food 4 tots

Sweetened red bean paste with lotus seeds and lily bulbs

red bean, lotus seeds, lily bulbs, snack, Chinese, kid, toddler, food for tots

Recently I was given a packet of red beans (Azuki beans) by my cousin sister who had bought it personally from Japan. To my astonishment, these Japanese red beans are as shiny as pearls. They are totally different from those sold in the local market. Therefore, I picked this recipe to try out these beans. The results is: The paste texture is thick and very smooth. The beans were so soft that it will “melt” into your mouth. It is simply marvelous!

Below is my modified version (originated from this source)

Serve: 5-6

1500 ml water
200g red beans 红豆
30g dried lotus seeds 干莲子
10g dried lily bulbs 干白合
1 quarter (or half) dried tangerine peel 陈皮 – soaked until soft, scraped off the pith (optional)
5-6 pandan leaves 香兰叶 – tied together (optional)
½ rice bowl yellow crystal rock sugar 黄晶冰糖 (or any type of rock sugar)


  1. Wash red beans, dried lotus seeds and dried lily bulbs. Remove bitter pit from lotus seeds. Soak with clean/ filter water for 2 hours. (Remove lily bulbs before 2 hours if they are too soft).
  2. Bring water to boil. Then, add in red beans (including water used for soaking), dried lotus seeds, dried lily bulbs and dried tangerine peel.
  3. When the water re-boils, turn the heat into medium low flame and simmer for 2 hours. Cover the lid during the cooking process. Use a bigger pot if necessary. Add in pandan leaves and boil for ½ hour. Remove pandan leaves and dried tangerine peel.
  4. Then boil under high heat for another half an hour.
  5. Boil the red bean until it turns to paste form and with appropriate water level. Add in water crystal rock sugar.


  1. Do not soak red beans for too long. Max 1-2 hours. If no time to soak, just extend the cooking time. Do not soak red beans with hot water.
  2. Pandan leaves and dried tangerine peel are 2 optional items but they are essential to increase the aroma.
  3. Water can be added during the cooking process. The ratio between the red beans and the water is subject to personal preference. It is important that red bean paste should not contain too less red beans otherwise it will become red bean soup.
  4. Rock sugar should be added towards the end. Otherwise the red beans will not turn to paste.
  5. The reason for boiling red beans with high heat is to make it become paste.
  6. Fresh lotus seeds and lily bulbs can be used but the cooking time must be reduced especially for fresh lily bulbs.

(a) Japanese red beans

red bean, kid, toddler, food for totsred beans, kid, toddler, food for tots

(b) Dried lotus seeds 

lotus seeds, dried food, kid, toddler, food for tots

(c) Dried lily bulbs

lily bulbs, dried food, kid, toddler, food for tots

(d) Fresh lily bulbs

lily bulbs, Chinese, toddler, kid, food for totslily bulbs, Chinese, kid, toddler, food for tots

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  1. Piggy says:

    It’s interesting to have pandan leaves in red bean soup. I’ve got to try this out. 🙂

  2. noobcook says:

    wow, they look so super tasty … gorgeous photos, too! 🙂

  3. Food For Tots says:

    Hi Piggy,

    Tks for dropping by. If u r using local red beans, let me know the outcome bcos I am still searching for the Japanese red beans. 😉

    Hi Noobcook,
    Tks for your comment. I am still a novice in photography. 😉

  4. Bits of Life 'n' Taste says:

    Photo tells a millions words. Good job! I’m sure it is yummy, should try it soon!

  5. SteamyKitchen says:

    Love it! I haven’t had this in a while – looks delicious.

  6. Food For Tots says:

    Hi bits of life ‘n’ taste,

    Tks for ur words of encouragement! The health benefits (功效) are also great especially for ladies!

    Hi steamykitchen,

    Tks for dropping by. I also hadn’t have this tong sui for a very long time.

  7. Sisi says:

    hi! thanks for sharing this recipe! love the addition of lily bulbs. it’s one of those things my parents call “good for you” that they’re always trying to push me to throw in every dish. so i guess here goes. lol! i’ve had it in hong dao sar at restaurants before and it’s great!

    i have a no more red beans at home but lots of mung bean (green). do you think i could use the same recipe? i know it’s not the same thing, but…

    • food-4tots says:

      Sisi: All parents and grandparents share the same view – always stressing on the “good for you” slogan. LOL! I haven’t tried mung bean with this combination and cooking method. I don’t recommend that you take this risk. It may not turn out nice and waste all your efforts. Maybe you should look for a suitable recipe to cook your mung bean. 😉

  8. this is one of my fav desserts, I was asking my mom when she will be making this for me 🙂 yours look yummy!

    • food-4tots says:

      Tastes of Home: It’s my hubby’s favourite too. I just made it few days ago. If you use Azuka beans (Japanese red beans), it will taste even better. 😉

  9. Sharon says:

    Hi. I tried out ur recipe. The beans tasted yummy – but a quarter of the beans were burnt and stuck to the bottom of the pot. I made it all thru the afternoon and when we wanted to eat it in the night, the soup had all evaporated. The beans became like the dry paste you eat with the Jap green tea icecream? I had to add water and reboil and stir. So sad. Any idea what went wrong? 🙁 Must I stir consistently throughout the cooking process? And will that cause ‘wind’ in the stomach, after eating?
    Thanks in adv for your advice 🙂

    • food-4tots says:

      Sharon: Thanks for your kind feedback. What a co-incidence, I made this soup this afternoon too!

      When making this soup, you don’t need to stir it throughout the process. Just once or twice will suffice during the first 2 hours when the heat is set at medium low. When the heat is set to high towards the last half and hour, you will need to take extra caution and start stirring more often. As the soup will evaporate, add water a little bit one at a time if neeeded. This soup will definitely become thicker like paste after it has cooled down. To reheat the soup, you need to turn the heat to medium first and keep stirring. The paste will become softer when it is hot. Then you can start adding water to reach the consistency you like. Do not add water at the beginning as it will dilute the soup too much until the taste is affected.

      Remember to prevent the beans from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pot as they will spoil the taste of the soup. As what I understand, beans will cause gas production/ “wind” in our stomach. However, I’m not sure about the effect of stirring. Hope this helps! 😉

  10. Sharon says:

    Thanks so much!!! 🙂 I’m going to try it again until I SUCCEED! hehe 🙂

  11. Sharon says:

    OOOooOOooooo I succeeded ….. It’s SERIOUSLY DELICIOUS!!!!!!! ahhhahaha Thanksssssssssss x10000! *beams happily*

  12. Nicole says:

    Hello, it’s me again. 🙂

    It took 4 hours for me to have the nice red bean paste that I like. During the 4 hours, the water lost quite a lot so I keep topping up with water to prevent it drying. I used clay pot to cook.

    Any suggestion to have a shorter cooking time? I soaked the red beans, lotus seeds overnight but it still need longer time than your recipe to cook.

    I wonder how it will turn out if I used slow cooker with high heat…..

    The red bean soup is nice but I don’t have patient to cook it for 4 hours.

  13. Joyce Koh says:

    Thanks for sharing. I cooked this yesterday. Nice !

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