Chinese New Year is all about excess, so sometimes it’s really quite a relief when you end the meal with something healthful and light. Sweet soups are an integral part of Chinese New Year feasts because it symbolizes sweet endings on the cusp of a new year. A few years ago, I was introduced to peach gum by my mother-in-law. It used to be quite an uncommon ingredient in Singapore but now, it is definitely growing in popularity as its collagen-rich and beautifying properties are increasingly well known. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it is the solidified resin from Chinese peach trees. It has a slightly gummy, flaky, jelly kind of texture, very similar to birds’ nest, so it is considered a poor man’s bird’s nest.
Peach Gum Dessert Soup
50g dried peach gum
15g white fungus (1/2 a rosette)
40g dried longan
30g red dates
1 pandan leaf
50g gula melaka
50g rock sugar
A tiny amount of osmanthus (optional)
1. Soak the peach gum overnight.
2. Remove any impurities with tweezers.
3. Soak snow fungus 30 minutes.
4. Trim off tough yellow part and cut into smaller pieces
5. Combine the peach gum, snow fungus, longan, red dates, pandan leaf and water in a pot.
6. Bring to the boil over high heat.
7. Add gula melaka and rock sugar and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
8. Consume warm or cold. Sprinkle over a small pinch of osmanthus over each bowl before eating, if desired.