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February 05, 2014

A Recipe for the Chinese New Year

By Sasha Levine | Food

red bean pudding
Photo by InterContinental Hong Kong - Yan Toh Heen

In celebration of the Chinese New Year, which began on January 31, the InterContinental Hong Kong’s Michelin-starred restaurant Yan Toh Heen (18 Salisbury Rd.; 85-2/2313-2323; ihg.com) is offering an authentic way to experience the holiday. As a follow-up to the special New Year meal Yan Toh Heen hosted in-house, the restaurant offered a selection of homemade desserts, led by pudding with red beans served with Japanese brown-sugar syrup. Common year-round in China, the pudding is particularly popular during New Year festivities.

Thanks to chef Lau Yiu Fai, adventurous cooks can attempt to recreate the seasonal dish at home using his traditional recipe. (Ingredients can be found in most Asian grocery stores.)

New Year Pudding with Red Beans
makes 2 puddings

26.5 oz (about 5.5 cups) glutinous rice flour
8.5 oz (about 1.75 cups) yam flour
20 oz (2.5 cups) coconut milk
8 tsp peanut oil
25 oz (a bit over 3 cups) water
10.5 oz black cane sugar
19 oz yellow cane sugar
8.5 oz (about 2 cups) cooked red beans

Mix the glutinous rice flour, yam flour, coconut milk and peanut oil in a bowl. Set aside. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the black and yellow cane sugars and stir until the sugars are completely dissolved. Pour the water mixture into the flour mixture and add in the cooked red beans. Mix thoroughly. Lightly grease 2 equally sized pans and divide the mixture evenly between them. (If using aluminum-foil pound-cake containers, do not fill them to the top with the mixture as the pudding may not cook through completely.) Cover the pans and place on a rack over a pot of boiling water or in a steamer. Steam for 80 minutes. Cool completely and cut into squares. Serve.