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Create Your Own Chinese Sweet Delight: Green Bean Soup Recipe

Chinese green bean soup, or mung bean soup, is a traditional dessert that is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. Enjoyed either warm or chilled, this light and healthy sweet treat is perfect for any time of the year. Rich in fibre, protein, vitamins, as well as essential minerals like iron and magnesium, Green beans offer a range of health benefits.

A pot of simmering green bean soup with ginger, garlic, and pork ribs, surrounded by various Chinese herbs and spices

Chinese cuisine has a rich history, and green bean soup is a dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is a popular tong sui, which is a sweet soup that is often served as a dessert in Chinese cuisine. Green bean soup is believed to have cooling properties that help balance the body, making it a popular dessert during the hot summer months.

If you're looking to try your hand at making green bean soup, there are several variations you can try. Some recipes call for the addition of seafood, such as dried scallops or shrimp, which add a unique flavour to the dish. However, if you prefer to keep it simple, you can stick to the basic recipe that calls for green beans, sugar, and water.

History and Significance

A bubbling pot of green bean soup simmers on a traditional Chinese stove, surrounded by fragrant herbs and spices. Its rich history and cultural significance are evident in the carefully chosen ingredients and meticulous preparation

Cultural Background

Green bean soup, also known as mung bean soup, is a classic Chinese sweet soup that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is a popular dessert in Chinese cuisine, especially during the summer months when it is believed to have a cooling effect on the body. The soup is made by boiling mung beans with sugar and water, and it can be served either hot or cold.

In Singapore and Malaysia, green bean soup is a popular dessert that is often served in hawker centres and food courts. It is usually made with coconut milk, which gives it a rich and creamy texture. The soup is also sometimes served with glutinous rice balls or other sweet ingredients.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Influence

Green beans are believed to have a detoxifying effect on the body in Traditional Chinese Medicine. They are thought to help remove toxins and excess body heat, which can lead to a range of health problems. Green bean soup is often recommended as a remedy for conditions such as acne, constipation, and high blood pressure.

If you want to make your green bean soup even more nutritious, you can add seafood to the recipe. Shrimp or crab meat can be added to the soup to give it a rich and savoury flavour. Alternatively, you can serve the soup with a side of grilled fish for a healthy and delicious meal.

Overall, green bean soup is a nutritious and delicious dessert that has been enjoyed for centuries in Chinese cuisine. Whether you are looking for a refreshing summertime treat or a healthy and detoxifying meal, green bean soup is sure to satisfy your cravings.

Ingredients and Variations

A pot simmering with green beans, broth, and spices. Bowls of soup with various toppings and condiments nearby

Main Ingredients

To make a Chinese green bean soup, the main ingredients you will need are green beans, water, and sugar. Green beans are also known as mung beans and can be found in most Asian grocery stores. You can use either fresh or dried green beans for this recipe. Water is used to cook the green beans until they become soft and tender. Sugar is added to sweeten the soup and balance out the flavors.

Sweeteners and Seasonings

There are many sweeteners and seasonings that you can add to your green bean soup to enhance the flavor. Rock sugar is a common sweetener used in Chinese desserts and can be found in most Asian grocery stores. Sago pearls and pandan leaves are optional but can add a unique texture and aroma to the soup. Coconut milk can also be added to the soup for a creamy and rich flavor.

Additional Toppings

To add more texture and flavor to your green bean soup, you can also add additional toppings. Lotus seeds, candied winter melon, and tapioca pearls are popular toppings used in Chinese green bean soup. If you want to add a savory twist to your soup, you can also add seafood such as shrimp or scallops.

Overall, Chinese green bean soup is a simple and delicious dessert that can be customized to your liking. Experiment with different sweeteners, seasonings, and toppings to create your own unique version of this classic dessert.

Preparation Methods

Fresh green beans are washed and trimmed. They are then boiled in a pot with water, ginger, and garlic until tender. The beans are blended into a smooth soup, seasoned with salt and pepper

When it comes to preparing green bean soup, there are two main methods you can use: the traditional stovetop method and the Instant Pot method.

Traditional Stovetop Method

To prepare green bean soup using the traditional stovetop method, you will need a pot, green beans, water, and sugar. First, rinse the green beans and soak them in water for a few hours. Then, rinse them again and place them in a pot with enough water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and let the beans cook for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until they are soft and tender. Add sugar to taste and stir until it dissolves. You can also add seafood such as scallops or shrimp to the soup to give it a unique flavour.

Instant Pot Method

If you have an Instant Pot, you can use it to prepare green bean soup quickly and easily. Rinse the green beans and place them in the Instant Pot with enough water to cover them. Close the lid and set the Instant Pot to high pressure for 20 minutes. Use the quick release method to release the pressure, then open the lid and add sugar to taste. You can also use the saute mode to add seafood such as fish or prawns to the soup and give it an extra kick of flavour.

