Snow Pear and Dragon’s Eye Sweet Dessert Soup

Snow Pear and Dragon’s Eye Sweet Dessert Soup

Snow Pear and Dragon’s Eye Sweet Dessert Soup

Soup Name:

Snow Pear and Dragon’s Eye Sweet Dessert Soup

One day, in the thick of a winter evening, when all the children lay sleeping, I suddenly had this urge for something sweet, crunchy and hot.  No panic.  Taking a peek in the fridge, I found one giant snow pear staring at me. Perfect. This is how simple this dessert soup is and a majority of the other ingredients are primarily pantry items with a billion years shelf-life.  I personally love food with layers of texture and flavour and after twenty minutes, I was in bliss.

What’s involved?

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 15 mins

Total time: 25 mins

Serves: 4 bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 giant fresh snow pear (preferably the type with dark brown / orange skin), chunked
  • 1 tablespoon of dried longans (or dried dragon eyes)
  • 1 tablespoon of dried wolfberries
  • 1 1-inch diameter chunk of golden rock sugar
  • 1.5 L of water

Cooking Instructions

  1. Boil you soup water
  2. Cut up the snow pear into edible bite-sizes
  3. When the water boils, throw all the ingredients together
  4. Boil on high heat for 15 minutes
  5. Serve and enjoy hot!

The ingredients for the soup are:  1 large snow pear (preferably the sweeter kind with a thick, orange-brown skin), some dried longans (or dragon eyes), dried wolfberries, and rock sugar (adjusted to exactly the way you want).  I tend to use less sweet versions, so adjust accordingly!

The great thing about these massive Korean snow pears is that they produce a lot of fruit flesh.  Look at the giant mound of fruit!

The ingredients for the soup are:  1 large snow pear (preferably the sweeter kind with a thick, orange-brown skin), some dried longans (or dragon eyes), dried wolfberries, and rock sugar (adjusted to exactly the way you want).  I tend to use less sweet versions, so adjust accordingly!

The great thing about these massive Korean snow pears is that they produce a lot of fruit flesh.  Look at the giant mound of fruit!

 Boil on high heat for 15 minutes (or to the desired crunchiness of your snow pears) and adjust the sweetness as well. I prefer it less sweet, but depends on your sweet tooth.

Serve piping hot and enjoy!

EQUIPMENT USED

To answer your questions on what equipment I'm using, I've built a section here where you can find and explore what I'm using to make soups.  Ingredients are a little harder, but I will do my best as I source them around.  However, you can always message me on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or Facebook, and I will reply and try to point you in some direction!  

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I use these types of stove top safe tea pots to make most of my herbal teas!

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To answer your questions on what equipment I'm using, I've built a section here where you can find and explore what I'm using to make soups.  Ingredients are a little harder, but I will do my best as I source them around.  However, you can always message me on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or Facebook, and I will reply and try to point you in some direction!  

A great help for fish or small bones in soups, including small ingredients such as barley, fox nuts, spices just to keep everything together.

A MUST HAVE in the kitchen!  Energy saving, cost effective, and perfect for busy chefs!  Check out my article here that explains it.

Another MUST HAVE in the kitchen for soups!  It's so fine that it will scoop off the top oil and foam layer when using meats in your soup!

I use these types of stove top safe tea pots to make most of my herbal teas!

Chilled Coconut Milk with Tapioca Pearls and Fresh Fruit

Chilled Coconut Milk with Tapioca Pearls and Fresh Fruit

Chilled Coconut Milk with Tapioca Pearls and Fresh Fruit

Soup Name:

Chilled Coconut Milk with Tapioca Pearls and Fresh Fruit

Traditional Chinese Name:

椰汁西米露 (Yē zhī xī mǐ lù)

 

I had a craving for a cold, sweet, coconut milk flavoured dessert and the only thing that came to mind was this commonly available dessert in Hong Kong that matched it.

I always thought it was hard to make, but after some research and discussions with the people at those dessert shops, it’s super easy!!

The thing I love about it is that you can make the base, primarily made of coconut milk, and then add whatever fruit, toppings, additives you want to make it your own. This worked great for the kids!

What’s involved?

