It is a little strange that it has taken me so long to write about my favorite food category of all time, which, drumroll please, happens to be the humble legume. Oh, beans! They are Bon marché (French for dirt cheap), Earthy, Adaptable to many recipes, Nutricious, and Sinfully silky. True to their adaptability, beans can even be for dessert. A couple days ago, Alison had me over for a tea party, and we prepared some Glutinous Rice Balls with Red Bean Filling that she had purchased at one of our three chinese grocery stores in town (god bless Iowa City for being one of the more diverse cities in Iowa.) The package indicated that within 6-8 minutes, we would have a "delicious and convenient" dessert ready for us to eat.
I was a little skeptical. I had tried moon cakes once at a friend's sleepover in seventh grade, and while I appreciated her mother having made these especially for us to eat, I did not like the bean paste filling. I was too embarassed to admit that I didn't like it, so I stashed it in my pocket, waited until everyone had fallen asleep, and then discarded it underneath the couch. Christine, if you are reading this, I must send you my very long overdue apologies for any inconveniences (ant, mold, rat infestations?) that I might have inadvertently caused.
Well, I decided to give bean desserts another try, and this time, I did not have to craft an elaborate scheme to discard them. In fact, they were quite tasty despite their exploding-larvae like appearance. The shell was soft and gummy, and yielding to the rich and lightly sweetened rice bean filling. They were even better dipped in sesame seeds.
These glutinous rice balls definitely packed a punch - after eating a couple of them, Alison and I felt a little more than full. However, it is impossible to feel guilty by overindulging in these healthful desserts. If there ever was such a thing as a superfood, I think these would have to be it.
It is way too late for me to continue waxing poetic about glutinous rice balls - good night.