No matter which method you choose, the key to a delicious green bean soup is to make sure the beans are cooked until they are soft and tender. This will give the soup a smooth and creamy texture that is perfect for a light and refreshing dessert or snack.

Nutritional Information

A bowl of Chinese green bean soup sits on a rustic wooden table, with a spoon resting beside it. The soup is steaming, and the vibrant green beans are visible through the clear broth

Health Benefits

Green bean soup is a nutritious dessert that is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is also low in calories, making it a great option for those who are watching their weight. The soup is a good source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. It also contains fibre, which helps to promote healthy digestion.

Green beans are a good source of iron, which is important for the production of red blood cells in the body. They also contain potassium, which helps to regulate blood pressure and maintain a healthy heart. The soup is also rich in vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E and K, which are essential for overall health and wellbeing.

Dietary Considerations

Green bean soup is generally considered to be a nutritious and healthy dessert. However, it is important to note that some people may be allergic to green beans or other ingredients used in the soup. It is also important to ensure that the soup is prepared using fresh ingredients and is free from toxins and contaminants.

If you are looking to add some variety to your green bean soup, you can consider adding seafood to the recipe. Seafood such as shrimp or crab can add a delicious flavour to the soup, while also providing additional protein and minerals. However, it is important to ensure that the seafood is fresh and cooked thoroughly to avoid any health risks.

In summary, green bean soup is a nutritious and delicious dessert that is low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. It is a great option for those who are looking to maintain a healthy diet, and can be easily customized to suit individual tastes and dietary requirements.

Serving and Storage

A pot of green bean soup simmers on a stove. A bowl of the finished soup sits on a wooden table, garnished with sliced green onions

Presentation Tips

Green bean soup can be served hot or cold, depending on your preference. If you prefer a warm soup, heat it up in a pot on the stove or in the microwave. If you prefer a chilled dessert, store it in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

To add a touch of elegance to your presentation, consider garnishing your green bean soup with fresh fruits or nuts. Sliced strawberries, chopped almonds, or even a dollop of whipped cream can add a pop of colour and flavour to your dessert. You can also serve it in a clear glass bowl to show off the vibrant green colour of the soup.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can also add seafood to your green bean soup. Shrimp or crab meat can add a savoury flavour to the soup and complement the sweetness of the green beans. Simply cook the seafood separately and add it to the soup before serving.

Storing Leftovers

If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. When reheating, add a splash of water or milk to the soup to prevent it from becoming too thick. You can also freeze the soup for up to three months, but be aware that the texture may change slightly upon thawing.

When reheating frozen soup, defrost it in the fridge overnight and then heat it up on the stove or in the microwave. Be sure to stir the soup occasionally to ensure that it heats up evenly.

Overall, green bean soup is a versatile and delicious dessert that can be served in a variety of ways. Whether you prefer it hot or cold, garnished or plain, this soup is a healthy and nutritious treat that can be enjoyed all year round.

Frequently Asked Questions

A steaming pot of green bean soup simmers on a stove, surrounded by various cooking utensils and ingredients. The rich aroma fills the air, creating a warm and inviting scene

What's the secret to a traditional Chinese green bean soup?

The secret to a traditional Chinese green bean soup is to use the right ingredients and cook it for the right amount of time. The soup is made with green beans, which are a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Other ingredients include sugar, water, and sometimes pandan leaves. The soup is then simmered for several hours until the beans are soft and the soup is sweet and fragrant.

Can you suggest a simple method for making green bean soup?

Yes, a simple method for making green bean soup is to soak the beans overnight, then rinse and drain them. Add the beans to a pot with enough water to cover them, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1-2 hours until the beans are soft. Add sugar to taste and stir until dissolved. Serve hot or cold.

How can I speed up the cooking time for green bean soup?

To speed up the cooking time for green bean soup, you can use a pressure cooker. Soak the beans overnight, then rinse and drain them. Add the beans to a pressure cooker with enough water to cover them, then cook on high pressure for 20-25 minutes. Release the pressure naturally, then add sugar to taste and stir until dissolved. Serve hot or cold.

Could you share a healthy version of the Chinese green bean soup recipe?

Yes, a healthy version of the Chinese green bean soup recipe can be made by using less sugar or substituting with a natural sweetener like honey or stevia. You can also add some seafood like shrimp or scallops to the soup for added protein and flavor. Simply add the seafood to the pot during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking and simmer until cooked through.

Should I soak the green beans before making the soup?

Yes, it is recommended to soak the green beans before making the soup. Soaking helps to soften the beans and reduce the cooking time. Simply rinse the beans and soak them in water overnight or for at least 4 hours before cooking.

Is Chinese green bean soup considered beneficial for health?

Yes, Chinese green bean soup is considered beneficial for health as it is a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The soup is also low in fat and calories, making it a healthy dessert option. Additionally, green beans are known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.