Red Bean with Dumpling

Red Bean Dessert with Peanut Dumpling (紅豆沙湯圓)

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 in Fortress Hill 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 red bean dessert soup. I have added the steps for making the peanut dumpling. The dumplings are slightly chewy with a peanut filling. They add a nice texture to the red bean dessert soup.

Video Link:


INGREDIENTS (makes 5 serves)

  • 1 cup red bean (soak overnight, then drain)
  • 1 inch cube of ginger (bashed)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 litre of boiling water
  • 2 pieces of dried orange peel (陳皮)
  • 1 soup scoop of sugar


  1. Soak the red bean in water. Leave overnight. This will help speed up the cooking process.
  2. Drain the red beans 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.
  3. Add ginger, salt and boiling water to the slow cooker and cook the beans for several hours (around 4 hours) on high, till tender.  You could leave this to cook overnight, if preferred.
  4. Once the red beans are soft, add the dried tangerine peel. You should be able to get orange 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 10 mins.  Remove the ginger and the peel. The orange peel will add a nice fragrance to the soup but if kept too long in the soup, it will start to disintegrate and will impart a bitter taste.
  5. 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.
  6. Serve hot on its own or add a couple of peanut dumplings.


(make this whilst waiting for the red bean soup to cook)

INGREDIENTS (makes 10 dumplings)

  • 80 gm of salted roasted peanut
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 20 gm butter (or oil)
  • 40 gm glutinous flour
  • 1/4 cup of warm water


  1. Grind roasted peanuts till fine.
  2. Add sugar and continue grinding.
  3. Add butter and grind till the mixture becomes a paste.
  4. Divide into 10 equal portions and leave in the fridge to harden.
  5. Roll each portion into a ball. Set aside in the fridge.
  6. Make the dough by adding warm water to the glutinous rice flour.
  7. Mix well. Knead to form a pliable dough. You may need to add water, a teaspoon at a time if the dough is too dry. The texture should be a smooth pliable dough.
  8. Break or cut into 10 equal portions and roll each portion into a ball.
  9. To make the dumpling, take 1 piece of dough and flatten it slightly.  Add 1 peanut ball in the centre and wrap up with the dough. Make sure the peanut ball is fully covered. Roll between the palms to a ball.
  10. To cook the dumpling, fill a saucepan half full with warm water.
  11. Drop the dumplings carefully into the water. Boil the water at medium heat. The dumplings are cooked when they float in the water.
  12. Remove them to cold water until the red bean soup is ready.
  13. Place a couple of cooked dumplings in a dessert bowl. Ladle a couple of scoops of hot red bean soup over the dumplings and serve immediately. Yum!

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