Prep time: 40 mins

Cook time: 30 mins + 2 hours chill

Total time: 3 hours 10 mins

Serves: 6 bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 3 cups of water
  • rock sugar (as sweet as you like – taste if first!)
  • 1 cup of small tapioca pearls
  • fresh fruit, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • condensed milk (optional to sweeten if not sweet enough)

Cooking Instructions

  1. Soak the tapioca in cool water for 30 minutes first. In a pot of cold water, boil tapioca pearls on medium heat for around 10-15 minutes. Check the consistency and transparency of the pearls. When they are done, they’ll be completely transparent, but be careful they don’t start to melt.
  2. Remove from heat and run through cold water to separate. You can either leave in a bowl with cold water or just leave them in a bowl when sufficiently cooled. Set at room temperature is OK.
  3. In a separate pot, boil the water with the rock sugar.
  4. When the rock sugar has completely melted, reduce heat to a low boil and add in coconut milk and whole milk. Boil and stir together for about 5 minutes. Taste to see if it’s sweet enough. If not, you can add more rock sugar and boil on low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  5. Remove from heat and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  6. When ready to eat, in a serving bowl, ladle in as much coconut milk as you like, add the tapioca pearls and load on the fruits!
  7. Enjoy!

To start, the base is simply coconut milk, whole (or skim) milk, water, and rock sugar. Some recipes call for evaporated milk, but after sampling it with just the milks, water and sugar, it was smooth and rich enough for me.
You can find these types of tapioca (or sago) pearls from the supermarket or wet mart.

They come in a variety of sizes, flavours and colours. Typically, for this dessert, use the smaller, white pearls that turn transparent when boiled. They are flavourless and turn into a chewy ball of … chewy.

First, soak the tapioca in warm water for about 30 minutes. This will soften and expand them slightly. You then need to boil the tapioca until it’s completely cooked. You’ll know it’s completely cooked when the entire ball turns transparent. Semi-cooked will show a white spot in the middle.

The problem is that smaller balls will cook faster and then start dissolving on you, so just take care to judge how well done on average your tapioca pearls are. The trick is that you rinse the tapioca in COLD, running water after you’ve cooked it. Some people continue to soak them in a bit of cold water, or just leave them to sit cool.  If you keep the warm, they will continue to cook and then merge into one giant ugly ball of tapioca!

Next, start to boil your water and let the rock sugar dissolve. Taste to see how sweet you prefer it because everyone is different. I went with a less sweet version and if people wanted it sweeter, I gave them condensed milk to mix in – just as yummy!

 

Reduce heat to a low simmer and mix in the coconut milk and whole (or skim) milk. You don’t want to boil the coconut milk too much or it starts to break down and separate, so give it enough heat to mix together.  Boil for around 10 minutes and remove from heat.  This dessert is best eaten cold, so I moved it to the fridge to cool for a few hours.

The last thing is to put it together – your way.  I personally love fresh fruit with mine, so when the coconut milk mixture was sufficient cooled, I added the tapioca pearls and fresh strawberries.  It’s great with fresh, chilled melons, pears, mango, durian or whatever your great imaginative mind comes up with!

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The Art of Drying Tangerines

The Art of Drying Tangerines

Who would have thought that dried Tangerines preserved for over 50 years could cost in the thousands (of Hong Kong dollars)?

The dried tangerine peel is a popular Chinese herb and ingredient used in:

My mother-in-law decided to make her own through the simple process of buying mandarins, peeling them to keep the skin as whole as possible and then stringing them together to air dry until the peels are completely dry, brown in color and very hard in texture.  I thought it would be cool to show them here, how easy it is to do this. You can store these peels in a dry, cool and shaded place for years and years and years! Some people actually like the smell of the drying tangerine peels and even the fragrant of the peel after it’s brittle and dried. To each one’s own!

Tangerine peels drying

Tangerine peels drying

 

Dried tangerine peels are considered “warm”  and have many uses. They are normally used from a soup perspective to relieve coughs and remove excess phlegm from the lungs. It also aids with digestion and has anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.

Have you tried to eat it as is? It is SUPER, DUPER bitter! It actually tastes horrible (from my perspective) and creates a very distinct taste to soups if you add too much – therefore the most I will add is usually a quarter of a quarter piece to a 2 L soup base – which is about the size of a Canadian nickel. If I add anymore, my children will immediately make comments and I will also taste it and that just kills the enjoyment of a sweeter soup.

