Time: 30 minutes.
I honestly do not know how to translate this word into English without sounding weird. Tong sui is a Cantonese word which means “sugary water”. It is sweet and contains various ingredients, such as red dates (红枣), peach gum (桃胶) and white fungus (白木耳), that are beneficial and provide energy “qi (气)“ to the body.
This dessert is a must-eat early in the morning of the first day of Chinese New Year. It signifies “甜甜蜜蜜，生活美好”, which means “a sweet life throughout the year” as in eating sweet dessert. The Chinese have subtle meaning for most of the food they consume, for example, fish for “extra wealth remained (年年有余)” or Nian gao (年糕) for “rising steadily” (步步高升).
Chinese women usually prepare this occasionally for their family in order to preserve health. The Chinese strongly recommend prevention rather than treatment (防范胜于治疗), one of the core philosophy in Chinese medicine. Tong sui has such a highly respected reputation as a dessert that it is actually one of the main determining factors of a good housewife during the olden days!
If your spouse or love interest is a Chinese, making them a bowl of sweet tong sui will definitely bring you a lot closer together! This is also a good way to sneak in nutritious fruits into your kids diet.
- 300 g diced fruits (Preferably pear)
- 5-6 red dates
- 3 peach gums (Alternative: white fungus)
- Chinese rock sugar (Alternative: Brown sugar)
- 800 cc water
- [Optional] 8-10 dried longan
- [Optional] Sago
1. Immersed peach gums in 200 ml of water overnight. It might seem little at first but they will grow into a mass of 5 times their original size! Rinse the water off and remove the black particles in them. Set aside for later use.
2. Diced the pears into small cubes. Remove the seeds from the red dates and slice them into 4 parts. Now you are fully prepared to cook tong sui!
3. Boil 800 cc of water and add in the diced pears and red dates. Cook them on a medium flame for 15 minutes.
4. The pear cubes should be slightly soften now. Now put it the peach gums, longan, sago and brown sugar. Cook for another 10 minutes.
5. So how do we know it is done? The answer is at the diced pears! The diced pears will turn translucent and become very soft at this point! Add in some water if there is too little liquid.
There you go! Our delicious, healthy tong sui is now done! Serve them to your loved ones now!
What do you think about this recipe? Comment below and let us know!