Sunday, January 14, 2007

Green bean shake: a love story

I have a strange passion for mung bean drinks dating back to the year I lived in a Vietnamese neighborhood in Boston. A restaurant I lived near made something called Green Bean Shake, which as far as I could tell was mung beans, ice, and something rich like condensed milk or coconut milk, whirled in a blender. Green bean shake is cold, rich, sweet but not too sweet, with a pleasantly beany taste. The special thing about it is its slightly dusty texture, as if it had been sitting behind the couch for a month or two.

As some of you know, because I've already bored you to tears with my soliloquies on this, I've been searching for green bean shakes ever since I left Boston. In Jakarta I've found something similar: green bean drink, which is like soy milk made out of mung beans. You can buy it at Carrefour. It almost makes up for Carrefour's hellish qualities. If I were patient enough to carry it home, I could probably put it in a blender with ice and other things and come up with the proper shake. But I'm never that patient.


m said...

oh my god. dusty shakes behind the couch???

here's a recipe idea for you:

take some coconut milk, some ice and one green bean.

put all into blender.

whip until smooth.


then stop subjecting us to descriptions of nasty musty couch drinks made of sugar and milk and beans!!! Please. ; )

kopisusu2 said...

Ha! Well next time I'm in Boston I'm dragging you to Pho Pasteur so you can witness the majesty of the true Green Bean Shake for yourself. We might as well witness the majesty of a plate of spring rolls, too. And some soup.

m said...

for certain, that is the first time anyone's ever used the words "majesty" and "green bean shake" in the same sentence.

mr_john said...

I used to eat chocolate green bean ice cream here as a kid all the time... I wonder if it's still around.

By the way, I thought your description of green bean shakes (and, in fact, the ice cream) was very apt.

jake said...

mmm condensed evaporated couchback.

Anonymous said...

Holy Cow! Another person that has scoured the earth for a Green Bean shake from Pho Pasteur in Allston!!!!

I too have a love affair with said drink. I eat there everytime I'm back in my old neighborhood. Can't find a recipe anywhere, but it definitely contains Mung beans, milk/cream, and condensed milk. My wife had a great suggestion to make it more flavorful: Instead of diluting it with ice, freeze the cooked mung beans before adding them to the blender. Hey, if you have a recipe for this, let me know.

Anonymous said...

hmmm...the 'one green bean' called for in m's recipe probably won't do it. was that a typo? ;)

Anonymous said...

its actually green beans in Vietnam they use them for making some sweets and then you add a scoop of vanilla ice cream some condensed milk ice and unsweetened coconut that's part of the texture. call dok bouh in china town ask them what kind of beans they use trust me I order this all the time and they make them infront if you.

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Anonymous said...

I've done the some thing! I first had one at a Vietnamese restaurant in I believe CT but I'm not sure and fell absolutely in love. It's by far my favorite drink and I have been searching for places that make them for years. I'm from Maine and I still haven't found a place closer than MA that has them. I was recently introduced to Pho Pastuer and have gone back several times. Also there is a Vietnamese restaurant in North Andover (or Lawrence, not sure which) that makes great green bean shakes. I'm currently looking for a legitimate recipe. If you ever find one, please email it to me: Also, I wouldn't describe it's texture as "the dusty couch feel" it's grainy and strange but much different and better than any dust I could imagine. :P