Kitchen Distractions

I haven’t been able to spend much time in the kitchen for the past week and a half. The parade of friends visiting town, friends moving out of town, friends moving back into town, the debates, and my obsession with Mad Men, all have left little energy other than for the routine in the kitchen. But I’m re-invigorated with the change of season and…free bags of beans from work! Not a substitute for pay, but leftover props, I got azuki beans, kidney beans, soybeans, black beans, lima beans, and fava beans, things that I normally don’t buy, especially in dried form. A good time to experiment and warm up the kitchen.

My first endeavor takes me back to my childhood with one of my favorite Chinese desserts, red bean soup. Made from azuki beans, it’s surprisingly easy as I just winged it with water and sugar. I’m surprised that I never made it before. Sweet and fortifying, the soup has a filling starchy beaniness for a hearty dessert. I also like it with rice balls filled with sesame paste for additional texture.

Sweet Red Bean Soup
-soak 1/2 lb. azuki beans in twice volume water overnight
-in the same water, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes until soft
-add 1/4 cup sugar, heat for another 10 minutes until thickened and redder
-add rice balls, optional, heat through

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