Soft and chewy tang yuan or mochi balls served in sweet red bean soup is a classic Chinese recipe that almost everyone loves. It’s also flexible to make – save time by using frozen tang yuan balls, soak red beans ahead of time, or use different kinds of sugar, depending on how sweet you like your dessert soups.
When it comes to beauty, red beans contain iron for strong blood. This maintains energy and helps prevent anaemia. As a side effect, taking enough iron improves the complexion and gives you a healthy glow.
- 200 g dried red beans (adzuki beans)
- 1,200 ml water
- 100 g rock sugar (or brown sugar or honey if you like sweeter soup)
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 5 g dried mandarin orange peel
TANG YUAN (MOCHI BALLS)
- 200 g glutinous rice flour
- 40 g icing sugar
- 120 ml boiling hot water
- Coconut cream or milk, to serve
Place dried red beans in a bowl and cover with cool water. Soak for at least 4 hrs or overnight. Discard the soaking water.
Soak dried Mandarin orange peel in warm water for 15 mins or until it is soft. Scrap off the white pith inside, so the peel is less bitter. If you cannot find dried Mandarin peel, use orange peel, and scrape away the pith. But the soup will be slightly less fragrant.
Put beans, dried peel, and water in a large pot. Over high fire, bring to a boil. Lower the fire and simmer until the beans are soft, about 1 to 1½ hrs. Check every so often and add extra water if you need to. You want some red beans to be whole, and some red beans to be broken, so the soup is thick.
Stir in sugar, adjust the amount to your taste preference.
TANG YUAN (MOCHI BALLS)
Mix glutinous rice flour and icing sugar in a mixing bowl.
Add boiling hot water. Stir to mix with a spoon or spatula.
When the dough is cool enough to touch, pinch off a small amount and roll between the palms of your hands, into a small ball. Lay balls on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover balls with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, over high fire. When the water is boiling strongly, use a slotted spoon to add the tang yuan balls. When the balls float to the top, let them cook for another 1 min. Use a slotted spoon to remove the balls. Drop them into cool water to stop them sticking to each other
Ladle sweet red bean soup into serving bowls. Add tang yuan balls to your taste.
TIP Add a swirl of coconut cream on milk on top, just before serving.