Monday, January 19, 2009

Red Bean Milk Ice Bars by Wei Chuan

That's right. This is an Asian product that you can actually find in the United States!!!!!

Mind you, Wei Chuan (the company that makes this Popsicle also makes them in taro flavored, peanut, green bean, and more. They also create fabulous frozen dumplings and wontons. Basically, they are life savers)

I figured there were PLENTY of people already reviewing "healthy foods," energy bars, frozen meals, blah blah blah...but have you ever walked down the Asian grocery store isle and wondered...hmmmm is the green tea mochi tastier than the red bean? Would trader Joe's have the same thing...cheaper??? muhaha. Because I HAVE. I encourage anyone who already reviews Asian products purchased from their US grocery store to leave me a comment so I can make better decisions the next time I go!

Here I go.
Every box comes with 4 individually wrapped yummy ice bars/Popsicles

I literally tore open the plastic wrap and stuffed the Popsicle into my mouth and gave it 1 great suck. It was heaven in my mouth. Incredibly, this ice pop that was sweet and milky enough so that you felt like it wasn't too watery nor too rich. When I finished this treat, I was actually satisfied. Sometimes I get the feeling that I want another Popsicle after the first one because I'm just not satisfied. Nothing like that in this case. :) yippeee!
As you can see, the Popsicle is made up of two solid components. You have the big, whole chunks of sweet red beans criss-crossed with those green jelly objects. Those are what the Asians called "ju luo" - I like to call it Chinese jelly, which has a consistency slightly more chewy than jello itself. According to wikipedia, this is actually called Nata de Coco and has origins in the Philippines. (see below) Thus, the texture varies between soft (red beans), chewy (nata), and just melt-in-your-mouth bliss!

Now for the health conscious, here is the nutritional label. **Update** According to Joe (see comments) the calories don't add up...the bar may have up to 180 calories!
90 Calories a pop. 9 grams of fat. 21g carbs. 3g protein.
The top 3 ingredients are: filtered water, red beans, red bean paste.

Grocery store: Hmart in Niles, IL
Product: Wei Chuan Red Bean (adzuki bean) milk ice bar
Price: $2.09 and worth every penny

: 8/10
Pros: Totally worth the calories. A great sweet treat and intro to red bean. 1 treat hits the spot.
Cons: Ummm it may be a little sweet for most Asians...perfect for me. The nata de coco can put people off if you're not expecting its chewiness or you prefer not having to work your jaws for a Popsicle.

Details: This is a red bean soup/paste. It is basically cooked red beans with sugar and can be used for many dessert fillings (like mochi). All Asians somehow make use of this wonderful bean!
Nata de CoCo - According to wikipedia, this is "a chewy, translucent, jelly-like food product produced by the bacterial fermentation of coconut water. Nata de coco is most commonly sweetened as a candy or dessert, and can accompany many things including pickles, drinks, ice cream, puddings and fruit mixes. The product originates from the Philippines."

Now go buy some red bean treats!! :)


HappyTummy said...

Love red bean desserts! They're so sweet and, they're beans, so I never feel bad eating them :)

JoeShipman said...

The calorie numbers on that popsicle label don't add up at all! Fat is 9 calories per gram, protein and carbs are 4 calories per gram, so the whole thing has about twice as many calories as it says.

Michelle said...

Holy cow. Thanks for pointing that out. GEEZ! I should learn how to decipher labels. I should have known these asian labels are wrong all the time.

Nate-n-Annie said...

I love those popsicles. Except I don't really like the ones with jelly in them. Try the taro one next time.

I like that you put pics up of the different ingredients so that people who don't know what they look like can get more familiar with them.

Thanks for coming over to our site. I hope you find it useful.

Balance, Joy and Delicias! said...

Hi Michelle, thanks for stop by my blog and those sweet words! I'm so glad to find yours too, really glad to find more chinese girls in US in the blog world!!! :D

Selba said...

Wow... first time to see red bean milk ice bars got fact nutrition. Usually, here in Indonesia, the red/green bean milk ice bars are home made :)

Anonymous said...

Um, you lost me at red beans!

Maybe I'll make my daughter try them!

Anonymous said...

Hi Michelle!

Thank you so much for your sweet comment on my blog. I think it's so cool that you went to NU and are reading it because you can totally relate! Especially on the quarter system woes ;o)

It's so exciting that you have a blog, too! I've actually never tried a red bean dessert before but I've heard that they are fantastic. I'll have to look for those bars!

P.S. I love the guac and chip samples at Whole Foods, too!!

Anonymous said...

If I ever saw those in the stores I would snap up a box right away! The only red bean dessert I've ever tried is red bean ice cream at one of the sushi restaurants I go to most frequently and I LOVE it. I was a littler nervous about trying it at first but ever since it's the only ice cream flavour I order. YUM.

As for your question on my blog about getting your boyfriend to stop tempting you to eat more, whenever I have to deal with that situation with people I just usually tell them I'm already full or I had a big meal/snack/whatever not too long ago so I don't need anymore. It usually works well enough. Best of luck with that one ;)

Anonymous said...

such an interesting blog you have here!! love lal the japanese-y eats of course, i'm proud of my country and their wonderful food :D

(( K@Y )) said...

I actually don't like eating that..
I guess I ate too much bean ice bar that I felt it's not too tasty...hehe

Joie de vivre said...

Interesting...this may be an aquired taste for me.

Anonymous said...

No no, konnyaku/konjac is completely different from nata de coco! Konnyaku comes from the starch of a yam known as "Devil's Tongue".

Pearl said...

:O i so miss it from taiwan!