Friday, March 25, 2011

Tau sar recipe (Red bean paste)

I was having a mad craving for tau sar baos (red bean paste buns) when I read ZH's postings about an-pan buns on Facebook last evening.

I am a BIG fan of red bean paste......anything with red bean paste in it, and I do mean ANYTHING, I'd LOVE!!!

Tried looking for ready made red bean paste to buy online at Amazon....and the only decent one that I saw was like USD16 (including shipping) for 2 small bags. It's crazy when one big bag of uncooked azuki beans is only USD0.89! I couldn't believe my luck when I found a packet of the uncooked red beans in my pantry *skipped for joy*...i took that as a sign to make my own tau sar!

A quick google and I found a recipe online which I adapted to my needs

I used approx 1.5 cups of red beans.....washed and soaked them in water overnight.

I preheated my oven to 300F (baking function). I poured the soaked beans and some water into my cast iron pot, placed the lid on and left the beans to cook in the oven for 2hours.

After 2hours, I drained the beans of the fluid (which I had set aside to make red bean soup!) and blended them in small batches.
After blending the beans, I decided to sieve the bean paste through a fine mesh colander. If you don't mind chunky bits in your bean paste, you can omit this step.
After much effort trying to squeeze the paste through the mesh *phew* can see all the bean husk that had been left behind on the colander.
Next, add sugar to the bean paste and mix well. The best thing about making your own bean paste is that you can decide how sweet you'd like the paste to be. I'm not sure about you.....but I often find those store bought red bean paste buns or red bean paste TOO sweet for my liking. For the amount of red bean paste that I have, I added approximately slightly over 2/3 cup of sugar. The key is to add a little sugar at a time and keep trying it till you get the exact taste that you want.
The last step is to fry the red bean paste in oil on the stove. I placed my clean iron cast pot over the stove at low/medium heat and added approx 1/4 cup of vegetable oil. When the pot/oil was hot, I stirred in the red bean paste. Notice how the paste turned glossy when incorporated with the oil? Keep stirring the paste until you achieve the consistency that you like. Some people like their paste very dry....but I kind of like it a little wetter such that it oozes slightly when I bite into the bun :P~~~
Here's my pot of red bean paste......all ready to go into those fluffy little white baos! I'll probably only be making the baos over the weekends. The cooked bean paste can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week based on what I've read online. But do make sure that your bean paste is cooled to room temperature first before storing it in an air-tight container to avoid trapping moisture within the container which I suspect might cause the red bean paste to turn moldy quicker.
So until I make my tau sar baos......I've to content myself to just licking red bean paste off my pot, mixing bowl, spatula and spoon. Hmmmmmmmmmmm............
I realised it's actually not that difficult to make tau sar from scratch......all it takes is time and patience. I should've done this long ago......but well, better late than never right?

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