No soaking required, dried red beans can be turned into tender enough with “sandy” consistency just around an hour. Are you intrigued to try? I was. Whenever I make our traditional Chinese red bean soup, I need to soak the beans for at least 3 hours or overnight before cooking about one to two hours, depending on how I like the consistency. I’m a big fan of all kinds of red bean desserts but couldn’t make any if without any planning ahead. So I searched the internet high and low and tried to see if there’s a kitchen gadget that could help me out.
After searching for a while, I finally made the decision and bought this electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot. It’s got multi-functions including a high-pressure-cook mode. Making a stew dish within minutes is the best job that can be done in a pressure cooker. Yet cooking beans might be a challenge for it. You might be like me. I’m afraid of cooking beans in a pressure cooker as the increased volume or bits of broken bean skin might get stuck in the valve. So it’s very important to follow the instructions in the product manual, not to put too many red beans and water into the pot.
How was the outcome? I was quite impressed with the cooked beans after finishing one cycle of “porridge” function. The beans were so tender and kept intact. The cooker needs 20 minutes to raise the pressure and heat inside, another 20 minutes to cook. I used the natural release of pressure that spent about extra 30 minutes. The total cooking time counting from putting all the ingredients in until the dish can be served was 70 minutes. If you’re like me going for the traditional “sandy” texture, you need to do one more simple step. Overall, it’s not bad for me especially when I crave for a red bean soup on a hectic day, originally required long-hours of preparation and cooking.
For those who don’t use a pressure cooker, I inserted the instructions how to make this classic Chinese dessert on stove. Hope you all like it.
Red Bean and Coconut Milk Soup Recipe (Printable recipe)
By Christine’s Recipes
Yield: 6 to 8 serves
By Christine’s Recipes
Yield: 6 to 8 serves
- 200 gm (1 cup) red beans
- 95 gm (½ cup) black glutinous rice
- 1 piece dried mandarin peel, store-bought or homemade
- 2 L water
- 90 gm rock sugar, or to taste
- 90 gm brown slab sugar (片糖), or to taste
- Soak mandarin peel until softened. Use a knife to scrape away the inner white part as it tastes bitter.
- Rinse the red beans and black glutinous rice. Drain well.
- Put all the ingredients into the inner pot of Instant Pot. Close the lid. Turn the steam release handle to the “sealing” position. Press the “porridge” button. When the program is finished, the machine will beep several times. Don’t need to do anything, simply allow the cooker to reduce in pressure naturally. Wait until the float valve drops to the down position. Open the lid. You’ll find the red beans are very soft enough to eat. However, if you’re like me, after the traditional creamy and smooth soup with sandy texture inside, you have to press the “sauté” button and cook for further 15 to 20 minutes without the lid on. There you go. (Note: If you want to cook it on stove without a pressure cooker, use soaked red beans and add 2 more cups of water to cook to your liking. Replenish some boiling water if needed along the way of cooking. )
- Some of my facebook fans asked where I got my Instant Pot. I got it from Amazon (UK) as the model for sale in UK, with 220 volts, suitable for using in Australia.
- If you’re living in US or any countries with 110~120 volts electrical system, the model listed on Amazon (US) is the one to go for.
- Dried mandarin peel is sun-dried mandarin peel, available at Asian grocers. Or you can make it yourself. If you don’t have any in hand, you can skip it.
- The sweetness of rock sugar is light and refreshing, whereas brown slab sugar is rich and aromatic. You may choose and use only one of them. Both are available at Asian grocers.
- Whenever you cook beans in the pressure cooker, remember to use natural release. Don’t release the pressure yourself. The boiling water might spill out from the valve. The natural release time may be around 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the quantity of the cooked ingredients inside. When you see the float valve drops to down position. Then you can open the lid.