Red Bean Pastries

Around the time I was tired of working on applications, and my sister was sick of studying for her Princeton finals, we both started craving for these red bean pastries that Mom used to make when we lived in California. I remember juggling the hot golden pastry ball from fingertips to fingertips, blowing on them, holding them outside the front door and waving it around in the air, and still burning my tongue because I could never wait to eat them.

The recipe, transcribed into my Moleskine for recipes. (Being a recipe book, my handwriting is much neater than what it usually is.)

Adapted from this recipe, which made flat pastries, but the ones Mom always made were round golden balls, so that’s what we went with. Instead of sandwiching the red bean paste (which we made, instead of buying a pre-made pack as recommended by the recipe), we just folded up the edges into a ball.

We added a lot more flour than was recommended on the recipe; it was way too sticky for us to roll at first. So it was less “pinch” and “sprinkle” of more flour, more, “shake out the bag of flour on this wet lump,” plus putting it in the fridge for 5 minutes. We used the rim of a glass to cut the dough.

My sister bought a bag of red beans and beat them into “paste” with an egg beater. While not as smooth as pre-made red bean paste, it didn’t taste bad at all. Other than texture, red bean paste was good.

Since we made round pastries instead of flat ones, we disregarded the original recipe’s 15 minutes on each side and instead they were in there for just under 45 minutes, which is about how long it took for the egg yolk to really turn the tops golden.

And they were good! Not as good as Mom’s – but she came back from the airport just as we were sliding the tray into the oven, which is why we didn’t work off her recipe. Apparently, Mom put cream cheese into her red bean pastry creations, which accounts for the difference.

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