In Korean culture, eating red bean soup symbolizes both the prevention of bad luck and the wish for abundant harvests. In winter, the beans are usually served as a warm soup. During summer, it’s commonly eaten as dessert-y topping over shaved ice. Last week my colleague gave me a bag full of red beans (I.e azuki beans). Since it’s Spring and Easter is right around the corner, I’ve decided to experiment with making a “dessert-y” red bean pudding, which may delight guests over the upcoming Easter holiday.
First, I put 3 cups of red beans and 12 cups of boiling water in a big pot and cook for about an hour. When the beans get mushy, I puree them in a food processor and season it with 2 cups brown sugar, 3 teaspoons salt and 3 teaspoons cinnamon powder. Then, I put the pureed red beans back in the pot, pour in 4 cups water and boil it. Separately, in a bowl, I mix 2 cups of sweet rice flour, a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon sugar with a cup of hot water to make a dough for rice cakes (i.e. mochi). I tear off a spoonful of rice dough and roll it between my two palms to make quail egg-shaped small rice cakes. Then, I add them to the boiling red bean mixture and start stirring the pot until all rice cakes float on the surface. Finally, I place the red bean pudding in a bowl and garnish it with sliced apples & cinnamon.
This “dessert-y” red bean pudding is super creamy & deliciously accentuated with chewy rice cakes and crunchy apples. The sweetness of the pudding also nicely complements the tartness of the apples and the bitter-sweetness and spiciness of cinnamon. It’s an interesting tasty dessert which gives you a feeling of “fullness”. As Korean believes, I hope this red bean dessert brings you a good luck and abundance in your life. In case you try making this dessert for your Easter, please do let me know how it turns out. Happy cooking.