Classic Cantonese Dessert : Ginger Milk Curd (姜汁撞奶)

Classic Cantonese Dessert : Ginger Milk Curd (姜汁撞奶)

INTRODUCTION

This is an iconic Cantonese dessert that are commonly found in Hong Kong. It is not my intention to issue this recipe but when I posted my steamed eggs as in the pictures below, members are asking if it is the same recipe as ginger milk curd? I know it is not but I have decided to study the recipe and give it a try. If you are interested in the normal steamed eggs recipe, you can refer to this post: Chinese Steamed Eggs (水蒸蛋)

Classic Cantonese Dessert : Ginger Milk Curd (姜汁撞奶)

In fact it is totally different from steamed eggs though it looks slight similar. There is no egg being used and there is no steaming..

Classic Cantonese Dessert : Ginger Milk Curd (姜汁撞奶)

It was fun yet angry attempts. I prepared twice and the first attempt was a failure.. It just refused to set but my second attempt worked satisfactory.. Well, all recipe tells you almost the same thing but there is always chances of failure.  In fact the chances of failure are quite big.. Cantonese used the word ‘knock” to describe the process of pouring hot milk into ginger juices. This word also denotes chances of failures and not all times it can be successful. Well, do not worry, even if it is not successful, you can just drink your milk instead of eating the curd using spoon. Taste is exactly the same.

Classic Cantonese Dessert : Ginger Milk Curd (姜汁撞奶)

Why is it pouring hot milk into ginger juices will yield milk curd? I am equally puzzling but Wikipedia gives an explanation and it is because of the chemical reaction between milk protein and ginger juices. As per Wikipedia:

“Ginger milk curd, also known as ginger-juice milk curd, ginger milk pudding or simply ginger milk, is a Chinese hot dessert originated in Shawan Town, Panyu District, Guangzhou in the Guangdong Province in southern China. The main ingredients are ginger, milk, and sugar. Water buffalo milk is used in the original recipe. Ginger contains the protease zingipain. When milk is added to ginger juice, this protease catalyses denaturation of the protein in the milk, changing it from a water-soluble form to a water-insoluble form, and leads to the formation of milk curd. “(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginger_milk_curd)

Classic Cantonese Dessert : Ginger Milk Curd (姜汁撞奶)

There are 3 main factors that may attribute to the chances of failure and some of which we can’t control. No.1 is the type of milk used. Traditional method is using fresh cow or buffalo milk from the farm that need no pasteurization but apparently this may not be available in the region (Singapore and Malaysia). The next best alternative will be pasteurized milk sold in the supermarket which may (or may not) have lesser milk protein that is required in the formation of curd. Secondly is the ginger juices used. It is advisable that old ginger juice be used as it is believed that it will contain more protease zingipain. But there are not much choices in the market and I believed we have to trust the seller that the ginger is old enough, aromatic and assumed that it contained more protease. Thirdly is the heating process. This can be countered effect by the use of a thermometer that heat the milk to 70 – 80 degree Celsius. In the olden days, milk are boiled until almost bubbling, off the heat and 30 seconds later, ginger juices were added..

Classic Cantonese Dessert : Ginger Milk Curd (姜汁撞奶)

As is consistent with my other dessert recipes, Cantonese believed this milk curd is very beneficial to the body as consumption of the dessert will :

  • improve the body complexion because of the milk protein,
  • Aids in blood circulation because of the ginger effect;
  • Reduce coughing and avoid flu
  • Inhibit fats absorption
  • Calming effect and hence reduce insomnia problems..

Classic Cantonese Dessert : Ginger Milk Curd (姜汁撞奶)

“姜撞奶是广东非常著名的一道甜品, 始创于广东番禺市沙湾镇。后在香港的老式茶餐厅发扬光大,成了一道家喻户晓的著名甜品。深受各界人士喜爱,特别适合老人食用。姜撞奶是用水牛奶与姜汁“相撞”而成的,是道既像豆腐花又像水蛋的美食,它姜味浓郁、香甜嫩滑,还有暖胃、驱寒、养颜等功效。关于姜撞奶,曾有传说。从前,在广东番禺沙湾镇,一个年迈的老婆婆犯了咳嗽病,后知道姜汁可治咳嗽,但姜汁太辣,老婆婆无法喝下去,媳妇于是将水牛奶加糖煮热,倒入装姜汁的碗里,奇怪的是过了一阵子牛奶凝结了,婆婆喝了后顿觉满口清香。第2天病就好了。因此姜撞奶就在沙湾镇流传开了,沙湾人把“凝结”叫“埋”于是“姜撞奶”在沙湾也叫“姜埋奶”。从此,姜撞奶一直流传到现在,成为沙湾镇最受欢迎的特色小吃” (Source: http://www.baike.com/wiki/%E5%A7%9C%E6%92%9E%E5%A5%B6%5B%E9%A3%9F%E7%89%A9%5D)

Classic Cantonese Dessert : Ginger Milk Curd (姜汁撞奶)

 


WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: Prepared 4 rice bowls of ginger milk custard

Classic Cantonese Dessert : Ginger Milk Curd (姜汁撞奶)

  • 480 ml or grams of fresh milk
  • 35 ml or grams of fresh old ginger juices
  • 40 grams of castor sugar
  • One oven thermometer (optional)

Classic Cantonese Dessert : Ginger Milk Curd (姜汁撞奶)


STEPS OF PREPARATION

Classic Cantonese Dessert : Ginger Milk Curd (姜汁撞奶)

  • Clean the old ginger and shredded it until as fine as possible, sift the ginger juices and divide equally into 4 bowls.

Classic Cantonese Dessert : Ginger Milk Curd (姜汁撞奶)

  • In a pot, put the milk and sugar, heat up gradually until it reaches temperature of 70-80 degree Celsius. If you do not have an oven thermometer, you can assess the traditional method of waiting for the milk to reach the bubbling stage with lots of steam, off the heat and let it cool for 30 seconds before proceeding to the next step.

  • Pour the hot milk onto the bowl (only one attempt is allowed) and cover with a plate. Let it rest for 15 minutes before open the plate . Place a dessert spoon on top of the milk curd, if it stays put, it is a successful attempt. If it sinks, it is considered as a fail attempt and you can drink the milk as a dessert drink.

Classic Cantonese Dessert : Ginger Milk Curd (姜汁撞奶)


CONCLUION

I can’t explain why exactly the first attempt is a failure yet my second attempt is successful though the process i performed is basically the same. I am still puzzling but for the failure batch, I have to admit that it is a very nice drink to my liking. Wife especially loves the milk curd possibly it provides some bodily warm but kids still do not know how to appreciate the dessert because of the ginger juices . Lastly, as long as a spoon can be placed on top of the curd without sinking, it is considered as a successful attempt. Do not be deter if it is not successful.

Classic Cantonese Dessert : Ginger Milk Curd (姜汁撞奶)

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Classic Cantonese Dessert : Ginger Milk Curd (姜汁撞奶)


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Classic Cantonese Dessert : Ginger Milk Curd (姜汁撞奶)

Classic Cantonese Dessert : Ginger Milk Curd (姜汁撞奶)

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Classic Cantonese Dessert : Ginger Milk Curd (姜汁撞奶)

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Classic Cantonese Dessert : Ginger Milk Curd (姜汁撞奶)

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