 2 Oz Raw shelled peanut
(4) 2 Oz dried Jujube Red Date or Snack Sweeten red date
(5) 1 Oz or 10~15 Dried longan dragon eye fruit
(6) 20~30 Dried Jumbo Size Ning Xia goji (wolfberry) Wolfberry Fruit
(7) Sweet Rice, Black Sweet Rice or Any short grain rice
(8)Yellow Rock Sugar or Okinawa Black Sugar (1 brick)
Jumbo Goji Fruit
(8) Optional: barley,green bean, corn, millets, raisin, dried cranberry
(9) 4 Cups of Waters (more if you like it to be soup like). If there is no rice involved, You can always start with less, and add more water to dilute it. If there is rice, cook a little bit longer after water added.
Wash thoroughly red bean, lotus seed, peanut (add all optional grains here) and 1/2 of goji. Put in Slower cooker. Add 4 cups of water (The volume of water : content is about 3 : 1). Cook on high for 5~6 hr until bean and lotus seed are fully cooked (the bean or seed should be easily smashed) or overnight at low temperature. This half of goji will fully
Raw Black Sugar
dissolved into soup.
About 40 minute before serving, add remaining goji, dried llongan dragon eye fruit and dried jujube red date or snack sweeten red date. If you already have put sugar in, you might want to put less sweeten date.
Now the soup is ready. In hot summer day, you can cook the soup ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator for a healthy afternoon snack.
Chinese Rice Porridge with Red Date, Longan and Goji
Picture below is another way to cook the rice porridge as meal. I cooked with regular rice cooker: put 3/4 cup of sweet rice, 4 cups of water. Cook until the porridge is consistent. Make sure leave the cover open after the water is boiling to prevent the spill (the cleaning is quite hard!).
Red date, goji and longan dragon eye were added 20 minute before serving. The reason to add these three fruit at a much later stage is to for the flavor purpose. If they are cooked for too long, the longan will lose all the flavor to the soup and become a tasteless gum. Red date will lose its natural sweetness and may also dissolved. The same apply to goji. It will also dissolved when it is overcooked.
The Chinese red bean soup is very simple to cook. Red bean taste great with many others. Try your own variations to discover this wonderful simple grain.
I read one article recently, it was about the new fashion of actresses of losing weight with red bean (adzuki bean), Here was the recipe mentioned: boil the red bean in water. Sim. Drink the water. So I did some research. Here is the summary:
Nutrition fact about red bean (or Adzuki Bean): Protein: 17.5~23.3%, Carbohydrates, 48.2~60%, Fiber 5.6~18.6%. Rich in Minerals, such as Potassium, Calcium, copper, zinc etc.
Health Benefit: Based on traditional Medicine, red bean is great for improving circulation, cleansing the heat & toxin from the body. It is especially good to remove the excess water from low body. In a word, red bean does can help you slim down the legs by removing the excess body fluid.
Now, are you interested to get these lovely red bean a try? Just make sure don’t add too much sugar!