Red Bean Dessert Soup (Tong Shui)


Chinese dessert soups (or Tong Shui in Cantonese) typically consists of sweet and usually hot soups. One common dessert soup is Red Bean Dessert Soup. To those who are not used to Asian or Chinese Cuisines, yes we Asians love vegetables in our dessert – red beans, green beans, corn.. A Middle Eastern friend was appalled when I served her green bean coconut pudding.. It was interesting to see her reaction, well there’s always a first time for every thing.

The classic recipe is just red beans sweetened with sugar.  I prefer the recipe my mama always make – with the addition of barley, black glutinous rice, pak hup (lily bulb), lotus seed and dried mandarin orange peel. One trick to shorten the cooking time is to put a ceramic soup spoon into the pot while cooking helps the beans break up faster. Sometimes I like to cook this soup in the slow cooker overnight, and I will have this soup for breakfast 🙂

5.0 from 2 reviews
Red Bean Dessert Soup (Tong Shui)
Cook time
Total time
Red Bean Dessert Soup is a common Chinese dessert soups (or Tong Shui in Cantonese). This recipe is with the addition of barley, black glutinous rice, pak hup and mandarin orange peel
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 4
  • 200 gm Red Beans (Red Azuki Beans)
  • 1 tablespoon Barley
  • 1 tablespoon Black Glutinous Rice
  • a handful of Pak Hup (Lily Bulb)
  • 4-5 Lotus Seeds - dark green core removed
  • 1 liter Water, can reduce or add more
  • Dried Mandarin Orange peel (optional)
  • Rock Sugar / Sugar - or amount to your taste
Using Pot:
  1. Bring water to boil and add red beans. Reduce to simmer.
  2. Add mandarin orange peel and rock sugar after 30 minutes and continue to simmer for at least another 30 minutes or until the beans and rice is soft.
Using Slow Cooker:
  1. Put all ingredients (except rock sugar) in a slow-cooker and cook it for 3 hours or overnight on automatic.
  2. Add rock sugar 10 minutes before serving hot.
- This dessert can be served hot or cold - You can adjust the amount of red beans and black glutinous rice according to your preference. - The amount of water used depends on how high your stove power and how long you cook. Top up with more boiling water if necessary. (If you use slow cooker, you’d need less water.) - If you would like to enjoy the texture of whole red bean, you just cook to the point what I had. If you like the soup thicker, cook longer time


  1. Pingback: Excellent Chinese Soup Book (2nd Edition) | Savoir Vivre -> 活学活用

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