Longan and Peach Gum Dessert drink

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Have you noticed that when you plan on doing a Chinese dessert drink, you inevitably end up at a Chinese Medicine hall or store?

That's right. Traditionally, Chinese have a medicinal perspective of food. From dang gui herbs, ginseng to rhino horns, everything is suppose to bring some benefits to your body, though the latter can get you into legal troubles. Some food items are deemed to have aphrodisiac properties. They kind of increases your libido.

I practically grew up with a yin-yang "cold-hot" approach to food and that was what my Mum and older relatives taught me. I should say that my beliefs in that was shattered in just one biochemistry lesson in my Uni students days.

I am a Philistine when it comes to Chinese food traditions and so, I am in no position to question the scientific basis of these long cherished ideas. What I do know is that I eat what I eat because I find it delicious. I do not care very much about their medicinal properties.

I always love Chinese desserts in restaurants. They are a refreshing end to a meal. I do find them unreasonable costly. Many of these desserts do not need special culinary skills to make, especially  dessert drinks like longan, lo han gao or barley drinks. For the price of a bowl in restaurant, you can sometimes make a pot of it.

I have already posted a recipe for my version of Lin Chee Kang drink here. One item which I enjoy very much because of its texture is peach gum, which you can find in many types of dessert drinks.

What is peach gum? Through Google, of course: "Peach Gum is the solids of the sap that had been secreted from the bark of the Peach Tree. Its known for the beneficial properties on improving various skin conditions. Commonly prepared into refreshing desserts, it is generally tasteless with a gelatin bouncy texture similar to the coveted Bird's Nest."

You can buy the dried peach gum from Chinese medical shops. You need to first soak them overnight or for about 12 hours. It will expand many times and so, use a large bowl. There will be a few pits which you can easily remove. Then add to the boiling dessert for half an hour and it will have a soft gelatinous texture. 

Ingredients 

Dried Longans - half a bowl
Lo Han Kao - 1 piece (crack it slightly)
10 pieces of peach gum
Pandan Leaves (tie them up)
Brown sugar or rock sugar
5 litres of water

Method
  1. Soak the peach gum solids in warm water overnight or for 12 hours till it expands. Use your hands and remove the seed. 
  2. Tie your pandan leaves. 
  3. Boil a pot of water. 
  4. Add in the Lo Han Kao, dried longan, sugar and the soaked peach gum. Lower heat to a gentle simmer.
  5. After 40 minutes of simmering, it will be ready.
You can eat it chilled. Add some ice. 

A pack of Peach Gum 
These expands to 10 times in water
After it is soaked 


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