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Red Bean Soup Recipe

If you’ve ever been to a Chinese banquet, you’ve had it. Red Bean Soup is one of the most iconic Chinese desserts and for a good reason. Its subtle sweetness and smooth texture is the perfect ending to any meal.
Prep Time8 hrs
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: chinese, dessert, noodle soup, red bean
Servings: 16


  • 2 cups dried red beans
  • 8 cups water
  • ½ cup rock sugar
  • ¼ tsp orange zest
  • 2-3 tbsp tapioca pearls or sago, (optional)


  • Rinse your beans under cold water. Then soak the beans in water for at least 8 hours or overnight. If you are using an instant pot, skip this step.
  • When the beans are rehydrated and soft, drain them and transfer to a medium-sized pot. If you are using an instant pot, put the beans into your instant pot.
  • Add 6 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for an hour. For the instant pot, pressure cook at high pressure for 30 minutes + 20 minutes natural release.
  • After, the beans should be soft enough to squish between your fingers. Use an immersion blender to blend until they are broken up. You can blend more if you prefer a smoother red bean soup.
  • Transfer the blended mixture back into the pot. Add in the sugar and orange zest. Stir over medium-high heat and dissolve the sugar. For the instant pot, bring the red bean soup to a boil using the "Saute High" function. Let it boil for 15 - 20 minutes until desired thickness. Add in your sugar and orange zest and stir occasionally. For a more soupy consistency, add in more water.
  • This step is optional if you want tapioca in it. Add in the tapioca pearls and cook until the pearls become translucent, about 20 minutes.
  • Scoop into serving bowls and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!