Sweet Red Bean Soup or Hong Dou Tang as some may call it, is a delicious dessert commonly served across Asia. It’s lightly sweet with a taste of red beans and has a soft chewy texture from the sago. It’s extremely simple to make and is a perfect dessert to have any time of the year.
Sweet Red Bean Soup / Hong Dou Tang / 红豆汤 is a classic dessert that brings me so many memories of my childhood.
When I was little, my mom would always make this delicious dessert during the Summer and Winter months. During the Summer, she would usually serve this dessert cold and during the Winter, this dessert would be served hot.
It was a dish that takes very little time to make and one that made the entire family happy. We would usually sit around a table eating this dessert while talking about our future, our goals, things that made us happy and more. It was a really nice family bonding experience.
However as I grew up, I didn’t have as many chances to eat this dessert as I once had.
And I missed it very much.
So I wanted to recreate it so that I can enjoy it once more.
Which is why I’m writing about this recipe. I hope that this recipe can make you feel exactly how I felt when I was eating this delicious dessert. It’s a recipe I guarantee you all will fall in love with, and will definitely come back to make time and time again.
So if you’re ready, lets get started!
What is Sweet Red Bean Soup?
One of the most common desserts you can find in Asia, is Sweet Red Bean Soup. You can also find it in many Asian restaurants.
Sweet and delicious, this dessert soup is a favorite dessert among many people.
Basically Sweet Red Bean Soup is a soup type dish that consists of red beans, sago, and a few seasonings.
Adzuki beans are soaked in water for a few hours which makes them soft. They are then boiled down so that they can become even softer. Then with the addition of sago, it helps add a chewy texture to the mix which makes the entire soup so much more delicious.
The soup can be enjoyed both hot and cold, and depending on which one you choose, you’ll get a different taste each and every time.
What Kind Of Bean To Use?
As you know, there are many different kinds of beans out there.
But this dessert dish primarily uses the red bean variety. Specifically the “Adzuki” red bean. Adzuki red beans are favored because they provide a nice subtle taste that makes any dish elevated instantly in flavor.
Be sure when you are making this dish to “NOT” use kidney beans, because that will just change the flavor of the dish and it will not taste the same.
It is almost crucial that you have to use the “Adzuki” type of red beans for this dish.
You can find these beans in almost any supermarket around you, especially in Asian supermarkets.
And for a cheap price too!
What Is Sago?
This Sweet Red Bean Soup / Hong Dou Tang / 红豆汤 dish does contain sago.
If you never had sago before, it basically is a chewy little ball that is usually added to certain ingredients.
Sago is usually white in color and is extremely tiny in size.
Sago is made out of an edible starch that is made from the pith of an array of tropical palm trees. It’s a staple food in many parts of Asia.
Now aside from sago, there are many other varieties of chewy balls you can use, like big black tapioca pearls or even rice cakes. However the most common choice is to use sago as it pairs really nicely with any dish.
Ingredients To Use In Sweet Red Bean Soup
You can find the ingredients to make Sweet Red Bean Soup / Hong Dou Tang / 红豆汤 in any local supermarket.
The ingredients you’ll need includes:
- Adzuki Beans – 2 Cups
- Water – 8 Cups Plus additional cups for soaking
- Rock Sugar – 1/2 Cup
- Sago – 2 Tablespoon
- Orange Zest – 1/2 Teaspoon
And that is basically it!
How To Make Sweet Red Bean Soup
Sweet Red Bean Soup / Hong Dou Tang / 红豆汤 is a dessert dish you will absolutely love to make.
The process to make this dish is as followed:
The first step in making this dish is to prepare your beans.
Pour your beans into a bowl and rinse it through with water so that it becomes clean. After you have rinsed it, you want to fill the bowl with enough water to cover the beans and let it soak for at least 10 hours. (Best to do this overnight)
After time is up and the beans have got a good soak, its time to drain the water from the beans.
Then grab a large stock pot and pour your beans into it.
Fill it with 8 cups of water and bring it to a boil. One the water is boiling, lower the heat down to a low simmer. Then cover the pot and let it cook for about 1 hour.
After the hour is up, you’ll want to check on your bean soup. You want a soft and broken down texture.
Once they are soft and broken, you’ll want to grab your blender. Ladle in about half of the soup into the blender. (You can do the entire soup if you want, but I found out half of the amount is best)
Pulse a few times to get a really nice broken down texture. The mixture shouldn’t be entirely smooth and should still have bits and chunks here and there. (Although if you want it entirely smooth, that is your choice)
Then pour the mixture back into the pot and let it continue to cook.
While it is cooking, you’ll want to add into the soup the rock sugar.
Then immediately after, you’ll want to add in your orange zest. Then stir things around.
After that, you’ll want to add into the soup your sago. Stir things around and then let it cook for an additional 20 to 30 minutes until the sago has completely cooked and turned somewhat translucent.
The soup is ready to serve after the sago is completely done cooking.
Turn off the heat and ladle some soup into a bowl and enjoy.
Here are some tips and things to know about when making this red bean soup.
- Add more water into the soup mixture when cooking to make the soup a more soupier consistency.
- Blend only half of the soup mixture only to have some chunky bits of beans and tiny bits of beans mixed together.
- If you want a completely smooth texture, then blend the soup mixture completely until there is no bits and pieces left.
- If you want it more sweet, add in more sugar.
How To Keep/Store This Dish
Storing this Sweet Red Bean Soup / Hong Dou Tang / 红豆汤 dish is a pretty easy thing to do.
All you do is basically just pour the red bean soup into an air tight container and cover the lid. Then you can place the container into the fridge where it should stay good for around 3 days at most.
Or if you want to freeze them, then you’ll be happy to know that this soup freezes very well. Just put it into an air-tight container and put it into the freezer where it can stay good for up to 3 months.
And if you’re wondering, heating this dish is a simple thing to do. Simply place it back on the stove and heat things up again for a few minutes. Then it should be ready to go.
Sweet Red Bean Soup Recipe (Hong Dou Tang 红豆汤)
- 2 Cup Adzuki Bean
- 8 Cup Water Plus additional cups for soaking
- 1/2 Cup Rock Sugar
- 2 Tablespoon Sago
- 1/2 Teaspoon Orange Zest
- First you'll want to pour your beans into a bowl and rinse it under some water to clean them. Then you'll want to fill the bowl with enough water to cover the beans and let them soak for around 10 hours. (Preferably overnight).
- Once the beans have finished soaking, drain the water from the beans and then transfer the beans to a large soup pot. Add 8 cups of fresh water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Then after it is boiling, lower the heat to a gentle simmer and let it simmer for about 1 hour.
- After the hour is up, the beans should be soft and broken up. Then you'll need to grab a blender and blend the bean mixture until they are broken down into tiny bits and pieces. (Do not blend it until smooth unless that is what you prefer).After blending the bean mixture, transfer it back to the large soup pot.
- Then you'll want to add in the rock sugar and orange zest into the large soup pot and stir things around.
- Now immediately after, add in your uncooked sago. Stir things around and cook for an additional 20 to 30 minutes or until the sago has become soft and somewhat translucent.
- Once the sago is fully cooked, the soup is ready to serve.Turn off the heat and ladle some soup into a bowl. Enjoy.
Did you try making my Sweet Red Bean Soup / Hong Dou Tang / 红豆汤? If so, how were they? I would love to hear all about it down in the comment section below or you can connect with my on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram.
Want more recipes? You can check out my site for more amazing recipes!