Updated: Mar 29
One of my InstaFam requested how to make use of dried longan. This is the 1st dish that came to mind. Cheng Tng or 清汤 literally means clear soup, is a traditional Singaporean dessert. I am not saying that my version is traditional or authentic.
This is how I love my Cheng Tng to be: loads of ingredients, not sugary sweet, thus allowing each of the ingredients to shine on their own and work their magic. These days, Cheng Tng is just a bland sugary dessert soup with hardly any ingredients.
Its origins are pretty murky. I'd heard that this is actually a Cantonese dessert that was savory soup and it somehow evolved into what it is today: a dessert. It contains six types of ingredients known as "lok mei"; in essence, six herbs, which, when combined, are meant to cool the body down.
In case you are wondering, the six herbs are Chinese yam, Solomon’s seal, lotus seeds, lily bulbs, fox nuts and dried longan. I will definitely explore that in the near distant future. In the meantime, let's enjoy this Cheng Tng.
White Fungus, 1
Pang Da Hai (胖大海) | Malva Nuts, 8
Dried Honey Dates, 100g
Lotus Seeds Cored, 50g
Sweet Potatoes Washed Thoroughly Coarsely Wedged (I'm using Japanese purple sweet potatoes), About 300g
Pandan Leaves Tied Into a Knot, 3
Ginkgo Nuts, 100g
Dried Longan, 100g
Candied Winter Melon Coarsely Diced, 50g
Candied Ginger Coarsely Diced, 30g
Rock Sugar, 30g
Gula Melaka, 30g
Soak the white fungus with some warm water for about 30 mins.
After 30 mins or once the fungus has softened, coarsely cut into pieces with a pair of kitchen scissors.
Discard the core.
Wash the fungus thoroughly.
Drain and set aside until ready to use.
Next, add the Pang Da Hai to a pot of water.
Bring it up to a simmer.
Cook until the Pang Da Hai has bloomed.
Cover and set aside to steep for about 5 mins.
Remove and discard the skins and seeds.
Set the flesh aside until ready to use.
In a heavy pot over medium heat, add 3L of water.
Blanch the honey dates until soft, about 5 mins.
Remove from heat and set aside until cool enuff to handle.
Once cooled, slice and remove the pits.
Set the dates aside until ready to use.
Add lotus seeds to the pot of water.
Cook until the seeds are softened.
*The lotus seeds have to be cored before cooking.*
Add in the sweet potatoes and pandan leaves.
Continue cooking until the sweet potatoes are fork tender.
Add in the rest of the ingredients, including the fungus, Pang Da Hai and honey dates.
Stir to combine well.
Bring it up to a simmer.
Turn the heat down to low.
Cover and cook for 20 mins or until the sago are translucent or al dente (soft but chewy).
*Stir occasionally to prevent burning.*
Taste and adjust for sweetness with sugar.
You can serve this immediately while it is still warm or chilled.