Snow fungus is a type of edible fungus that has a soft, gelatinous texture and a mild sweet flavour. Also known as white ear mushrooms, it is often used in Chinese desserts and soups and is packed with collagen.
It has several health benefits, including boosting the immune system, lowering inflammation, and improving skin health. This Chinese herbal plant is not rare, and you can easily find them in most Asian grocery stores. It is also relatively inexpensive.
Our Chinese snow fungus recipe is easy to follow and will guide you through how to cook snow fungus. This recipe has been passed down through generations in our Chinese household, and we are excited to share it with you.
Using our recipe, you can enjoy the benefits of snow fungus while savouring a delicious and warming soup. Don't worry, as we will go through all the details from start to finish on how to prepare dried snow fungus and how to make a soup. So, whether you want to improve your skin health or try something new, our Chinese soup recipe is the answer.
Snow Fungus Benefits
Snow fungus nutrition is widely sought after as it is known to have an abundance of collagen and antioxidants. The collagen can help improve hair strength and prevent hair loss. Furthermore, the antioxidants can help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals.
Moreover, snow fungus is nutritious, low in calories and high in fibre, making it a great addition to any diet. This ingredient has no known side effects and is generally safe for most people to consume. Although white ear mushrooms don't cure a cough, they can help soothe a sore throat and loosen phlegm.
Chinese Dessert Soup Ingredients
To make Chinese snow fungus dessert soup, you will need the following:
Always remember to look for high-quality products when buying these Chinese herbal plants. Good quality white ear mushrooms should have a pale yellow or white colour. However, if it is too white, it may have been bleached. It should have a mild, earthy smell. Furthermore, it may be contaminated if it has a strong or unpleasant odour.
In addition, the ingredients should be whole and intact, with no signs of cracking or damage. The expected texture of the mushroom should be soft and pliable. Otherwise, if it is hard or brittle, it has probably dried out.
So, look for snow fungus packaged in a sealed container to prevent drying out or contamination. Moreover, to ensure that you're getting a high-quality product, it's best to purchase them from a reputable supplier or Asian grocery store.
Red dates, or jujubes, are an important ingredient in Chinese traditional medicine. They have a sweet and slightly caramel-like flavour. Moreover, they have various health benefits. For example, these benefits include promoting blood circulation, strengthening the immune system, and improving digestive health.
Red dates also have a calming effect on the mind and body, making them popular for those looking to reduce stress and anxiety. In addition, these dates are rich in antioxidants, making them a healthy addition to any diet.
Dried longan is a popular ingredient that can help improve blood circulation, boost energy levels, and promote relaxation. Many people believe that dried longan helps in improving memory. It is also known to boost the immune system and fight infection.
Dried longan is optional for this Chinese snow fungus recipe, although it does add a unique flavour and texture. Dried longans have a sweet, slightly musky flavour with a chewy texture. The flesh is soft and translucent and has a slightly sticky feel. Furthermore, the texture is similar to that of dried figs or dates.
However, if you can't find dried longan, you can substitute this with other fruits. We like to use pears, apples, or peaches.
Goji berries have a sweet, slightly sour flavour, often described as a cross between a cranberry and a cherry. They can also have an earthy taste. Goji berries are a popular superfood in traditional Chinese medicine. Many believe that it helps improve eye health, improve the immune system, and promote healthy skin.
In addition, goji berries have anti-ageing properties and may help reduce inflammation in the body. Moreover, they are a good source of fibre, which aids in slowing down sugar absorption into the bloodstream. Therefore, these berries are known to help improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes.
We prefer rock sugar for our Chinese snow fungus recipe because it has a milder and more delicate flavour than regular granulated sugar. However, if you can't find rock sugar, you can use regular granulated sugar as a substitute.
We recommend using no more than 2.5 tablespoons of rock sugar for this soup recipe. While the soup should taste sweet, it is best to make it only subtly sweet. However, you can add more if you want a sweeter taste.
If you're using granulated sugar as a substitute, you can use the same amount as the rock sugar, which is about 2.5 tablespoons.
You can also use other sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar. Here are the measurements for the substitutes.
- Honey: Use ½ the amount of rock sugar.
- Maple syrup: Use ⅔ the amount of rock sugar.
- Brown sugar: Use ¾ the amount of rock sugar.
Here are some different ingredients that you can use as either additions or substitutions in our recipe.
Dried lily bulb
You can use dried lily bulbs instead of goji berries in this snow fungus dessert recipe. They will add a slightly sweet and earthy flavour to the soup, and their soft and chewy texture will complement the other ingredients.
Furthermore, this can add an interesting contrast to the other ingredients in the soup, such as the crunchy snow fungus and the tender red dates.
