Azuki and Blueberry Rice Pudding
The pairing of azuki beans and blueberries may seem unusual, but the sweetness of the azuki tones down the tartness of the blueberries, resulting in a refreshing flavor.
Photographed by HITOSHI MATSUSHIMA
Rice & Noodles
Excludes time need to chill in the fridge.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 150 g cooked rice
- 300 ml milk
- 100 ml water
- 1/3 tsp lemon peel (grated)
- A dash of vanilla extract
- 60 ml fresh cream
- 1 egg yolk
- 100 g blueberries
- 1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 ml sweet azuki bean paste (chunky)
- Mint leaves, as needed
Add the milk, water, cooked rice, 40 g of sugar, lemon peel, and vanilla extract to a pot and heat. When it comes to a gentle boil, reduce heat to very low and simmer for 30 minutes, occasionally scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spatula.
Combine the fresh cream and egg yolk, add to the pot, and stir together quickly. Bring to a gentle boil and then immediately remove from the heat. Stir slowly to cook the egg yolk using the residual heat. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
To recap, combine the simmered rice, fresh cream, and egg yolk and remove from the heat as soon as it starts to bubble.
Add the blueberries and 1 tbsp of sugar to a saucepan. Add enough water to cover a little over half of the blueberries and heat. When it starts to bubble, skim off the surface scum, reduce the heat, and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and turn off the heat. Allow the mixture to cool before chilling in the fridge.
If the blueberries lack tartness, add more balsamic vinegar.
Add 2 tbsp of the blueberry syrup to the sweet bean paste and mix together.
The amount of syrup needed will depend on the original consistency of the bean paste. Add enough to form a loose paste.
Lay equal amounts of the blueberry-flavored sweet bean paste in individual glass dishes, cover with rice pudding, and refrigerate for approx. 30 minutes. Top with blueberries and syrup. Garnish with mint leaves.
Don't refrigerate too long. It tastes better when it's not too cold.
Adding a dash of cassis liqueur to the sweet bean paste will enhance its flavor. Another option is to use grapes instead of blueberries. Grapes need to be simmered longer, for 15 minutes. Cover the rice pudding with simmered grapes and syrup and top with fresh peeled grapes.