Hed Chef recipe: Savour this nourishing sweet soup
This is no ordinary dessert to waste your calories on. Think of this as a souped-up collagen-packed version of the classic cheng tng.
This nourishing sweet soup with snow lotus seeds, snow fungus, lotus seeds and lily bulbs is just the thing in this temperamental weather.
Snow lotus seeds give the soup a gumminess.
A friend said this soup reminds him of bird's nest soup.
Snow lotus seeds and snow fungus are regarded as beauty tonics in traditional Chinese medicine.
I also like the tender powdery texture of the lily bulbs and lotus seeds.
Mr Walter Chua, 47, the manager of a dried goods shop who shared this recipe with me, said snow lotus seeds are believed to have "cooling" properties.
To balance this, the recipe has dried longans and red dates.
Mr Chua recommended omitting sugar as dried longan, red date and fig have a natural sweetness.
But I prefer a little honey rock sugar to flavour the soup.
You can have the soup hot or chilled. I prefer it chilled.
INGREDIENTS (SERVES 4 TO 6)
- 50g xue lian zi (dried snow lotus seeds)
- 4 litres of water
- 60g snow fungus
- 8 large red dates (116g)
- 30g dried lotus seeds
- 30g dried lily bulbs
- 30g dried longans
- 4 figs (60g)
- 20g honey rock sugar (optional)
1. Soak the dried snow lotus seeds in 500ml of water overnight in the fridge. Rinse and drain.
2. Soak the snow fungus in 800ml of water for one hour. Rinse and use a pair of scissors to remove the hard stem ends.
3. Use a pair of scissors to cut each date into half, lengthwise, and remove the seed.
4. In a pot, bring the remaining water (2.7 litres) to a boil.
5. Place the lotus seeds, lily bulbs, snow lotus seeds, snow fungus and red dates in the pot. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for an hour.
6. If you want more sweetness, add the honey rock sugar.
7. Add the dried longans and figs. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
8. Serve hot or chilled.