According to Chinese traditional medicine, dried lily bulbs help nourish the body, improve digestion, and promote relaxation and calmness. You only need 15 g of dried lily bulbs to enhance that texture.
Dried lotus seeds can add a unique flavour and texture to your snow fungus dessert soup. When cooked, these seeds have a slightly nutty and sweet taste and become soft and chewy.
You can add 30g of this component instead of the goji berries. Goji berries generally have a grainy texture. So, the soup will lose some varying texture by not having goji berries. Hence, lotus seeds are the perfect substitute, as they will bring in a bit of crunchiness.
In addition, these seeds improve digestion, enhance heart health, promote sleep and are rich in dietary fibre.
Peach gum is a natural resin that is harvested from peach trees. You can add however much you like to our dessert soup recipe. However, it will need to be soaked overnight before use. Choosing good-graded gum with fewer black specks is important to ensure the best quality.
Adding peach gum to the dessert soup can significantly impact the taste and texture. When rehydrated, it has a jelly-like feel, is soft and bouncy, and triples in size. It has little flavour and is typically used to make sweet soups such as tong sui or savoury stews.
Furthermore, peach gum snow fungus dessert can help nourish the lungs, improve digestion, and promote healthy skin. Additionally, it is also rich in collagen, which can help to enhance skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Papaya Snow Fungus Soup
This recipe is an easy alternative soup you can make when you cannot find the traditional Chinese herbal ingredients. This option only requires papaya, snow fungus, and rock sugar, making it simple yet delicious.
This papaya snow fungus soup will have a sweeter taste due to the natural sweetness of the papaya. The papaya adds sweetness and creaminess to the soup, while the Chinese herbal plant adds a subtle flavour and a bit of a crunch.
- One medium-sized papaya, peeled and cubed
- 20 g dried snow fungus, soaked overnight and cut into small pieces
- 4 tbsps rock sugar
- 1.5 litres of water
- First, soak the dried white ear mushrooms overnight and cut them into small pieces to prepare the soup. Then, peel and cut the papaya into 1-inch thick cubes.
- In a pot, add 1.5 L of water and bring to a boil. Then, add the snow fungus to the pot and boil for 10 minutes.
- Add the papaya and rock sugar to the pot and boil for another 10 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the stove and let it cool down. You can either serve it hot or cold.
How to Soak Snow Fungus
Before you cook snow fungus, it is important to soak them properly to ensure they are soft and ready to use. Here are the steps to soak them:
1. Rinse the dried white ear mushrooms under cold water to remove dirt or debris.
2. Add enough cold water to cover them completely in a bowl. Then, soak the wild mushrooms for at least 2 hours or overnight for the best results. You do not need to put them in the fridge while soaking. Wild mushrooms are porous and can absorb moisture quickly. If they are soaked in the fridge, they will absorb too much water and become soggy.
4. After soaking, it should have expanded in size and become soft to the touch. It should feel soft and slightly gelatinous.
5. Rinse it again to remove any remaining dirt or debris before using.
You can soak the snow fungus ahead of time. The longest time you can leave snow fungus to soak is 24 hours. When you want to use it, bring it to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. However, once cooked, it should be consumed immediately and cannot be stored for more than three days.
How to Make Chinese Dessert Soup
- To make this dessert soup, first, you need to start by preparing the snow fungus. Soak the Chinese herbal plant in cold water for about 2 hours or until it becomes soft and expands. Remove any hard parts and tear them into small pieces. If it is large, you can cut it into bite-sized strips.
- Then, rinse the dried longan, red dates, and goji berries separately in cold water.
- In a pot, add water and bring it to a boil. Next, add the soaked snow fungus, dried longan, red dates, and goji berries to the pot. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup for about 30 minutes or until the ingredients are tender and the flavours are well-infused. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Afterwards, sweeten the soup to taste by adding rock sugar or honey. Stir until the sweetener is completely dissolved. Continue simmering for another 10 minutes to allow the flavours to meld together. Finally, remove the pot from the heat and let the soup cool slightly before serving.
You can make this snow fungus dessert ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. However, the snow fungus may become harder in texture after being refrigerated, so consuming the soup within the first day of making it is best.
Snow Fungus Soup
- Soak the snow fungus in cold water for 30 minutes. Rinse dried longan, red dates, and goji berries separately in cold water.
- In a pot, add the water and bring it to a boil. Then, let the soaked snow fungus, dried longan, goji berries, and red dates simmer for 30 minutes. Afterwards, add in the rock sugar and let the soup simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and allow your Chinese snow fungus soup to cool slightly before serving hot.
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and are only rough estimations.