Note (Nov 2010): First posted in May 2008, now updated with new photos and improved recipe.
This Chinese-style green bean soup is an easy Chinese soup dessert that is cooling and sweet, so suitable for the perpetual hot weather in Singapore. Green beans (or some call ‘mung beans’) are considered by Chinese as a ‘cooling’ food, and some believe it is a good natural alternative home remedy for acne. I just love making this because it is so easy and tasty. The sago is optional, but I totally love the look and texture of sago in my green bean soup. Green bean soup is cooling, while red bean soup is warming. If you love both them both, do check out my easy red bean soup recipe.
Where yin and yang of foods go, green bean soup is "yin" (cooling) while red bean soup is "yang" (warming), so this is perfect for the hot summer weather. If you do not wish to add any sago to your green bean soup, skip step 1.
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:60 mins
50 grams (1/3 cup) small sago (small tapioca pearls)
100 grams green beans (aka mung beans/lu dou/綠豆) soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
2 pandan (screw pine) tied in a knot
1.7 litres water
10 grams (or 3 small pieces) dried orange/tangerine peel (陈皮)
80 grams canned or vacuum-packed lotus seeds or ginkgo nuts optional
70 grams rock sugar (冰糖) to taste
Bring a small pot of water to boil. Add sago and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the stove, cover the pot with lid and let the sago continue to cook on its own for another 10 minutes, until all the sago turns translucent. Run the cooked sago through a fine sieve and running water to remove excess starch. Set aside. Check out this step-by-step photo tutorial for preparing sago.
In a bigger soup pot, add green beans, pandan leaves, water and orange peel. Bring to a boil.
Add lotus seeds/gingko nuts and reduce heat to a simmer, partially covered, for about 50 minutes (or until the beans are soft), stirring the sides and bottom of the pot occasionally. Top up with hot water at any time if needed.
Stir in rock sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Discard orange peel slices and pandan leaves. Add the cooked sago prepared in step 1 to the green bean soup. Serve warmed or chilled.