White fungus and dried longan soup does sound strange. But it is certainly not a strange soup to the natives of China. Chinese families drink this soup because White fungus is known to nourish the body and to heal the lungs. In Chinese medicine the lungs is considered the most important function as it’s the first defence of the body and helps our body fight external viruses.
The main ingredient in this soup is the white fungus. Apparently it also helps your skin stay youthful. Thus it is known as the ‘poor man’ version of bird’s nest. It shares some of the same qualities of bird’s nest but it is more affordable. It comes in a dried form and it needs to be soak in water for at least 1 hour before it can be used. It has a gelatious texture and it’s quite tasteless.
The other ingredients…
One of the other ingredient is dried longan. Longan is a fruit similar in taste to lychee. Longan in Chinese means ‘dragon eyes’, it is given this name because the seed of the longan fruit resembles an eyeball. The dried version of the longan is generally used in soup to sweeten it. Consuming the longan fruit is known to improve eye function, relieve stress and give you glowing skin.
Lotus seeds are sweet and neutral and is known to benefit the spleen, kidney and heart.
Lily bulb is considered to have cooling properties and helps relieve coughs, dry throats and moisten the lung.
Rock sugar are lumps of crystallised refined sugar and it not as sweet as regular sugar. It usually used in Chinese cooking to sweeten soups, sauces and marinades.
I only generally make this soup when I am have cough that doesn’t seem to go away quickly. But after doing my research and finding out about the nutritional benefits of these ingredients. I think I should start drinking this soup more often.
Happy cooking! 🙂
Step 1: Add the white fungus to a bowl and cover it with water and leave it for at least an hour. Ensure that the water fully covers the fungus as it will expand.
Step 2: Soak the lotus seeds in a bowl with lukewarm water
Step 3: Cut around the stem of the white fungus and discard the stem. Chop or cut the white fungus in to smaller pieces
Step 4: Take out the lotus seeds. If there are any green stem inside the seeds then take these out. If you leave them in it will make the soup taste bitter
Step 5: Add all the ingredients to the pan of water. Bring to boil and simmer for 30 mins
Step 6: Add the rock sugar and cook for a further 10 mins
- 1 White Fungus
- 2 tbsp of dried lotus seeds
- 2 tbsp dried lily root
- 1 tbsp dried longan
- 1 litre of water
- 100g of rock sugar
- 01: Add the white fungus to a bowl and cover it with water and leave it for at least an hour. Ensure that the water fully covers the fungus as it will expand.
- 02: Soak the lotus seeds in lukewarm water
- 03: Cut around the stem of the white fungus and discard the stem. Chop or cut the white fungus in to smaller pieces
- 04: Take out the lotus seeds. If there are any green stem inside the seeds then take these out. If you leave them in it will make the soup taste bitter
- 05: Add all the ingredients to the pan of water. Bring to boil and simmer for 30 mins
- 06: Add the rock sugar and cook for a further 10 mins
- I usually don't cover the pan with a lid. I will lay a pair of chopsticks over the pan and then put the lid on top. It's a tip I have pick up from my mum.
- You can taste the soup after 30 mins and if the soup is sweet enough then you don't have to add the rock sugar. You can adjust the sweetness depending on how sweet you would it to be.
The recipe is: