Of all the health food fads that saturate our pantries and social media these days, peach gum - a relatively recent Chinese beautifying food sensation - is surely one to stay. Peach gum (桃膠) has been making increasing appearance on shelves in health food stores and on dessert menus across town, and it did not take me long to finally give in and snatch myself a bag of this curious gemstone-lookalike when I saw some on sale at a food fair.
|Serve this dessert hot for a nourishing treat or chilled for a refreshing twist|
|A little goes a long way: peach gum expands drastically when soaked in water|
What makes peach gum so good? It's cheap, and no animal cruelty is involved. I like the sound of that.
Peach gum, when soaked in water overnight, expands astonishingly in size. Read: a little goes a long way! These amber-hued, gem-like crystals plumps up into translucent clouds that are at once soft and dense to the bite, with a gelatin bouncy texture that reminds of aiyu jelly ubiquitous in Taiwanese desserts and beverages. As peach gum is generally tasteless, it features well in many desserts and soups, sometimes even stews. With as few as six crystals being plenty for a single serving, a bag of peach gum could last a remarkably long time, which translates into incredible value.
|As peach gum is believed to have cooling properties in traditional Chinese medicine, cooking peach gum with dried longan and red dates give balance to this dessert|
|Peach gum is believed to be beneficial to both our stomach and skin|
Whilst all sounds too fantastical to be real, the cleaning process, inevitably, does require some patience and time. I find rinsing the peach gum and replacing the water every now and then along the way during the soak less overwhelming than removing the dirt and debris all at once at the end. Also, a pair of kitchen tweezers would come in very handy.
From my little experience working with peach gum, I could confidently surmise that what one pays for a peach gum dessert outside largely covers the labor cost of picking out the dirt (and rent, and then some). With just a little effort, you too can be making this nutritious dessert at next to nothing in cost. The recipe is so easy and the result so worthwhile you'd soon be making more, I promise. What would one not do for beauty?
( I must admit, I am in love with this photoshoot... I purposefully dug out from storage my late mom's collection of vintage Chinese chinaware. They will probably start appearing in more photoshoot in the near future! )
What you'll need...
1 scant tablespoon (approx. 12 g) peach gum
8 Chinese red dates
8 dried longan
10 dried lotus seeds
1 scant tablespoon goji berries
40 g rock sugar (or to taste)
800 ml water
1. Soak peach gum in water overnight or a minimum of 6 hours. Discard water, rinse and remove any impurities.
2. Remove any sprout found in the lotus seeds. Using kitchen shears, remove the pit from the red dates. Soak lotus seeds, red dates, and dried longan in water to soften. Give the goji berries a quick rinse and set aside.
|Peach gum expands up to 20 times in size, so a little goes a long way! Don't go overboard or you will regret when cleaning the peach gum...!|
【 紅棗桂圓雪蓮子桃膠糖水 】
桃膠 12 克（約 1 小湯匙）
紅棗 8 粒
桂圓 8 粒
蓮子 10 粒
杞子 約 1 湯匙
冰糖 40 克（視乎個人口味）
清水 800 毫升
1. 桃膠用大量清水浸發 6 小時或過夜。去除雜質、沖洗乾淨後瀝乾桃膠備用。
3. 將蓮子、紅棗、桂圓和 800 毫升清水倒入煲內，待水滾後轉中慢火煮 25 分鐘。
4. 加入桃膠、杞子和冰糖，慢火煮 15 分鐘後即成，冷熱佳宜！
備註： 浸發好的桃膠體積可增達 20 倍，所以少量已足夠！
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