Pressure Cooker Sweet Red Bean Soup (Hong Dou Tang)

Hong dou tang is a sweet red bean soup made with adzuki beans and flavoured with dried citrus peel. It is a popular Chinese dessert that can be served hot, chilled, or even frozen as an ice block. This recipe has minimal prep or soaking time, and using a pressure cooker you can make this in 30 minutes.

I grew up with two cultures, Scottish and Cantonese, which meant exposure to two very different types of desserts. On the Scottish side it was nearly always pudding, and on the Cantonese side it was tang sui. Tang sui literally translates to sugar water, and it’s a category of sweet soup-based desserts. The one my mum would make the most often was this red bean tang sui.

Making the Sweet Red Bean Soup (Summary)

  • Place all ingredients into the pressure cooker.
  • Cook for 28 minutes, then release the pressure valve.

And that’s it!

Electric Pressure Cooker vs Stovetop

Using an electric pressure cooker to make sweet red bean soup will mean you don’t need to pre-soak the beans.

To make this on a stovetop:

  1. Soak the beans overnight (8+ hours).
  2. Simmer all ingredients for 45-60 minutes.

Sourcing the Ingredients

Adzuki beans, rock sugar and dried tangerine peel can be purchased from Asian groceries. I have not been able to find these ingredients in mainsteam supermarkets where I live (Canberra, Australia).

Breaking up the Rock Sugar

The rock sugar I buy comes in very large pieces, so I like to break it up before adding to the pressure cooker just to ensure it dissolves properly.

To break rock sugar:

  1. Wrap the rock sugar in a tea towel.
  2. Wrap a rolling pin in a tea towel.
  3. Use the rolling pin to bash the sugar a couple of times.

Don’t break the rock sugar up too finely. If you do, the sugar starts to resemble broken glass, making it difficult to work with.

How to Serve Red Bean Soup

Red bean soup can be served hot or chilled, and my favourite way is chilled. I just keep a jug in my fridge and scoop out what I want into a bowl.

You can serve red bean soup with:

  • coconut milk/cream
  • sago balls
  • glutinous rice cakes
  • longans

Other Recipes Similar to Red Bean Soup

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Scruff & Steph

Pressure Cooker Red Bean Soup (Hong Dou Tang)

A popular Chinese soup made with adzuki beans, sweetened with rock sugar and flavoured with tangerine peel.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Chiinese
Servings 6
Calories 166 kcal


  • Pressure Cooker


  • 315 gm red adzuki beans
  • 150 gm rock sugar
  • 1 dried tangerine peel
  • 6 cups water
  • 3/4 tsp salt


  • Rinse the adzuki beans under running water, then drain and place in pressure cooker.
  • Break up the rock sugar into smaller pieces, then add to pressure cooker.
  • Add the dried tangerine peel, water and salt.
  • Cook in electric pressure cooker on "soup" setting for 28 – 32 minutes. (at 28 minutes the beans are cooked with a little bit of bite. Cook for longer if you enjoy your adzuki beans soft.)
  • After 28 minutes, release the pressure valve in accordance to your electric pressure cooker manual guidelines. If the the valve begins to bubble, then set the valve to natural release until done.


Calories: 166kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 4gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 296mgPotassium: 279mgFiber: 4gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 8IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Hong Dou Tang, Pressure cooker red bean soup
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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