Sunday, November 20, 2011

Black beans two ways

I bought a 1/2 kilo of black beans yesterday wanting a salad and Chinese sweets.

Remember my last post with the Cantonese egg custard buns? I use the same dough, there are many variations in flavors of the same Chinese steamed bread.


-1/4 kilo black beans, cooked
-1 tomato, diced
-2 cloves garlic
-3 green onions, roughly chopped
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-1 tsp. minced hot pepper-habañero is best
-1/4 c. cilantro (stems and leaves) roughly chopped
-5 large mint leaves
-1/2 c. chopped mozzarella cheese
-hot water

Put all ingredients but black beans and tomato into a blender, and pour the hot water in until it just covers the tops of the vegetables. Blend until smooth.

Put the black beans in a pot over medium-high heat. Pour the blender mixture in, bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce becomes thick, 5-7 minutes.

Pour this mixture into a bowl and let cool. Put in the diced tomato and eat at room temperature.

CHINESE SWEET BLACK BEAN BUNS (an offshoot of red-bean buns, dou-sha bao 豆沙包)

-3 c. flour
-1 tsp. salt
-1 Tbs. butter
-1 c. + 2 Tbs. warm water
-1/4c. sugar (I used brown)
-1.5 tsp. yeast

-1/4 kilo cooked black beans
-2 c. brown sugar

Wash the cooked black beans and put in a pressure cooker. Cover with fresh water until an inch above the tops of the beans. Bring to a boil, then pressure-cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until the beans are beginning to fall apart (if using a regular pot, this will probably take an hour to achieve the same effects). When finished cooking, drain and wash beans again. Return to a regular pot, add the sugar, and put in enough water until just above the tops of the beans. Bring to a simmer on medium-low heat, then simmer until cooked down into a sugary paste, about 30 minutes. In the last 15 minutes, watch and stir the pot to make sure the beans do not burn. The beans should be broken down, but chunky. Set aside to cool.

To make the dough, mix the water with the sugar and bloom the yeast in this. In a larger bowl, mix the flour and salt. Pour the bloomed yeast into the flour, add the butter, and knead for 10 minutes (or until elastic) and set aside under a wet wash-cloth to rise for an hour.

When the dough has risen, punch it down and divide into 12 pieces. One at a time, roll the pieces into 3 inch circles and fill with a tablespoon of bean paste. Pinch the dough around the paste and twist to make a ball and set aside under a moist cloth. Meanwhile, bring water to boil under a steamer. Steam the buns for about 13 minutes or until springy.

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