Snow Fungus with Gingko & Red Dates: Healthy Chinese Dessert


Snow Fungus with Gingko & Red Dates

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.

Snow Fungus

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-free, take snow fungus more frequently. Now you know why I make this dessert frequently..

Snow Fungus

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.

Snow Fungus with Gingko & Red Dates: Healthy Chinese Dessert
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Snow Fungus with Gingko & Red Dates - easy & nourishing healthy Chinese Dessert
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 4
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. In a large pot, add the soaked snow fungus and the other ingredients (except rock sugar).
  4. 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.



  1. Hi! I just heard that snow fungus is a good tonic for the elderly and especially helpful for those with weak respiratory and immune system.. Thank you for sharing! Maybe I’ll try to cook this

  2. Hi good evening..i like ur dessert recipe ,but i have diabetes…

  3. Greetings from the Caribbean! Many thanks for inspiring me to make this dessert. I am catering on a private yacht for four Taiwanese guests and I know they will not expect such a familiar dessert.

    • Very thoughtful of you to prepare a familiar dessert, I bet your guests must have a memorable meal. Great to know that you can get all the ingredients in the Carribean

  4. Pingback: 10 vegetarian dishes for Chinese New Year | JewelPie

  5. Never heard of it, but it looks interesting to try.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    Samah@good cooks recently posted..Anise-Scented Fig and Date SwirlsMy Profile

  6. Never heard of this dessert before! All ingredients in it are new to me! Snow fungus is the most interesting one! I wonder if I can find any of them in Turkey. Thanks for introducing these to me!
    zerrin recently posted..Lahmacun with Whole Wheat FlourMy Profile

    • Hi Zerrin, if there is Chinatown in Turkey, you should be able to find these ingredients in the asian supermarket. These ingredients are very common in Chinese cooking

  7. Hi Shannon! I saw this dessert at a recent CNY dinner. The hostess made it without sugar (eekkkk!!!) and I’m afraid it did not taste too good for me. I would prefer this dessert cold.
    Phong Hong recently posted..Stir Fried Iceberg LettuceMy Profile

  8. Hello Shannon, wow busy uh? 😉

    Guess I’ve had this dessert before. Yours look truly refreshing dear! 😉

  9. i dont cook this at home come but eat them outside, it’s delicious hot or cold!
    Jeannie recently posted..Fruit & Nut FlabjacksMy Profile

  10. No way! This was actually one of my most prominent childhood foods! My favorite part of this dessert was the sugary soup! Thanks for bringing back memories 🙂

  11. This is our favourite not only during CNY but also on normal days 🙂

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