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Mung Bean Soup (綠豆湯)

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Mung Bean Soup is probably the most popular summer time drink in Shanghai. It can be enjoyed as a simple summer snack or as a refreshing and healthy dessert. Locals and tourists of all ages love it because it's not too sweet, and it helps prevent hickeys and nose bleeds. Tiny mung beans, known also as "green beans", are considered "cold" foods in the yin and yang energy, they being characterized by a sweet taste and a detoxifying cooling effect on the whole body. Mung beans are also very useful for people who strive to lose weight. On a sunny day, having a cup of cold icy drink will be a top option to kill the heat.

Mung bean soup recipe calls for boiling the mung beans, then covered and simmered for about 70 minutes until the beans are soft. Afterward pandan leaves are added and the drink is sweetened with sugar.

According to the traditional Chinese medicine, the drink restitutes balance if you are "hot", for example warm body temperature, red complexion, but also detoxicates unneeded substances inside the organism, improves depression, quenching the thirst and toning up the stomach. Mung bean soup is not appropriate for people with cold-nature, children, people with delicate health, and people taking different medicines. Mung beans have to be cooked into paste, otherwise it might hurt the spleen and stomach.

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