Sweet Tofu, Barley and Ginkgo Dessert Soup


Sweet Tofu, Barley and Ginkgo Dessert Soup (白果薏米甜汤)。

This dessert is a traditional Chinese dessert, popular in Asia especially in Hongkong, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia.  It makes an excellent dessert choice during Summer, as it has cooling properties. Personally, I love making this dessert during Chinese New Year and eat it on the first day of Chinese New Year in the morning as the first food to symbolize “sweet beginning” to a New year.  My family tradition.

sweet tofu and ginkgo dessert

Sweet Tofu, Barley and Ginkgo Dessert Soup (白果薏米甜汤)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS

Dried pearl barley, about 1/2 cup (increase or decrease quantity to your preference of the thickness of soup)
3l of water
dried tofu skin (flat type), about 1 oz (increase or decrease quantity to your preference)
a handful of fresh ginkgo (remove the bitter core in the middle if any)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
handful of rock sugar

METHOD

(1)  In a pot, combine the barley and water and bring it to a boil.  Simmer for 15 minutes or till the barley turns soft and translucent.  You can add more water if preferred.

(2)  Rinse the tofu skin and tear them into bite size.

(3)  Add the tofu skin, ginkgo and rock sugar.  Simmer for 10 more minutes, uncovered.

(4)  Slowly drizzle egg white into the pot, and stir gently.

(5)  Serve hot or cold.

Milk and Raisin Steamed buns (牛奶葡萄干馒头)



Milk and Raisin Steamed buns

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 2hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: medium
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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp water
  • 5g Instant Yeast
  • 1 tsp plain flour
  • 50g sugar

Combine the above ingredients in a bowl and rest for 5 minutes.

  • 500g plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 250g milk (room temperature)
  • 30g vegetable oil
  • 100g dried raisins

METHOD

  1. Place flour and salt in a mixing bowl.  Make a well in the center.  Pour in the yeast mixture (except vegetable oil and raisins), and mix well with hand.  Slowly add in the milk by tablespoon (do not pour everything at once) and use your fingers to form a ragged, soft mass.  Add in the vegetable oil and knead into a dough.  Transfer to a work surface and knead for 5 minutes.
  2. Using your palm, knead for 8 minutes or till the dough is no longer sticky, smooth, soft and a bit elastic. When pressed with a finger, the dough should spring back with a faint indentation remaining.
  3. Smear a little oil in a clean bowl and put the dough in it.  Cover with kitchen towel or plastic wrap and put it in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes or nearly doubled.
  4. Use a knife, divide the dough into 4 equal parts.  With a rolling pin, lightly roll out each dough into thin oval.  Sprinkle some raisins on top, roll from the bottom to up and shape into oval shape.
  5. Place individual buns onto parchment paper, put into a steamer, spacing them about 2 inches apart.  Loosely cover the buns with kitchen towel, rest for 45 minutes or rise for another 50%.
  6. Meanwhile, fill the steamer with water and boil over high heat.  Lower the heat until you are ready to steam.
  7. Steam the buns for 15 minutes over high heat.  Remove and serve hot.  Uneaten buns can be wrap in a plastic wrap, and store in a freezer,  It can be kept up to one month.  For warm buns, thaw and resteam or cover the buns with damp paper towel and microwave high for 1 minute.

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Sour Plum Drink (酸梅水)


INGREDIENTS

10 preserved sour plums (adjust accordingly)
5 key limes, halves
7 tbsp sugar (adjust accordingly)
5 cups water
lots of ICE
 

METHOD

(1)  Bring 5 cups of water to a boil, and add preserved sour plums and sugar.  Turn off the heat, and leave it for 1 hour.
(2)  Once the sour plums are softened, add key limes and stir to combine.
(3)  Fill your favorite drinking cup with ice, and pour the sour plum drink in the cup.
(4)  Enjoy this drink during hot Summer! 
 
 

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Almond Jelly with Longan (杏仁豆腐)


Almond Jelly

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bag of agar agar strips (available in Asian market), about 40 gm
  • 10 gm of Almond Essence
  • 40 gm sugar
  • 150 ml milk
  • 200 gm water (adjust to own preference.  If prefer softer jelly, increase the amount of water)
  • 1 can of longan (available in Asian market).  If not available, use fresh fruits to substitute.
 

METHOD

  1. Soak agar agar strips in water till softened.  Drain and remove the agar agar strips.
  2. Bring water to boil, and add agar agar strips.  Stir till it melted.
  3. Add sugar and bring to boil again.
  4. Add almond essence and milk, and stir till combined.
  5. When the agar agar melted, pour the mixture GENTLY through a sieve into a jelly mold.
  6. Remove all  bubbles with small spoon, and let the mixture cool down.  Removing bubbles is to have smooth jelly surface appearance.
  7. After the jelly is cooled down, transfer it to refrigerator to chill for overnight.
  8. Remove almond jelly from mold, and cut into small pieces.
  9. To serve, use a small bowl.  Add crushed ice, almond jelly pieces and longan.  Pour longan syrup over the mixture.
 
 

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Red bean soup (红豆沙)


INGREDIENTS

1 cup red beans (soaked for 1 hour)
1 bunch of pandan leaves (available in Asian Market)
1/2 cup of rock sugar (available in Asian Market)
2 pieces of dried tangerine peel (available in Asian market)
 

METHOD

(1)  Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a pot.  Add red beans and cook for 1 hour till red beans are softened.
(2)  Add rock sugar and tangerine peel, and boil for another 20 minutes.
(3)  Add pandan leaves, and boil for another 10 minutes.
(4)  Taste to own sweetness, and adjust to your preference.
(5)  If you prefer smooth red beans soup, puree for 30 seconds with hand blender.