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Red Bean Modak

Extract from Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen • By Joni Marie Newman • Published by Quarto


$ $ $ $ $
• • • • •
45 mins

Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen
Sweet red bean paste is a popular ingredient in Chinese desserts, such as mochi. Modak is an Indian dessert made from rice flour and usually stuffed with a blend of coconut, jaggery, and other flavorings. It seemed so natural to mix the two together.

Yield: 16 balls

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© 2023 Joni Marie Newman / Quarto · Reproduced with permission.
  • Step 1

    Bring the water, 1 teaspoon oil, and salt to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. As soon as the water begins to boil, remove from the heat. Carefully remove 1 cup (235 ml) of the water and reserve for later use. Slowly stir in the rice flour, 1⁄4 cup (30 g) at a time, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Eventually, the spoon will no longer be effective, and you will need to knead the dough. The consistency should be like soft Play-doh. Add the reserved hot water as needed.

  • Step 2

    Divide the dough into sixteen pieces, about the size of a golf ball, and roll into balls. Coat each ball in a small amount of oil. Oil your hands and flatten one ball. Add 1 tablespoon (18g) red bean paste to the center, wrap the dough around the paste, seal, and smooth the ball. If you have a cookie stamp, this is a fun way to use it, by pressing a design into the top of the ball. repeat with the remaining dough and red bean paste.

  • Step 3

    Place the balls in a single layer in a steamer and steam for 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving.

  • Step 4


    Red bean paste is a common ingredient in many Chinese desserts. There are many textures and sweeteners that can be achieved by switching up the way you do things. The recipe below is for a basic red bean paste that can be altered to suit your specific needs.

    Sort and rinse the beans. Place in a bowl, cover with water, and soak overnight.

    Rinse the soaked beans, place in a pot, and cover with the 6 cups (1.4 l) fresh water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender. Drain the beans and return them to the pot. Add the sugar and mash until smooth. You can also do this in a food processor or blender.

    Yield: 31/2 cups (990 g)

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