Tag Archives: Fungus

Snow Fungus and Ginseng Chicken Soup Recipe

Snow fungus (Chinese: 白木耳) is commonly used in Chinese dishes and prized for its gelatinous texture once cooked. This fungus is rich in antioxidant and supposed to help skin to stay youthful, so you can imagine this is a popular ingredient for the ladies. 🙂 Whether the last part is proven or not, I do love the texture of the cooked fungus, especially in soup, be it savory like this recipe, or in sweet version such as longan and snow fungus sweet soup.

Ingredients for Snow Fungus and Ginseng Chicken Soup

Chinese dried ingredients for the soup

To prepare this chicken soup, you will need the following dried ingredients from your nearby Chinese market, or better yet, a store in Chinatown:

You will need to separately rehydrate all these ingredients in cold water, except ginseng. I usually do this right before I go to bed, and they will fully rehydrate the next day when I prepare the soup.

Snow Fungus and Ginseng Chicken Soup

Snow Fungus and Ginseng Chicken Soup

Free-range chicken or black silky chicken

When I prepare Chinese herbal soup such as this, I prefer using one whole young free-range chicken. We call this kind of chicken ayam kampung in Indonesia. If you want even more luxurious chicken soup, you can try using black silky chicken. If your grocery doesn’t stock free-range chicken, you can use skin-on bone-in chicken pieces too, in which case, I suggest using about 4 regular chicken drumsticks to make the soup.

Snow Fungus and Ginseng Chicken Soup

Snow Fungus and Ginseng Chicken Soup

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Cheng Teng – Longan and Snow Fungus Sweet Soup Recipe

Cheng Teng (清汤) – Longan and Snow Fungus Sweet Soup

Longan and snow fungus sweet soup is a very basic but very delicious Chinese sweet soup. This sweet soup can be served hot when the weather is biting cold, and it is also amazingly refreshing served chilled during hot summer days.

Cheng Teng (清汤) is what we call this soup in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. My version is very simple with minimal ingredients, but you can always add more Chinese herbs to make this into a deluxe version.

Incidentally, this dessert soup is vegan friendly, and gluten-free. Also, all the dried fruits used in the soup lend enough sweetness, and most of the time I don’t even add any more sugar to this soup, talk about healthy!

Ingredients for Longan and Snow Fungus Sweet Soup

Ingredients for Longan and Snow Fungus Sweet Soup

What you need to prepare longan and snow fungus sweet soup

Here are what I use to prepare a batch of longan and snow fungus sweet soup:

  • 1 dried snow fungus (白木耳 – bai mu er)
  • 80-100 gram dried longan (桂圆肉 – gui yuan rou), using more means sweeter soup
  • 8-12 dried red dates (红枣 – hong zao), I tend to use 12 since more red dates means sweeter soup
  • 25 gram dried lotus seeds (莲子 – lian zi), this is totally optional, but I love a bit of contrast in texture the lotus seeds provide against all the other ingredients

What if I want a sweeter soup

I treat this sweet soup as healthy dessert, and as such, I try to steer clear from adding unnecessary ingredients, even sugar. But if you find the soup lacks sweetness, you can try adding rock sugar or palm sugar.

A better alternative though, is to add even more ingredients to the soup which add natural sweetness, such as peach gum, monk fruit/luo han guo, candied winter melon, and dried persimmon. If you choose this alternative, simply add them with the rest of the ingredients when boiling the soup.

Longan and Snow Fungus Sweet Soup

Longan and Snow Fungus Sweet Soup

Optional add-on ingredients for a deluxe version of Cheng Teng

There are other ingredients you can add to make your Cheng Teng more complete. Some popular choices include:

  • job’s tears/pearl barley (薏米 – yi mi)
  • malva nuts (胖⼤海 – pang da hai)
  • ginkgo nuts (白果 – bai guo)
  • sago/tapioca pearls
  • pandan leaves

How to prepare Chinese longan and snow fungus dessert soup.

Cut off small pieces from the snow fungus with a scissor. Discard the yellow tough center.

Place the snow fungus, longan, lotus seeds, jujube fruits, and water in a soup pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the snow fungus is soft, about 1 1/2 hour to 2 hours.

Test for the level of sweetness and only add rock sugar/palm sugar if needed. Stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.

Turn off heat. Serve warm or chilled.

Cheng Teng (清汤) - Longan and Snow Fungus Sweet Soup

Cheng Teng (清汤) – Longan and Snow Fungus Sweet Soup

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