Green Bean Dessert Soup 綠豆沙
By Ellen L.Published: 2014-07-25
There is almost nothing so soothing and cooling to drink on a hot, hot summer's day than Chinese Green Bean Dessert Soup. My grandma used to make big pots of this wonderful soup for us, store it in the fridge and we would help ourselves to big delicious bowls to cool ourselves off after a hot day of play. So just as this really hot summer typhoon weather has settled in on us in Hong Kong, I suddenly remembered, (duh! strikes forehead), the perfect thing to rustle up for taking the edge off this heat is this wonderfully body cooling Green Bean Dessert Soup, or 綠豆沙 or 綠豆湯.
Who would have known that this humble little green bean , or 綠豆, could be so delicious?! It's true of most beans, I think, they always look like nothing special but when you cook them up they transform into the most yummilicious foods that are not only good to eat but usually really good for you too. This green bean, or mung bean as they are better know in the West, is considered 'cooling' according to the Chinese concepts of Food Therapy. Let's see, the green bean cools internal heat, clears away toxins, soothes heat related problems like heat rash, etc. And it works, I swear it, you feel so much better and soothed on a hot day after drinking a bowl of this wonderful yummy and nutirtionally therapeutic Green Bean Dessert soup.
In Hong Kong this Green Bean Dessert Soup is often made with a bit of seaweed but I like it the way my Grandma made it, just beans, water and rock sugar. Yum, yum! So easy to make and so pleasing for all, especially the kids. (My little girl loves it!) You can serve Green Bean Dessert Soup up hot or, my favorite way, cold straight from the fridge. Ahhhh! All my hot weather grumpies cleared away!
Tip: A great classic Chinese treat for the kids is to use a bit of this dessert soup to make Green Bean Popsicles! (Just ask any Chinese kid.) Wow, really super yummy and a healthy too!
Tip: Must use rock sugar or raw sugar or something similarly unprocessed to get the right taste!
Green Bean Dessert Soup Recipe 綠豆沙
(Makes a nice potful to share)
1 cup green beans (200g, also known as mung beans)
8 cups water
1/2 cup rock sugar or raw sugar (115g)
Rinse the green beans. Check over for any little rocks and remove. Soak in cool water for 4 hours. Discard soaking water.
In a large pot add the water and green beans. When the water boils turn down the heat to a simmer and cook covered for 30-40 mins or til the beans are soft. Be sure to keep a eye on the pot cuz the beans will have a tendency to boil over quickly.
The soup is ready when the green beans have bloomed, or started breaking down. There are two preferences here, one is a thicker soup with lots of dissolved bean and one is a thinner more liquidy soup. For a thicker soup cook a bit longer. For a thinner soup (my preference) the soup is ready as soon as the beans are soft and very squishable.
When you feel the soup is ready, add the sugar to taste and stir until sugar is melted. Serve hot or cold.
More Chinese Desserts at The Hong Kong Cookery: