Sweet Potato and Lotus Seed Tong-sui (sweet soup), what is lotus seed

番薯蓮子雪耳糖水

Published: November 9, 2020

As a Cantonese, soup is so important in my daily appetite. But I don’t make savoury soup often for it usually requires meat or bones and other ingredients simmering for a long time, usually at least 2 hours and this process produces more purine which is harmful. Instead, I make vegetarian soup or tong-sui (sweet soup) which usually takes 1 hour cooking or less.

It’s crucial to cook according to the season. In this autumn-approaching-winter season, I tend to make nourishing tong-sui. Sweet potato tong-sui is one of the most popular traditional Cantonese tong-sui. It can be served all year round but I particularly like to have it in autumn and winter. The ingredients are of the most simplicity, sweet potato, ginger, rock sugar and water. Sweet potato is highly nutritious and rich in fiber. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it promotes better bowel movement, and benefits stomach and spleen.

Beside sweet potato, snow fungus is used again in my autumn and winter tong-sui. It’s my favourite cold season tong-sui ingredient that it has been in many of my previous recipes. Get more information of this ingredient from previous post – Autumn tong-sui, snow fungus and pear soup, or simply type ‘snow fungus’ in the searching bar on my page.

Get to know lotus seed – benefit

Lotus seed is another key ingredients in this sweet soup. It’s the seed of Nelumbo nucifera, Chinese also call it ‘lotus’ which symbols ‘purity’. Lotus seed is not commonly seen in western cuisine but a very common, humble, almost all-purposed ingredient in Chinese soup and medicine. In TCM theory, lotus seeds calm the heart, benefit the kidney and digestive organs. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber and even gluten-free. It’s believe it’s suitable for most people and most body condition.

How to cook

You could sometimes find fresh lotus seeds enclosed inside its fruit pod in farmer’s markets in southern China or Southeast Asian once it’s in season. The dried seeds can be obtained in any supermarket in Chinese regions since it’s such a common ingredient. There are two types in the market – both dried, one with brown peel, sometimes with bitter germ inside, one white, which is without peel, and have germ removed mostly. The bitter germ is also with benefit. It can clear the heat in the body and calm the heart, and is suggested to have in summer. I usually don’t bother to keep them in the soup but if you don’t like it, just obtain those halved lotus seeds with germ removed in the Chinese grocery stores or Chinese pharmacy.

Lotus seeds with peel are used in Cantonese soup, especially savoury soup, with other vegetable, pork, or Chinese medicine. Those without peel are used in dessert more often, such as tong-sui, or in Chinese pastry. Lotus seeds taste starchy and creamy with a hint of delicate sweetness after cooking. Lotus seed paste is the key ingredient in mooncake, or steamed bun. In the old days, we have crystallized lotus seeds for snacks in Chinese New Year.

Ingredients –

  • Sweet potato, 600g, any type, for making the dessert more autumn alike, I use orange flesh one
  • Dry white lotus seed, 50g
  • Snow fungus (dry), 10g
  • Ginger, 20g
  • Rock sugar, 80g
  • Water, 1500ml

How to do –

  1. Prepare the ingredients –

Sweet potato peeled, chopped in chunks;

Soak snow fungus in water for an hour till it turns soft. Change water once or twice. Then tear it apart, cut off the yellow root part with scissor, tear into small pieces. There’s no need to use a whole snow fungus, 1/3 should be good enough; (if needed, read more of this soaking and cleaning process in Autumn tong-sui, snow fungus and pear soup)

White lotus seeds washed in running water; most of the bitter germ in the seeds should have been removed. Don’t worry if you see any when cooking, just remove it or leave it. It won’t affect the taste;

Ginger sliced thickly;

2. Put them all in a big soup pot, add in 1500ml of water. Lid on and bring to boil in high heat, then simmer for 1 hour till all ingredients cooked to soft and tender;

3. Sweeten with rock sugar. Simmer for 10 more minutes till sugar melted. Heat off and let it sit for 10-20 minutes. You could slightly mash the ingredients with soup spoon for a thicker soup. Serve warm.
Note – It’s better add sugar at last, otherwise the sweet soup would taste a hint or sourness.

(中文菜谱)

用料 –

  • 番薯 600克
  • 白莲子 50克
  • 雪耳 10克
  • 姜片 20克
  • 片糖 80克
  • 水 1500毫升

做法 –

  1. 番薯削皮切大块;
  2. 雪耳泡发1小时,中途换一两次水,撕开后剪去根部黄色部分,再仔细冲洗一下。这个菜谱里不需要用一整个雪耳,大约用1/3个;
  3. 莲子冲洗;
  4. 姜切片;
  5. 把所有材料放入汤煲,加入1500毫升水。盖锅盖大火煮沸后转小火煲1小时至所有材料煮软煮至半融化;
  6. 最后按自己喜好放片糖调味,再煮10分钟至糖融化即可关火。焖10-20分钟后就可以吃了。煲糖水糖要最后放,要不然糖水口感会发酸;秋冬的糖水我喜欢吃绵密一点的,可以把番薯和莲子稍微压碎。
0

Sweet Potato and Lotus Seed Tong-sui (sweet soup), what is lotus seed

番薯蓮子雪耳糖水

Preparation time: 1h30mins
Serving: 4

Ingredients

sweet potato 600g

dry white lotus seed 50g

snow fungus 19g

ginger 20g

rock sugar 80g

water 1500ml

Instructions

1.Prepare the ingredients –
Sweet potato peeled, chopped in chunks;
Soak snow fungus in water for an hour till it turns soft. Change water once or twice. Then tear it apart, cut off the yellow root part with scissor, tear into small pieces. There’s no need to use a whole snow fungus, 1/3 should be good enough;
White lotus seeds washed in running water;
Ginger sliced thickly;

2.Put them all in a big soup pot, add in 1500ml of water. Lid on and bring to boil in high heat, then simmer for 1 hour till all ingredients cooked to soft and tender;

3.Sweeten with rock sugar. Simmer for 10 more minutes till sugar melted. Heat off and let it sit for 10-20 minutes. You could slightly mash the ingredients with soup spoon for a thicker soup. Serve warm.

3 thoughts on "番薯蓮子雪耳糖水 : Sweet Potato and Lotus Seed Tong-sui (sweet soup), what is lotus seed"

What do you think? Share your ideas below.

What's new