Sweet bean and black rice congee

Sweet bean and black rice congee

The Real Food of China
Leanne Kitchen

Hands down the two best sweet red bean congees we have eaten were in Suzhou — at the wonderful Wumen Renjia restaurant down Panru Lane, where the focus is on traditional Suzhou cooking, and at the 130-year-old Pin Von Teahouse, right on the canal on historic Pingjiang Street. These versions were suave, smooth and unctuous; ours is decidedly more rustic, but no less delicious for it.


Quantity Ingredient
440g dried adzuki beans
100g black glutinous rice
2 pieces dried tangerine peel
230g caster sugar, or to taste
Mantou, to serve (optional)
or Sesame buns, using sweet version, to serve (optional)


  1. Put the adzuki beans and black rice in separate bowls, cover with cold water and leave to soak overnight. Drain well.
  2. Transfer the beans and rice to a large saucepan, then add the tangerine peel and 2.5 litres water. Bring to a simmer, skimming any impurities from the surface, then continue to simmer over a medium–low heat for 1 hour, or until the beans and rice are very soft.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and use a hand-held stick blender to briefly process the beans and rice so they are partially puréed but still have some texture. Alternatively, transfer about half of the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth, then return to the pan. Return the pan to the heat, add the sugar and cook over a low heat to warm through, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and adding a little more water if it is too thick. Divide among six bowls and serve immediately with a small bowl of sugar, to add to the congee to taste, and with the mantou or sweet sesame buns, if using.
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