It's the Merdeka Open House 2009 event hosted by Babe in the City again. She has been hosting this event for the past couple of years and I am glad to be a participant in this. This year the theme is My Sweet Malaysia and we have to cook up some traditional sweet dessert based on our ethnic group. I picked this red bean sweet soup with sago and glutinous rice balls. Red bean dessert has been very traditional but over the years lots of different ingredients have been added to make it a little different and here is my version.
This is a short read extracted from wikipedia on red bean soup:
In China, red bean soup is a popular dish. The soup is commonly thinner than the Japanese oshiruko version. It is categorized as a tang shui, (literally translated as sugar water), or sweet soup. It is often served cold during the summer, and hot in the winter. Leftover red bean soup can also be frozen to make ice pops.
It is one of the main desserts offered after Cantonese cuisine meals in restaurants at night. When served, it is plain most of the time. The fancier restaurants may offer red bean soup with sago (西米). The two types of sugar used interchangeably are rock sugar and sliced sugar (片糖).
Since the older generation of Malaysian Chinese were immigrated from China, this red bean soup had been adapted in Malaysia and became one of the traditional and common dessert nowadays.
1 to 2 cups red beans, soak overnight for fast cooking
1/4 to 1/3 cups Sago
1 cup glutinous rice flour + enough water to make a dough
Brown sugar or Rock sugar or Gula Melaka to taste
1 piece of tangerine peel
Coconut cream (optional)
1. In a saucepan, boil it with water. When boiling, add in the amount of sago that you want (1/4 or 1/3 cup). Stir and let it boil for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and cover and let it sit for 15-20 minutes or until sago turned transparent. Rinse in a sieve under cold running water, set aside.
2. In another large saucepan, add water of your choice, boil it. When boiling, add in red beans and tangerine peel and let it simmer for about 2 hours or until soften. Then, dish out the tangerine peel and add in sugar of your choice to taste.
3. While waiting for the red bean to cook, can make the glutinous rice balls. In a bowl, add in the glutinous rice flour, add a little water at a time until a dough is formed. Pinch and roll the dough into small balls, set aside. Boil another saucepan with water. When boiling, add in the glutinous balls in batches. When float to the top, dish it out and place in cold water. Set aside.
4. When the red bean soup is done. Add in the sago and glutinous rice balls. Stir to mix well. Before serving, can add in a dollop of coconut cream, stir well and serve for thicker texture and fragrant. I omitted the coconut cream. Serve hot or at room-temperature. I won't recommend you to put it in the refrigerator as the glutinous rice balls will turn floury and hard (not a good eat).
Happy 52nd years of Independence Malaysia and please visit BabeKL's blog on August 31st for the round up of the highly anticipated event: My Sweet Malaysia. Thank you.