Red Bean Dessert Soup (紅豆水)

We visit Hong Kong regularly and love the food there. One of the top 3 things we always do is to visit a certain food stall that sells the most delicious red bean dessert soup. This dessert is one of my hubby’s favourites.  He likes it so much that he has learnt to make his own red bean dessert soup and I have to admit his simple recipe is excellent. Here is how he makes his delicious dessert soup.

INGREDIENTS (makes 4 serves)

  • 1 cup red bean
  • 2 litres of boiling water
  • 1 inch cube of ginger (bashed)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 pieces of dried tangerine peel (陳皮)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar


1. Give the red beans a good rinse in water and pop them into a slow cooker.  Using a slow cooker means that the red beans stay as whole beans and are not broken down.  Also, you won’t need to check up on the water level.

2. Add ginger, salt and boiling water to the slow cooker and cook the beans for several hours on high, till soft.  You could leave this to cook overnight.

3. Once the red beans are soft, add the dried tangerine peel. You should be able to get tangerine peel from the Chinese herbal shop.  (You could make your own sun-dried orange peel but it would not taste half as good). Continue to cook for 15 mins.  Remove the ginger and the peel.

4. Add sugar to taste.   The soup would have thicken by now – with roughly a 1:1 ratio of red beans to water. This is the consistency we prefer.  You could add water or reduce by cooking longer to achieve your desired consistency.

5. Serve hot.

Food Tip: Leftover red bean soup can be frozen to make ice popsicles.

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