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red bean soup

"Tong Sui" 糖水 literally translates as Sugar Water and is a warm soup sweet soup served at the end of the meal. One of my favorites is Red Bean Soup, reminding me of family celebratory dinners when I was growing up in Hong Kong. Actually, I like them all, but I guess this was the one we enjoyed more often.

When cooled, the beans also make for a refreshing Red Bean Ice – a favorite drink in the hot, humid summers! Traditionally, the iced drink is made with evaporated milk, but I like mine with coconut milk. Simply fill a tall glass half full with the sweetened beans and plenty of crushed ice. Top is off with equal amounts of coconut milk and cashew milk.


1 cup dried azuki beans

2 Tbsp dried lily bulbs (optional)

4-5 cups water

1 clementine peel

1/4 cup raw cane sugar

  • Rinse and soak the aduki beans in plenty of water overnight.

  • Drain the beans and add them to a large pot with 4 cups of water. Add the lily bulbs and clementine peel. Bring to a boil, skimming any froth that initially rises to the surface of the water. Cover and simmer on low for one hour until the beans are soft, and start to break down. The mixture should be lightly, and continuously, bubbling. You can add a little more water if a lot of water has evaporated/

  • Remove the peel and stir in the sugar. You can mash the beans, or blend a portion of them to make a thicker soup.

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