Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Red Bean Paste

This is a recipe for Chinese Red Bean Paste as promised a while ago. Do note that this is the chinese style of making red bean paste. Japanese ones differ slightly. This paste is good enough for Chinese white pau, tang yuan (glutinous rice dumplings), spring rolls and the likes. But please don't use the paste for mooncakes cause they are not firm enough.

I made 400gm of red bean and it yielded a nice big box, which has lasted me for almost two months and I just keep using it for different things. Very handy indeed!

380 - 400gm of red bean
280 gm of sugar
250 ml of cooking oil

1) Cook red beans like method in Red Bean Creme with enough water to cover the top of beans at all time. Once cooked, blend it with 2 cups of water till fine with a powerful blender or just use a hand held blender.

2) Sift through a fine sift/strainer in a non stick or heavy cooking pot or a wok like AMC.

To be honest, this is the hardest part especially when trying to push the mixture through the sift. I used a spoon to continue pressing and I ended up discarding two tablespoonful of red bean mixture which is too coarse to be sifted. Feel free to add water to help with sifting. Of course you can skip this step if you are those type that like little bites in their paste. In the older days, people will use a fine cheese cloth/muslim to do the sifting. Imagine that! I sweat for an hour just to sift all my red bean mixture through a normal kitchen strainer.

3) Turn on the fire and began cooking the paste. Add sugar. Cook mixture till water evaporates.

My sugar portion, I think, is minimal. Any less your paste will fall apart. Mine is just rollable. Sugar caramelize and coat the paste and help them to stick together. That is why for mooncake paste, they are usually very sweet as enough of sugar must be present for a firm silky paste.

4) Add oil in three batches. Cook till the paste can leave the side of your pot/wok in almost one whole piece.

At this stage, mixture may splattered if your water is not completely dried out. So be careful. I use Knife brand oil as it has a slight peanut flavour which enhance the fragrant of the red bean paste. You can use normal corn oil.

5) Completely chilled before using. Paste from fridge will be hard. Defrost to the softness you want before using.

Paste rolled into little balls for paus

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