Haw Berries & Kumquats

Posts Tagged ‘red bean’

The Nicest Ice: Beijing’s Best Baobing


There’s little else I’d rather eat on a hot summer’s day than a mountain of shaved ice (刨冰 baobing) – sometimes in lieu of the meal itself. What better way to cool down during a blisteringly hot day in Beijing – or after a spicy chili-laden meal – than a mountain of snowy ice, heaped with all [...]

Taiwan Food Street, and the best Grass Jelly ever

Grass jelly with tapioca red bean balls 综合仙草粉心圆

Though the new Qianmen pedestrian street may be a travesty of historical preservation, the “Taiwan in Style” area on Dajiang Hutong has a surprisingly good food court, making simple renditions of Taiwan favorites. There’s plenty of rice noodles and oyster omelets, but the red bean cakes and grass jelly are particularly worth coming back for.

Tangyuan: White, Black, and Marbled 黑白汤圆


Yuanxiao and tangyuan – glutinous rice balls stuffed with a range of fillings – are a must for the Lantern Festival (Yuanxiao Jie 元宵节) on the 15th of the first lunar month, or the first full moon of the new year. But since my family never gets tired of anything involving glutinous rice, we’ve already [...]

Pumpkin mochi balls with black sesame and red bean paste

pumpkin mochi with red bean paste and black sesame filling

When the ginkgo trees turn golden, when the flower seller has seas of long-tendriled chrysanthemums and the vegetable seller has pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, then we know that fall has arrived. Beijing’s autumn is its most beautiful season, but also its most fleeting. Thinking of autumnal treats back home, Thanksgiving feasts and pumpkin [...]

Mooncake Review: A little chickpea in your red bean?

xibei mooncakes (黑三宝 in foreground)

Like it or not, mooncake season is upon us: Wednesday, Sept. 22, is Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节), celebrating the roundest, most golden full moon of the year. Westerners may call it the harvest moon, but for China this moon is all about being together with one’s family. The word for being together, 团圆 tuanyuan, literally means [...]

All I want this summer: iTea 找茶

itea cup

Four or five years ago, you used to be able to count with one hand the number of icy-dessert shops in Beijing. And now, in just the past year, we have a number of respectable shops serving refreshing, fruity icy treats. The latest, and my current favorite, is iTea (找茶), which aggressively expanded into Beijing a few months ago with six new locations. iTea seems to have hit upon a rather winning combination of clean, bright aesthetics; high-quality teas, ices, and slushes; and low prices.

Pumpkin brioche red bean buns 南瓜布里欧修豆沙包

pumpkin brioche red bean bun - interior

I am quite ready to declare this to be the best brioche dough in the world. As cinnamon rolls, they’re divine. As a tart base, it’s pillowy and sweetly accommodating. In simple brioche form, the essence of the dough shines through: The crumb is light, airy, and moist; fragrantly rich but not at all heavy. And with red bean paste, it elevates the humble little red bean bun to new heights of deliciousness.

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