New Recipes

Red Bean Pastry (红豆酥)

Red Bean Pastry
Red Bean Pastry pictures (1 of 3)

Greetings from Beijing!

I am here for a few weeks. It’s summer now and the weather has been warm and breezy. If it’s not because of the frigid cold winter months, I might well be delighted to live and work in Beijing, for a little while.

I simply can’t say enough how I love Chinese food–I mean, the “real” kind of Chinese food–not the kind you get in most American Chinese restaurants. Everyday, I ponder what type of Chinese food I wanted to eat: Sichuan, Cantonese, Shanghainese, Yunnanese, Guizhou, Shandong, Beijing Imperial, noodles, dumplings, snacks, and the list goes on. Real Chinese food never fails to surprise and impress me, just like the red bean pastry that I have been buying from this little shop near where I stay…

Baked to flaky perfection, they are filled with creamy and smooth red bean paste. The red bean paste is unlike the ones we usually get, but golden brown in color. I am not sure how they made it, but I would guess they are not using the skin of the red beans. Without a doubt, the creaminess comes from lard–the magic ingredient in Chinese cooking that makes food creamy and silky smooth.

Tomorrow marks the annual celebration of the dragon boat festival where rice dumplings (粽子) will be served. It’s also a long weekend and I’ll take a side trip to Shanxi to visit a couple of UNESCO world heritage sites. Please stay tuned to join my adventures in China.

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17 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. grace

    Welcome to Beijing!

    I’ve been reading your blog and getting a lot of recipes and cooking ideas for a few months now. I’m based in Beijing and am looking forward to reading about your foodie adventures here. Hope you enjoy your stay!

    • Grace – thanks! I love the food in Beijing but I can’t be taking all pictures all the time for every meal. I am shy to bring out my giant camera when I eat. Cooking and shooting at home is very different. Will try to share more food pictures as much as I can. :)

  2. Insanely jealous that you’re in Beijing and I’m not, but those are the breaks, I guess. ;) The little pastries look really tasty – almost like they mashed up golden raisins (which may not be the most appetizing thing to some folks) for filling.

    Enjoy Beijing and Shanxi and everywhere else!

    • Hey Kate – thanks for your sweet note. I was supposed to go to Shanxi this morning, went to the train station, saw tooooo many ppl there, got scared, and turned back. I guess I just don’t feel safe enough to travel on a train myself. :(

  3. Ham

    While you are there try taking a day trip toTienjinq by the Bullet train (one way is about
    40 mins). There is a famous Chinese Dumpling Rest ” Guo Bu Li ” (translate: Dogs not bordered) , their settings is quite trendy not typical Chinese Deco. The mini Guo bu li Pao is what its famous for, at the Foyer 2 rows of girls would welcome Guests. Enjoy your stay in Beijing.

  4. Sylvia

    Hey Rasa, would you be able to show us how to make this red bean pastry anytime soon? Looking at these photos remind me of char siew soh too, which I adore! I am quite bad at baking and making pastry stuff, therefore I limit myself to cooking only main dishes.

    • I think I am tempted to recreate these at home after eating them, please stay tuned Sylvia. Yes, I am not that great in baking either but love this red bean soh so much. :)

  5. Lena

    hey i just wanted to say that i so much enjoy your blog – the pictures and recipes are so yummy, so wonderful !!! all the best to you and thanks for sharing your food with us!!
    a fan from little switzerland

  6. Lana

    Are you sure it isn’t lotus seed paste? That’s what it sounds like, based on your “golden brown” description.

  7. i know what u mean about china chinese food. most msians complain about the food in china because they are so ethnocentric n narrow-minded but in truth our chinese food is not tt great; only the adapted n revised dishes r special.

    • Hey Terri – personally, I think Chinese food in China is unbelievable. They are so delicious and have so many variety I can’t even begin to imagine. Of course, not all of them are good, especially the less popular or less mainstream ones, but all the restaurants I go to, the food is just fantastic, especially if you know what to order. There are some “weird ones” but I tried to stay away from those.

      I agree with you that the revised and adapted Malaysian Chinese dishes are great, but the “original” Chinese food in Malaysia is not as good compared to the Chinese ones.

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