Papaya and Snow Fungus sweet soup is often offered as a cold dessert in Chinese Dim Sum restaurants. It is very refreshing especially after having lots of deep fried foods. Adding papaya to this dish helps to sweeten and enhance the flavour to the soup, because snow fungus on its own is rather bland and tasteless. Moreover, papaya is an excellent sourse of Vitamin C, A and B-complex, and its also contains large amounts of soluble dietary fiber, which helps to prevent constipation!
Snow fungus is the other main ingredients in this dish. It goes by many names such as: white ear fungus, silver ear fungus or white fungus (白木耳 Bai Mu Er). Snow fungus is prized by the Chinese for its medicinal value, in particular its anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties. It is also reported to be a core for dry coughs and heart palpitations. Snow fungus is commonly used in soups, stir-frys, salads and desserts.
In addition, Nan Xing (Southern Sweet Almond) and Bei Xing (Northern Bitter Almond) are known to be good for relieving cough and dissolving phlegm. Given that this Papaya and Snow Fungus dessert is packed to the brim with so many health benefits, I hope that you will try making this easy dessert for your family, especially these days when the weather is extremely hot followed by sudden downpours, which tend to make people fall sick easily.
Note: For Special Diets, please read the notes at the bottom for suggested modifications.
- 400-450 g Papaya, ripe and firm
- 70-80 g Rock Sugar
- 20 g Snow Fungus
- 20 g Nan Xing
- 15 g Pei Xing
- 15 g Wolfberries
- 6 Red Dates
- 8 Pandan Leaves
- 2 litres Water
Soak the Snow Fungus in a bowl of tap water until it expands to double its size when dry. It take should about 20mins.
Discard the water and wash the Snow Fungus thorough to ensure there are no grainy particules stuck to it.
Use a scissor to trim off the stem (dark yellow part at the base of the Snow Fungus), then tear the Snow fungus into bite sized pieces.
Use a knife to remove the skin of the papaya. Next, cut it lengthwise into half, remove the seeds, and give it a rinse.
Cut the papaya into chunks and set aside.
Remove the seed from the red dates. Then rinse and set aside.
Wash the pandan leaves. Then take the 8 leaves, fold it into half and tie a knot.
Rinse the Nan Xing and Bei Xing and set aside.
In a pot, add in 2 litres of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
Once boiling, put in the knot of pandan leaves and boil for about 10 mins.
Remove the pandan leaves and discard.
Put the snow fungus, nan xing, bei xing and rock sugar into the pot and boil over medium heat for about 35 mins.
Add in the papaya, red dates and wolfberries and continue to boil for another 15 mins.
Serve either hot or chilled
- Do not buy papaya which is too ripe, otherwise it will disintegrate in the process of cooking.
- Do not boil the pandan leaves for too long otherwise it will turn a little bitter.
- Some red dates, especially the maroon coloured ones are extra sweet. Don't add too many of these red dates otherwise the soup will be too sweet.
- Wash the wolfberries only when you are about to put them into the soup otherwise they will turn soggy.
- Do not buy snow fungus that is very white in color. Often it has been bleached till it turned white. On the other hand, you should also try to avoid snow fungus which is dark orangy colored as it is not fresh and has been sitting on the shelf for a long time. Fresh unbleached dried snow fungus should be light yellowish in color.
- If you like to snow fungus to be more crunchy, don't cook it too long. The longer you cook snow fungus, the softer and more gluey it will be. Personally I prefer the crunchy type.
Suggested Modifications for Special Diets
- Baby/Toddler-Friendly: You can serve it unsweetened as a drink for weaned babies.
- Child-Friendly: No modifications needed.
- Egg-Free: No modifications needed.
- Fish-Free: No modifications needed.
- Gluten-Free: No modifications needed.
- Nut-Free: No modifications needed.
- Shellfish-Free: No modifications needed.
- Vegan: No modifications needed.
- Vegetarian: No modifications needed
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