Updated: Feb 29
Chinese New Year had just ended and there are lots of leftover Nian Gao aka Sticky Glutinous Rice Cake laying around. My grandma and mother used to make Mung Bean Soup outta Nian Gao. I thought it isn't neat to hide the tradition, I should pass down the tradition to the younger generations and take this opportunity to share this recipe with you fine people.
As far as I can remember, my grandmother & mother used to add coconut milk into this Chinese style mung bean soup. Perhaps they are from Indonesia and Bubur Kacang Hijau is quite a popular dessert in the place they reside. Bubur is porridge in Indonesian and Kacang Hijau is Mung Bean or Green Bean in Indonesian, hence Mung Bean Porridge. The dish is actually mung bean porridge cook with coconut milk and palm sugar. This is probably the reason why my family's mung bean soup is so special, because of the addition of coconut milk and palm sugar. Probably.
And if that ain't enuff, they added nian gao, sweet potatoes and other Chinese herby ingredients. Mainly due to the availability of the ingredients tho; lotus seeds, ginkgo, candied winter melon and even sago. I decided to keep mine simple with just the addition of barley and leftover nian gao. I also used a knot of pandan leaves because pandan goes so well with coconut milk. Whether this is a dessert, a soup or a beverage, it is a bit of tradition and a bit of new, I really hope you will give this recipe a try.
Mung Bean, 150g
Water, 1.8 Liters
Sweet Potatoes Peeled Coarsely Diced, 2 Medium
Pandan Leaves Washed Thoroughly & Tied Into A Knot, 5
Palm Sugar, 70g Adjust To Preference
Coconut Milk, 200ml
Nian Gao, 75g
Please visit my "How To Make Nian Gao" page for the recipe.
Soak mung bean in a bowl of water overnight.
*Make sure the mung bean is fully submerged.*
In a pot over medium heat, add in water, soaked mung bean, barley, sweet potatoes and pandan leaves.
Stir to combine well.
Bring it up to a boil.
Turn the heat down to low and allow the mixture to simmer.
Cover and simmer for about 30 mins.
*You may need to add more water from time to time, if the water is drying up, 1 cup at a time.*
Remove cover and add in palm sugar.
Stir to combine well and until the sugar has dissolved.
Cover and continue simmer for another 15 to 20 mins or until the mung bean is soft and is able to crush easily with your fingers. The sweet potatoes at this time should also be fork tender.
You can also at this time adjust to the consistency you prefer, either soupy or thick. If you prefer to have a thick soup, reduce the mixture further. If you prefer to have a soupy consistency, add more water if needed.
Turn off heat and add in coconut milk and nian gao.
Stir to combine well.
Cover to allow the mixture mingle and niao gao to steep and soften.
You can serve this warm or cold.