Let's make: Snow fungus dessert soup to nourish the respiratory system
A traditional treasure
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), snow fungus has been prized for its medicinal benefits, namely anti-inflammatory. It is a good tonic for the elderly and especially helpful for those with weak respiratory and immune systems. It is commonly used in soups cooked for soothing purposes like nourishing the body, healing dry coughs and clearing heat in the lungs. Also known as the white fungus, its high collagen content is said to provide similar health and beauty benefits as bird nests, but is more affordable for 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!
How to choose snow fungus? Select good quality dried snow fungus that is pale and slightly yellowish in colour; ones that are too white have been bleached. Snow fungus can be found at local supermarkets and Chinese herbal shops.
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 litre Water
Rock Sugar (冰糖), to taste
1. Soak snow fungus in a large bowl filled with water for about 15 minute 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 discoloured parts and hard stem. Next, tear the 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 30-45 minutes. When the water turns brown and all ingredients are tender, add rock sugar to taste.
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