I decided to try Hung Tou Sa over the weekend. Hung Toa Sa basically is like Red bean soup but the red bean here is so mashed up that it is in the creme form. Hence it the word 'Sa' = Sand, I think with my very limited mandarin. For us a good red bean creme must be fine but the Sa must still be there. Not so diluted like drinking water.
With some tips from Aunty Yeo, the result is pretty good. So here is how I do it:
400gm to 500gm of red bean
2 pieces of very good quality orange peel
1 cup of sugar
1 -2 tbsp of sago, to thicken (instead of rice flour which gives a not so nice smell)
1) Place red bean in a pot and cover with water. The water is just enough to cover coming up about 1/2 cm from the top of red bean. Boil and strain away water. This is how the red bean is washed. I have learned over the years especially with beans, some if you cannot soak it too long or wash it too hard, it tends not to cook.
2) With enough water to cover red bean about 1/2 cm above the bean once again. Boil and turn to simmer. Simmer til the beans are soft and if you squeezed it, it will fall apart to powdery form (will take 2-3 hours). Water is added wherever it looks a little dry out. Each time adding is only up to covering to the the top of bean.
Note: No stirring at anytime and no adding lots of water at one go. It does take patience. If you have a pressure cooker, Step 2 will be made so much easier. Just cover red bean with water about 1 cm above the bean and pressure cook til beans are all cooked and soft.
3) Blend it with a hand held blender/normal blender til mixture is fine.
Edited: Due to the many fussy food eaters in our lifes, I decided to add this additional step to help further smoothen the Creme.This is an additional but optional step.
3a) Take some of the water in step 4 and stir with the finely blended mixture. Strain through a fine sieve and press the mixture with a spoon through the sieve. Discard anything that is too big to be sieved through. Followed by rest of the water in step 4 and rest of step. The mixture will look and taste much smoother than shown in pics.
4) Add about 1000 -1500 ml of water, orange peels and sago and simmer it till orange peels released their flavours, sago is all gone and mixture is well blend. Add sugar to sweeten.
5) Serve hot or cold. If you plan to serve it cold, you can make the mixture slightly sweeter and add 3-4 tbsp of cold water to the chilled creme to loosen it before serving. Cold creme tends to be more clumpy and less sweet.