Friday, August 05, 2005

Tong Shui 101

Today’s Lesson: How to make and to appreciate tong shui

Defining the issue at hand:

糖水 – Tang Shui in Mandarin, and Tong Shui in Cantonese.
What it is: Cantonese sweet soups
My translation and notion of what it is: sugared water

Tong Shui was the last thing on my mind as I set off to meet Nicole at the supermarket to pick up our shopping list ingredients for the Pierre Hermé’s millefeuille that we were going to attempt together. However, while waiting for her outside the supermarket, I was standing next to this tong shui shop, where they were trying to paddle their life enhancing and health enhancing tong shui to the people that streamed by and my mind started the wander … about the various tong shui possibilities. While wandering around the supermarket and surveying the various butter, flour, cream and chocolate options that were available, we soon realized that we forgot to co-ordinate and to plan our baking afternoon since Nicole had half the ingredients in her house and hence it was pointless to buy any of those that were already in our shopping basket. So with our tail between our legs, we placed everything where we found them and were walking around the supermarket for inspiration.

Nicole (who I suspect might have planned this since she has been trying to convert me to a tong shui eater/slurper since I have met her), suddenly whipped out her slightly larger than pocket-sized tong shui dessert book and suggested that we make something from there. Hmmmmm… a little too coincidental isn’t it? I flipped through it and wasn’t too keen about making anything in the book, and then I shared with her my tong shui vision that I had while waiting for her. She gladly went along with my idea since we were adamant of making something that afternoon and she would grab any chance to educate me about the wonderful world of tong shui, and hence, this is made we made – Cheng T’ng Jelly.

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These are the ingredients:


I’ll have to ask Nicole what is what, I can only identify the white fungus, red dates, longans, barley and rock sugar.

This is our recipe:

1. Boil 8 red dates with 2 tbsps of dried longans and 30g of rock sugar for 20 minutes.
2. Cook 1 tbsp of barley separately, drain and set aside.
3. Add remainder of herbs (from 六味 packet - easily available at supermarkets) and barley and simmer for another half hour.
4. Pour mixture through sieve to separate the liquid from other ingredients.
5. From the cooked ingredients, cut up red dates, longans and snow fungus into small pieces, and place in small jelly moulds together with a few grains of barley.
6. Return strained liquid to pot and bring to boil quickly before turning of flame.
7. Add 120 g of konnyaku powder, and stir for 3 minutes.
8. Quickly pour liquid mixture into the moulds and chill for 30 minutes before serving.

7 Comments:

Anonymous dimsumdolly said...

hi! I think I can identify 3 for you. The middle one in the back row are lotus seeds (莲子). In the front row, the second from right are dried lily buds (金针), and the white herb on the extreme right is Dioscorea (淮山) sometimes also known as wild yam.

10:28 PM  
Blogger boo_licious said...

Jooone, I want some please! I am so into tong shui now as it is so hot. Thanks so much for making it and sharing the recipe.

4:17 AM  
Blogger Clare Eats said...

Hmm
I always see all the packets in the supermarket but... I don't know how to use them! or which ones to buy...

7:23 PM  
Blogger joone! said...

Dimsumdolly: maybe we should make some tong shui together!

boo: you are welcome.

Clare: we just bought a regular "liu wei tang" (6 flavoured soup) package, and we added barley, additional longans, red dates and white fungus.

12:02 AM  
Anonymous dimsumdolly said...

Yeah! I love Tong Shui too!

12:56 AM  
Blogger eatzycath said...

hi joone! konnyaku cheng tng, what an absolutely great idea, will you be attempting white fungus with gingko nuts konnyake next?

9:44 PM  
Anonymous dimsumdolly said...

i realised i made a mistake with the name of one of the ingredients. The lily buds are called 百合 and not 金針. My mum told me 金針 is another part of the lily that's also used for cooking.

10:25 PM  

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