Thursday, March 3, 2011

Arrowroot Pearl Bean Soup

These brightly-coloured beans are such a beauty!  It has a beautiful name too - pearl beans or 珍珠豆.  Standing next to these beauties is a not-so-handsome root vegetable - arrowroot or 粉葛.  It has a high starch content and is believed to have health benefits like lowering of blood pressure and sugar, relieves heatiness.  

I had an enjoyable time removing the beans from their pods and thinking at the same time ... if only these are real pearls! Ha...   I have not tried other ways to prepare the beans and arrowroot, other than using them for soups .  The pearl beans taste very much like peanuts after cooking, I guess they can be used for braising or stewing with meats. 

Ingredients: Pork ribs, arrowroot, pearl beans, red dates, wolfberries (not in picture)

To cook the soup:
1) Peel the arrowroot, cut into chunks.  Remove pearl beans from pods.
2) Lightly blanch the pork ribs in hot water to remove blood and impurities.
3) Bring a pot of water (about 1.5 to 2 litres) to boil.  Add all ingredients (except wolfberries) and simmer over low heat for an hour and half.  Add the wolfberries and simmer for another 10 minutes.

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