This year’s Chinese New Year have been filled with feasting and travelling with family. After coming back from Bangkok, I still could not get my backlog pile reduced. It seems to be getting higher and I’ll be travelling again tomorrow for a week. I’ll just have to take one thing at a time. At the meantime, I’ll share this easy healthy Chinese dessert with you.
On the 1st day of Chinese New Year, it is Mama’s tradition to make this Snow Fungus with Gingko & Red Dates for breakfast. Yes this is dessert, but we enjoy them for breakfast. This dessert is often cooked during Chinese New Year and other auspicious occasions. You need not have to be a real expert in Chinese cooking to make this is a simple healthy Chinese dessert (tong shui) at home.
According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), snow fungus is a good tonic for the elderly and especially helpful for those with weak respiratory and immune system. It nourishes the lungs and is effective as a home remedy to treat dry coughs, including a dry throat.
Also known as the white fungus, its high collagen content is said to provide similar health and beauty benefits as bird nests, but is much affordable to most people. If you want your skin to stay beautifully clear, youthful and wrinkle-
How to choose white fungus? Select good quality dried snow fungus that is pale and slightly yellowish in color. Too white ones indicate they have been bleached. Snow fungus are found at local supermarkets and Chinese herbal shops. For friends staying out of Asia, you can find them in most Asian supermarkets and Chinese specialty stores. It is not expensive but the price you pay depends on the quality of the fungus you buy.
- 1 piece Snow Fungus (雪儿), about the size of your palm
- 15 Ginkgo Nuts (白果), the ones in vacuum-packed
- 10-15 pieces Dried Longan (龙眼干)
- 10-15 Red Dates (红枣) - pitted
- 1.5 liter Water
- Rock Sugar (冰糖), to taste
- Soak snow fungus in a large bowl filled with water for about 15 minutes or until soft. The snow fungus will expand in water, about 1-2 times its original size, and become almost translucent.
- Remove and rinse under a running tap to remove dirt particles. Using your hands or scissors, cut off the discolored parts and hard stem. Next, tear snow fungus into small florets. Rinse thoroughly and drain the water.
- In a large pot, add the soaked snow fungus and the other ingredients (except rock sugar).
- Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer slowly for about 30-45minutes. When the water turns brown in co5or and all ingredients are tender, then add rock sugar to taste.