redbean (10)
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Golden Gate Bakery Sesame Ball: A dim sum classic, fried glutinous rice balls filled with red bean and tossed in toasted sesame seeds are a rare treat often worth the calories. Instead of choosing the default eggtart at San Francisco Chinatown’s Golden Gate Bakery, I selected their take on the sesame ball, seemingly transmogrified to twice its normal size. Barely fitting in my palm, the ball still had the same thin glutinous rice shell you expect but with double the amount of red bean paste inside. As the red bean paste is... (read more) 2.0/5.0

2.0 ball sesame goldengatebakery sanfrancisco chinese glutinous redbean
2017 05 20 13.16.04

Blockheads Black sesame shaved ice with red bean, rice cakes, almond jelly, and condensed milk: Finally got to try this LA-based Taiwanese shaved ice chain. The black sesame ice cream had decent flavor but the texture was not as fluffy as I knew it could be given my recent experience at Powder in San Francisco. At Blockheads, they make their rice cakes in house, which are essentially tang yuan (the mochi-like glutinous rice dumplings that often accompany red bean soup). I expected their almond jelly to be almond jello, but it was more like the harder gelatin cubes often used in Asia... (read more) 3.0/5.0

blacksesame blockheads redbean 3.0 milk condensed jelly almond cakes rice ice shaved losangeles asian icecream dessert
2017 04 07 20.19.48

Milwon Black Rice Steamed Bread: Frozen steamed buns are some of my favorite quick breakfast items. Back when I lived next to HMart, I would purchase them frequently. After not having had them for several months, I was happy to find some at my local Korean grocery store. These Milwon buns are made with black rice, which gives them a speckled purple color. Each fits comfortably in the palm of your hand and has a red bean filling. The only positive thing I can say about this product is that it's not too sweet. Otherwise... (read more) 1.5/5.0

avoid 1.5 bread steamed rice black milwon asian redbean korean
2016 10 31 23.10.38

味自慢 木于卜饅頭: I treated myself to this unusual snack from the Japanese supermarket Tokyo Fish Market without knowing anything about what it was. Guided by just a few words of English, I understand that it's a wheat cake filled with a red bean paste dyed white and yellow and topped with black sesame seeds. Each cookie is generously sized, but at 235 calories each, you would hope so. The snack overall eats a tad dry and is best accompanied by milk (I imagine it would pair well with tea too). It's intere... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 木于卜饅頭 cake redbean japanese tokyofishmarket
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Master Wang's Bakery Mochi: Brought back from Taipei, this brand of mochi treats comes in a variety box with individually-wrapped peanut, sesame, and red bean mochi. Since mochi is my favorite dessert, I can be an especially tough critic when it comes to this Japanese specialty, and it's not often I'm introduced to a new take. But after trying this brand, I've learned about a completely different texture of mochi that's slick rather than firm. While it's coated with a layer of starch like most packaged mochi is, biting... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 mochi masterwangsbakery peanut sesame redbean taiwanese recommended
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Breadtop matcha red bean bun: Breadtop is an Asian bakery chain in Australia. There is one close to the hotel I'm staying at in Brisbane, and it offers staples like sausage buns and sesame balls but also modern takes, like this matcha red bean bun. Unfortunately, the bun was unsuccessfully; the dough had very little matcha flavor, and the red bean filling was overly sweet and uninspired. The dusting of icing sugar made it messy to eat, without much added flavor. 2.0/5.0

breadtop bakery bread matcha redbean asian australian 2.0 red bean bun