For pregnant women, it’s great though! When I was going through my crazy morning sickness, the preserved tangerine peels (slightly salty and super sour) were excellent nibble snacks to curb the feeling that I want to throw up. Asians actually eat them on a regular basis, like I do with my unsalted nuts, as a snack! It is definitely not the most attractive looking ingredient, but it’s breathe of usage is pretty wide and impressive (goes to show you can’t judge an ingredient by its skin).

The extreme usage of these peels is when they are soaked in other ingredients (such as bitter snake bile) and then dried. This gives the peel a warming boost and makes the herb unique and even more expensive. In general though, the average dried tangerine peels don’t cost very much. The cost increases as the peels are aged and sold – so why not do it yourself?

What to look for in high quality tangerine peels?

  • Light in weight (you’ll need to scrape off the inner side of the peel any way)
  • Dark in color (the darker the better)
  • A stark tangerine fragrance (even though they are dried, they should retain some of their orange-y fragrance)
  • Non-moldy (the best are stored in cool, dried places)
  • Large peels kept together

Here are some soups where you can find the dried tangerine peel. In fact, you could theoretically drop a small slice in most soups – but I prefer not to do that because I am not a fan of the taste and I like to keep things clean 🙂

I have yet to try using the dried tangerine peel in stews or dishes. I have to find one that I really like, but I’m sure it will come along one day given the massive amount of tangerine peels drying at my mother-in-law’s house!

Happy peeling,

Lisa

Simple Vegetable Soup for Children

Simple Vegetable Soup for Children

Simple Vegetable Soup for Children

Soup Name:

Simple Vegetable Soup for Children

Traditional Chinese Name:

簡單菜湯 (Jiǎn dān cài tāng)

 

At the last minute, I needed to stay home and make dinner – so while scrounging through my staple supplies of groceries, I found 3 simple ingredients to whip up a quick-boil Chinese soup with noodles. I say quick-boil because this soup took me about 10 minutes to prep and then boiled on medium-high heat for about 30 minutes. On top of that, we ended up eating all the contents as sides, which saved me even more time! It pays to have extras in the fridge sometimes!

What’s involved?

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 40 mins

Serves: 6 bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of dried shredded conpoys (can use whole ones as well)

  • 2 large fresh corn, quartered

  • 2 large potatoes, halved

  • 3 fresh tomatoes, halved

  • 1 teaspoon of chicken powder (or half a cup of chicken stock)

  • 2 L of water

Cooking Instructions

  1. Boil your soup water
  2. When the water boils, add all the ingredients together
  3. Boil on medium-high for 30 minutes

Any benefits?

  • This soup contains no fat
  • All natural ingredients serves as a hearty meal
  • Quick and easy soup to make
  • Excellent soup to go with noodles, macaroni, or just on its own and you can add any other vegetables you like (or happen to have in your fridge)

Red Dates Hawthorn Tea

Red Dates Hawthorn Tea

Red Dates Hawthorn Tea

Soup Name

Red Dates Hawthorn Tea

Traditional Chinese Name:  

山楂红枣茶 (shān zhā hóng zǎo chá)

 

This nice slightly sweet and very tart tea was introduced by my herbalist who suggested I make it for my dad (while he was visiting HK). The tea is designed for people who would like to lose weight, reduce the fat content in their bodies, reduce blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and help clear the blood of the impurities that come with a not so healthy diet. That’s not to say my dad’s not healthy, but he does enjoy all foods – so this tea will help balance out a delicious, heavy meal and aid in digestion. The tea is super tart, so you can add either apples or a sprinkle of sugar to sweeten it up. It’s best drank either at room temperature or hot.

What’s involved?

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 1 hour

Total time: 1 hour 5 mins

Serves: 4 cups of tea

Ingredients

Cooking Instructions

  1. Soak all the ingredients in warm water for about 5 minutes and rinse clean
  2. Boil your tea water
  3. When the water boils, add all the ingredients together (except the sugar)
  4. Keep covered on a small boil (medium heat) for about 1 hour
  5. Serve hot or warm and add sugar (as needed)

Benefits

  • Helps reduce the fat content in the body
  • This red date and hawthorn tea will also help reduce blood pressure and bad cholesterol
  • It helps clear the blood of toxins
  • This tea is especially helpful after a meal and helps in digestion

Precautions

  • The hawthorn is especially tart and sour, so not everyone will like it like that
  • Take caution when adding sugar (as not to add too much)
  • Be sure to pit the dates (or use pitted dates). The pits are said to be “CHO” – which is very heaty, but not in a good way

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