August 7, 2016

Egg Flower Water Chestnut Dessert Soup 蛋花馬蹄糖水

Egg Flower Water Chestnut Dessert Soup 蛋花馬蹄糖水

Egg Flower,  Water Chestnut, Dessert Soup, chinese, recipe,  sweet, 蛋花, 馬蹄, 糖水, 菱角
By Published: 2016-08-07
I must confess to a weakness for Chinese dessert soups, known generally under the title 糖水, translated literally as "sugar water."  Simple to make yet most remarkable in their classic, enduring combinations of textures and tastes, reminiscent of home and hearth, of grandma's gentle scolding, mama's sweet kisses, warming in winter, cooling in the summer.  As we in Hong Kong are sweltering presently under a more intense than usual summer, (it's sooo hot!) I decided to treat the family to one of my favorite Chinese dessert soup, the simple to make, delicately beautiful, cooling and crunchy Egg Flower Water Chestnut Dessert Soup, or 蛋花馬蹄糖水.

Egg Flower,  Water Chestnut, Dessert Soup, chinese, recipe,  sweet, 蛋花, 馬蹄, 糖水, 菱角

One of the reasons this little dessert soup is one of my favorites is because it includes the wonderful water chestnut, or 馬蹄.  The water chestnut is actually a vegetable that, much like the lotus plant, grows in the mud underwater.  Did you know that the literal translation from the chinese name 馬蹄 can also mean horse hoof, which the water chestnut does rather look like, doesn't it?

Drawing of water chestnut plant by Francisco Manuel Blanco, Flora de Filipinas, 1880-1883
Oh, was there ever so deliciously sweet and crunchy vegetable as the fresh water chestnut?!  It is so sweet that it feels rather that one is eating a sort of candy, a fresh uncloying kind of sweetness, refreshing to the palate.  And the crunch of a fresh water chestnut is absolutely unique for a veg, juicy and super crispy crunchy at the same time.  

Egg Flower,  Water Chestnut, Dessert Soup, chinese, recipe,  sweet, 蛋花, 馬蹄, 糖水, 菱角

A note on the buying of water chestnuts.  Do try, try, try to buy fresh water chestnuts.  Canned water chestnuts are just not the same at all.  Look at your local asian food market for plump, hard, shiny chestnuts, never mind if a there's a bit o' dirt on 'em.  The flavor is spectacular!  However using fresh chestnuts makes for the only hard bit for this recipe.  The peeling of the fresh water chestnuts is a bit of a bear, use your best paring knife or a Y-shaped peeler and carefully whack away at it.  Watch those fingers!  Sometimes, if you're lucky you can find the fresh ones peeled already.

Egg Flower,  Water Chestnut, Dessert Soup, chinese, recipe,  sweet, 蛋花, 馬蹄, 糖水, 菱角

We added a wee bit of custard powder to the egg.  You don't have to add the custard powder, you can just use a plain egg.  But the custard powder adds a luscious bit of flavor and a lovely deep yellow to your egg flowers as they cook.

Egg Flower,  Water Chestnut, Dessert Soup, chinese, recipe,  sweet, 蛋花, 馬蹄, 糖水, 菱角

The trick to the making of this very lovely Chinese invention of the egg flower, or 蛋花, the delicate paper thin blossoms of egg petals in your soup, is to pour the lightly beaten egg into your simmering liquid in a thin slow trickle.  As you do you will see the egg flowers blossom before your very eyes!  Very lovely indeed, and very Chinese in its subtle nature inspired beauty.  I love this part...it's just like magic!

Serve the Egg Flower Water Chestnut Dessert Soup hot or cold, it's great both ways.  Light, soothingly sweet, lightly eggy with the divinely crunchy sweet fresh water chestnut bits.  Sooo refreshingly good! And so easy to make!

Egg Flower,  Water Chestnut, Dessert Soup, chinese, recipe,  sweet, 蛋花, 馬蹄, 糖水, 菱角


Egg Flower Water Chestnut Dessert Soup Recipe  蛋花馬蹄糖水
(makes approx 8-10 servings)

Ingredients

15 fresh water chestnuts (250g)
egg
3 tbsp custard powder (optional)
1/2 cup rock sugar or raw sugar (125 g)
4 cups water
5 tbsp cornstarch (also can use water chestnut starch)
2 tbsp water

Directions:

Wash and peel the water chestnuts.  Cut roughly into small pieces.

Add custard powder (if using) a tbsp at a time to egg and stir in thoroughly, making sure no lumps of powder are left.  If not using custard powder just lightly beat the egg.  Heat 4 cups water in pot.  When it boils add in sugar and stir til melted.  Mix cornstarch with 2 tbsp of cool water.  Once thoroughly mixed add to the sugar water and stir until the soup is thick.

Turn heat to low.  Stir soup to create a circular flow in pot.  Drizzle in the egg slowly.  Once all egg is in, turn fire to high until the soup boils.  Turn off heat immediately and add in the water chestnuts.  Cover for one minute and it's ready to serve.  If you like it cold (which I do!)  let cool to room temperature and then chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

      


More Delectable Desserts at The Hong Kong Cookery:

chinese, dessert, classic, dim sum, hong kong, Mango Pudding recipe, Style, traditional, 芒果布甸, 香港Hong Kong Style Mango Pudding 香港芒果布甸

cake flour, chinese, crust, custard, dessert, egg, egg tart molds, Egg Tarts, recipe, tart, traditional, 蛋撻Chinese Egg Tarts 蛋撻

 cake, chinese, honeycomb, recipe, rice, Sponge Cake, steamed, Sugar, 白糖糕Chinese Steamed Sugar Sponge Cake 白糖糕

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