Finally! We moved, but it’s not all smooth sailing yet. We’re living out of boxes and we don’t have a kitchen yet. While our perfect kitchen is being built (which we will be talking about soon), I’m going to have to get crafty. I do have many plug-in appliances (rice cooker, toaster oven, panini press, waffle maker, microwave, etc.) so we’re still going to have a ball here. I think we’re going to be pleasantly surprised with how much I (or you) can do without a kitchen. (Gulp) Determined to eat well every single day without exceptions, here goes…

Chinese people believe that some foods are “cool” (or Yin) by nature, like cucumbers, crab, and mung beans. Others are “hot” (or Yang), like pineapple, alcohol, and spicy food.  Eating too much of one type may throw off your chi. There are many other factors as well, and Eastern medicine doctors also tend to believe that a person may naturally lean one way or the other, needing to compensate with foods.   When your chi is too hot, you may get nose bleeds, and I was that kid that was always getting nose bleeds. On several occasions, I had to sit at the nurse’s or in the principal’s office with a wad of tissue stuck up my nose.

cool beans 2

Temperature can also effect your Yin-Yang balance, so of course my nose bleeds got more frequent in the summer. Hearing that I had to miss class again to tend to my nose, my mom would take away the lychees (hot foods) and try to force bitter melon (very cold food) on me. That kind of reasoning doesn’t get a kid to eat a very bitter vegetable, so my mom had to find other ways to fill me with “cool” foods. One that I happily drank up was Green Bean Soup (Lu Dou Tang), where the green beans are referring to mung beans (cold food).  Plus, this soup can be served warm or cold, and in the summer, most people are drinking it cold for that refreshing feel. My mom even throws ice cubes in.

To throw you for another spin, this soup is sweet. It’s nothing like a Spanish Black Bean Soup or an Italian soup with Cannelloni beans. You’ll find this offered as dessert at some Chinese restaurants, but many Chinese also drink it as an afternoon summer snack, or even as breakfast in the morning.

Spoonful green bean soup

This is a super easy recipe (ridiculously easy!) and doesn’t need to be exact. It’s also pretty healthy since mung beans are a great source of protein and dietary fiber (+ more) as long as you don’t add too much sugar, but I’ll leave that up to you.

Slow Cooker Green Bean Soup (Lu Dou Tang)
~about 8 servings

  • 1 (340g) bag dried mung beans (scant 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar or to taste

Instructions -

1. Place mung beans in a large bowl. Fill with cold water. This is basically to wash it but if any duds float to the top, discard those. Drain the beans.

washing mung beans

2. Place beans in the slow cooker. Add 8 cups cold water. Turn the slow cooker on high and set for 4 hours, but taste it after 2 hours. Some like it just cooked, some like the beans mushy. Cook it to your preference somewhere between 2 to 4 hours.

3. When it gets to your preference, stir in sugar and cook for another 20 minutes. Serve warm or chill and serve cold. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week.

Spoonful green bean soup 4

posted by jessica at 08:18 AM Filed under Chinese, Desserts, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.