In Chinese and Taiwanese cooking, beans are more often than not the star of sweets and desserts. This is a recipe for a favorite dessert that my mom always made us. Called 紅豆湯小圓子 or hong dou tang (red bean soup) xiao yuan zi (little chewy rice balls), it involves cooking adzuki beans until they fall apart to make a lovely soup, then adding sugar and glutinous rice balls to make a simple but delicious dessert. If you imagine red bean mochi in soup form, this is it! —Megan
Rinse beans with water and remove any foreign matter.
Dump the rinsing water, then add enough water to cover the beans by a few inches, and soak overnight.
Bring the beans to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer on low for about 50 minutes to an hour. Cook until the beans are soft and the skins are separating from the rest of the bean.
Drink while it is hot or warm, or keep it gently boiling if you want to make yuanzi, too
Glutinous rice flour
Mix the water and rice flour together to form a paste that holds together. If the paste is too dry and does not form a cohesive blob or mass, add sprinkles of water a bit at a time until it does. Note that the firmer the paste, the more QQ or chewy the yuanzi will be.
Use your palms to form a log out of the paste, about the diameter of your fingers or however large you want these yuanzi.
Gently place the balls of dough into the gently boiling soup. Yuanzi cook rather quickly, so when they float, they are ready to be eaten. If you overcook these, it's okay, but know that the longer the yuanzi stay in the liquid, the more water they will absorb, and become less QQ.