Recipe: chinese sweet mung bean popsicles
When I posted last week about Chinese sweet red bean (adzuki) soup I got a few comments from people about mung bean soup. Mung beans are green and slightly smaller than adzuki beans. They are another favorite of mine, although if red beans and green beans went head to head, red beans would win 9 times out of 10 for me.
pictures always help, because the word “beans” is a little vague
beautiful little green beans
So yes, you can make a sweet mung bean soup just like you make the sweet adzuki bean soup although you don’t need to soak these beans since they’re smaller. You want an 8:1 ratio of water to beans. Bring to boil, reduce to a simmer, and simmer simmer simmer until the beans are soft (about 90 minutes for me).
add plenty of water
the beans are practically falling apart
The part that makes the soup sweet is when you add sugar. Add as little or as much as you like. Stir it in while the soup is still hot. When the soup cools down, I like to purée it all in the blender. You can purée half of it and leave the other half bean-y or you can opt not to blender any of it. I’ve done them all, they’re all great.
stir in the sugar
yeah, still no immersion blender…
So here we are at the fun part… making popsicles. When I was little, my mom would make sweet adzuki or mung bean soup (sometimes both – life was exciting back in the day!) in summer and then freeze them in our 1970s era popsicle molds. 1970s because I am a child of the 70s. Huge treat. HUGE. Back then, you couldn’t find these popsicles commercially in southern Virginia. To be honest, I don’t know if you can today. But I know that they carry them in most Asian markets today. What I like about making them at home is how I can make little ones in vodka shots.
fill the shots with the cooled sweet soups
when they are half frozen, stick ‘em with the popsicle stick
I wasn’t sure how well they would release, but found that Bron had some helpful tips and my pops came out without a fuss. Perfect summertime treat for averting a meltdown and the beans are good for you!
you want the red or the green?
Chinese Mung Bean and Red (Adzuki) Bean Popsicles
1 cup mung beans, dried
8 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
Give the beans a rinse and place in a 3-4 quart saucepan with 8 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and partially cover the saucepan. Let simmer for 1.5 hours or until the beans are soft. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar (adjust to your liking). When the soup is cooled, place half or all of the soup in a blender (depending on if you want whole beans or not) and purée until smooth. You can enjoy the soup warm or cold (add tapioca pearls like we did for the red bean soup). OR you can freeze the soup (without tapioca pearls – I think that might be hard to eat frozen) in shot glasses or popsicle molds. For shot glasses, fill the vessel nearly full and freeze for about 20 minutes. You want to insert popsicle sticks when the soup is partially frozen (it will take longer than 20 minutes if your glass is larger – that heat capacity thing, you know) so the stick will remain where you put it and not sink to the bottom. Let the popsicle freeze completely. To remove, just let the glass warm up in your hand or run under warm water until you can release the popsicle from the glass. Makes a lot of little shot glass popsicles (like at least 2 dozen vodka shots).