I know I know, tThis is not the usual way to cook snow fungus in a dessert sweet soup (Tong Shui - Cantonese, 甜汤 - Mandarin) but....this is not the first time I have used sweet potato in a snow fungus dessert.
Orange cubes are sweet potatoes, not papaya!
I wanted more nutrients in a bowl so that time and efforts spent cooking in the same pot is maximized. So, it is wild snow fungus 野生银耳, sweet potatoes and hulled barley. Weird?
Where to buy and how to ensure snow fungus (Tremella fuciformis, also called white fungus or silver ear fungus) without SO2 (sulphur dioxide as preservative)? Do you know? I don't know.
Wild Snow Fungus 野生银耳
Hopefully, these Wild Snow Fungus 野生银耳 are different from the typically farmed ones with sulphur dioxide as preservative. At least this was what the shop owner from the Chinese herbal shop told us - No SO2, so we could only give her benefit of the doubt. And one little pack cost USD22! . My friend bought it and shared some with me. So it had better be good, with no preservatives. Yes. For your information, there are wild vs farmed versions of snow fungus.
Now to verify if what we bought was the real thing.
(1) Yes, they are rather small in size. Checked (wild versions of this fungus are supposed to be small, size of golf ball).
(2) Some come bigger than the rest - the smallest was almost like the size of a marble! Checked (as they are not cultivated, they don't come in the SAME size).
(3) They are not all snow-white. Checked (wild versions are supposed to be a tad pale-yellowish with random shades of white and pale-yellow).
These snow fungus do not have much flavor. The longer you cook them, chewy texture turns more slimy - depends on which you prefer.
Snow fungus are supposed to be nourishing - good for detoxification and moistening the lungs.They are also considered to have medicinal properties, having been used against tuberculosis, high blood pressure, and even the common cold! The Chinese royalties in the past regarded and priced them as elixir - for health and longevity. You can drop by TasteHongKong.com who recently had a post on white fungus and benefits.
After I made this, I decided that that it was the last time with sweet potatoes and barley. Not that it tasted lousy but it was really kind of weird. The second time I made it, I just cook the snow fungus to tenderness and before consuming them, drizzle good quality raw honey into it. It was much better, and I get the feeling of being refreshed inside out!
Sharing this dessert soup with Souper Sunday.
Tag: snow fungus, white fungus, dessert soup
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