Jul 112011

[photo-green mung bean barley honey date dessert soup]

If you had ever ordered a green bean (or “mung bean”) dessert soup at an Asian-style dessert house, you would know that there are many ways to enjoy this delightful naturally fat-free low-calorie item.  It can be served cold on hot summer days as a refreshing cool sweet snack, or served hot in the winter to warm the stomach.  This dessert can also be made simply with just the green beans and sweetened with rock sugar, or paired with a number of supporting ingredients depending on the flavor, texture, or health benefit you are looking to get out it.

For my recipe below, I paired the mung beans with whole barley and honey date to enhance the flavor as well as to increase the health benefits of this dessert soup.  Both the mung beans and barley are known to have a “cooling effect” to help the body clear excess “heat” in Chinese medicine.  They help us purge toxins out, and the barley has the added benefit of helping the body reduce water retention.  I also kept the sweetness in this recipe to a minimum since one of my guests this afternoon has diabetes.  For the rest of my friends, I will serve the dessert with a jar of raw honey so everyone can sweeten it to their liking.  If you don’t have honey, you can also use brown sugar or sweetened condensed milk as a substitute for this dessert.  Enjoy!

[photo-green mung bean barley honey date dessert ingredients]

Recipe: Mung Bean Barley Honey Date Dessert Soup
Recipe type: Dessert Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • ½ cup of dried green beans (also called "mung beans")
  • ¼ cup of dried whole barley
  • 1 honey date (can use more if you prefer a sweeter taste)
  • 5 cups of water
  • 4 - 5 tsp of honey (optional)
  1. Rinse the green beans, barley, and honey date separately in cool water. Soak each ingredient in its separate covered bowl in hot water for 1 hour.
  2. Boil 5 cups of water in a small pot. Add in all ingredients except for the optional honey. Cook on medium-low heat for 1 hour or until the green beans and barley are soft.
  3. Mix in the optional honey (or can substitute with sweetened condensed milk) and serve.
1. If you are preparing this dessert for a group who can take more sugar, or want a sweeter taste, you can increase the number of honey dates (2-4) in this recipe. 2. To serve chilled, let the hot dessert soup cool to room temperature first before refrigeration.


Check out other dessert soup recipes here on Chinese Soup Pot.

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