This recipe have been hidden in my recipe bank for 9 months. Nothing wrong with the recipe but there are lots of researches need to be done before issuing this post. If I just issued the recipe without background information, it will be fast and easy. However, for the benefits of my own self and readers, it is good that we know the benefits of consuming this dessert.
This is a very common dessert for the Cantonese and you can easily find it at the dessert stores in the region. In very layman terms, Chinese believed that this dessert is especially good for body cooling and detoxification. These combinations of barley, bean curd skin and gingko nuts are rather standard and for this illustration, i have added another 3 more ingredients: pandan leaves for flavouring rock sugar and candy winter melon for body cooling purposes.
You may be wondering why my barley looks different? Yes, this is not the normal barley sold in Singapore or West Malaysia. It is a local produce from the state of Sarawak, East Malaysia. It is cultivated by the indigenous people, production is seasonal and quantities are restricted. It was sold rather expensively and we usually asked relatives to hand carry for us from Sarawak. These barley has a unique texture. It is not as smooth as the Holland barley or China barley. It is just like normal porridge rice grains with barley aroma. I liked it also because of its unique texture. While I preferred this special breed of barley, readers can always use any type of barley sold in the stores.
Traditionally, Chinese believed that gingko is very beneficial to health and it can be churned into many dishes and desserts. While it is very beneficial to the body, Chinese do have restriction in the intake of gingko to the most of 10 nuts per meal. Over consumption of gingko can also lead to undesirable sequences. Among the benefits of gingko nuts are:
- Breakdown of toxic hydrogen cyanide trapped in the body
- Improve asthma conditions
- Reduced phlegm coughing
- Reduced vaginal discharge and urinary frequency
- Fight symptoms of premenstrual system (PMS)
- Reduce risks of Alzheimer disease
- Increase concentration
- Reduce anxiety and depression
Among the benefits of barley are:
- Reduce water retention
- Improved spleen health
- Helps to combat tiredness
- Reduce body heat and hence a form of detoxification
- Lots of dietary fibres full of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants that are very beneficial to the cardiovascular system
- low calorific and hence a good dietary source for diabetes
As for bean curd skin, it is a soya product that have can have a protein content as high s 45% with very low cholestrol and saturated fats. It has tofu aroma and complements well with other ingredients in the dessert.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings : 4-6 adults
- 100 grams of barley grains
- 50 grams of cleaned and skinned gingko nuts
- 50 grams of candied winter melon, cut into small cubes
- 2 pieces sweet bean curd sheets
- 1 egg
- 4 pieces of pandan leaves
- 3 – 4 litres of water (you can add gradually)
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Soak sweet bean curd sheets in a bowl of clean water until soft, drain and cut into big pieces.
- Clean the barley and pandan leaves. In a big pot, put water, barley and pandan leaves. Bring to boil and once it boils, let it simmer until the barleys are soft. The barley will expand significantly. The timing will depends on the type of barleys. For Sarawak barley, it cooks very fast and the most it takes is 15 minutes.
- Add the gingko nuts followed by rock sugar, candied winter melon and bean curd sheet. Bring to boil it again. Before offing the heat, add the crack eggs and give it a quick stir such that the egg is evenly distributed. Off the heat and the dessert are ready to be served hot or warm.
- Timing of adding gingko nuts will depend on the types of gingko nuts you used. If it is a package gingko cleaned nuts, it is very soft and there is no need to cook further. If you used fresh gingko nuts, you may need to boil the nuts together with barleys together.
- Every brand of sweet bean curd sheets are different. Some can be cooked longer and some can easily disintegrated. Ask advise from the seller and ensure that the right type of bean curd skin is used. Usually it will be labelled as for dessert purposes.
I believed many will know how to cook this sweet soup that is well liked by many but i hoped that this recipe will benefit new house chefs.
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