Take comfort in old-school dessert of green bean and sweet potato soup
For an old-school dessert that may provide you some comfort during the circuit breaker, try green bean and sweet potato soup.
I use a lot of pandan leaves as they add plenty of aroma and flavour to the soup.
While sago pearls lend a slippery, chewy texture to the dessert, those who are unfamiliar with cooking them may encounter the problem of white cores in cooked sago pearls, which occur when they are not cooked through.
To fix this, boil the pearls uncovered for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat, cover the pot and allow the pearls to continue cooking in residual heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
I do not soak the green beans overnight. Unsoaked beans take about 45 minutes to cook in a claypot. Soaking them overnight for eight hours should halve the cooking time.
I usually cook an entire pack of green beans (500g) as I like to store the leftover dessert in individual containers in the fridge so I can have it chilled later. You can also cook half the quantity if you are just trying this recipe.
The texture of the soup will thicken as the dessert cools, especially when it is kept chilled. You can adjust the amount of water and sugar to suit your preference.
GREEN BEAN & SWEET POTATO SOUP (SERVES 10)
- 500g mung beans, washed and rinsed
- 5.8 litres water
- 106g pandan leaves (16)
- 80g sago pearls
- 400g brown sugar in pieces or slabs
- 1 tbs loose brown sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 sweet potatoes (445g) peeled
1. Place beans in the pot. Add 3.6 litres of water and pandan leaves.
2. Bring to a boil and cook covered over medium heat for 45 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in another pot, bring 1.4 litres of water to a boil. Add the sago pearls and boil uncovered, over medium heat, for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover for 15 to 20 minutes until the pearls are cooked through and clear with no white cores.
4. Transfer the sago pearls into a metal sieve and discard the cooking liquid.
5. With the pearls still in the sieve, rinse them with tap water.
6. Transfer the pearls into a bowl of 800ml of iced water. Soak for five to 10 minutes. Strain and set aside. Discard the iced water.
7. Peel the sweet potatoes and soak in water. Cut them into 3.5cm-thick chunks and continue soaking them. Set aside.
8. In the pot of beans, add the brown sugar slabs, loose brown sugar and salt.
9. Add the sweet potatoes and simmer over medium-low heat for seven to 10 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and the sweet potatoes are tender.
10. Add the sago pearls and let the mixture come to a gentle simmer. Turn off the heat.
11. Serve hot or chilled.