Gingko Barley Dessert 腐竹白果薏米

I was given a free, hot nutritious Chinese dessert when I had my manicure.Can you guess what I am having?

I was given a free, hot nutritious Chinese dessert when I had my manicure.
Can you guess what I am having?

Barley Gingko Dessert 腐竹白果薏米.

Barley Gingko Dessert 腐竹白果薏米.

This is the finished look of the dessert.

This is the finished look of the dessert.

Eat it hot or chilled. I like it hot.

Eat it hot or chilled. I like it hot.

Gingko Barley Dessert 腐竹白果薏米
Ingredients: (serves 6 to 8)
60g Pearl Barley (洋薏米 – I used Ayam brand), rinsed a few times under running water.
2 litres Water, more if necessary.
5 Pandan Leaves, washed and knotted (optional).
100g – 200g Dried Beancurd Sheets (腐竹 – for dessert not the type used for braising pork trotters or chap chye).
1 teaspoon of Bicarbonate Soda, optional (omit if you don’t like using it but the soup will not be milky).
200g fresh Ginkgo Nuts (白果, comes unshelled. Discard bad ones – you can tell that they are overly dehydrated, change in colour or turned powdery). Or you may buy canned ones and use the amount according to your taste.
1 – 2 Eggs, beaten, optional.
Quail Eggs, hardboiled, 2 – 3 per person (optional).
150g rock sugar (冰糖), or according to your taste .

1. Crack open the gingko nut shells with a mortar & pestle and soak in water. Peel off the skin with a toothpick and split the nuts into halve. Remove the “heart” a tiny stem inside the nuts. This is bitter and some say poisonous (not verified). To keep the nuts whole, just insert a toothpick to flick out the dirt in the center of the “fatter” part of the nut. You can prepare this step one day earlier (even a couple of days and refrigerate till needed, remember to rinse again before using).

2. Soak half the portion (100g) beancurd sheets in a large bowl of water with 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda (BS) till soft, around 30 minutes. Throw away water and rinse well (in a colander under running water). If not using BS, just soak 150g in water till soft about 5-10 minutes and rinse well and drain.

3. Put BS prepared soy beancurd sheets and fresh gingko nuts and the 2 litre water in a pot and boil for 30 minutes over medium low flame.

4. Add barley, remainder soy beancurd sheets and pandan leaves, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes or until the barley is soft. The soup should be like soybean milk. If you did not use BS, the soybean sheets would just looked broken and the soup clear. Stir a few times during cooking.

5. Once the barley is bloated and gingko nuts softened, add rock sugar to taste. Discard pandan leaves.

6. When the sugar is fully dissolved, stir in the beaten eggs to make egg ribbons over medium high flame.

7. Add in the shelled hard boiled quail eggs if using. Serve hot or chilled.

Happy cooking 🙂

25 Responses to “Gingko Barley Dessert 腐竹白果薏米”
  1. Lignum Draco says:

    Hmmm, how do you eat and get a manicure at the same time? 🙂

  2. Janet Rörschåch says:

    They give you treats when you get a manicure? That’s amazing! Occasionally we might have a glass of wine served, but never food. Looks like you enjoyed your treat.

    • Sam Han says:

      Actually, the desserts came from the shop across the manicurist. She called to shop to give me some soybean curd (sweet type) to try and I was speaking to the young owner of the organic soybean shop. She came by after a while and gave me this gingko nut dessert, lol… It was so good it reminded me of the days I used to cook them twice weekly. There is a lot of nutritional value in this dessert if you care to google each ingredients used. 😀

  3. Laura Lynn says:

    Love the smiling face! That must be a good dessert! I have been canning peaches and tonight I made peach jam with vanilla. Very tasty over ice cream-but not very healthy…

  4. You look thrilled in your picture! This would be a pretty smart move by the manicurist if she serves Tong Sui to each of her customers. I’d so go.

    • Sam Han says:

      Tong sui is from opposite shop, young Chinese nationale girl, very enterprising. Her organic soy themed cafe just started and she doesn;t mind dishing freebies to the manicurist’s customers. Smart move! I fell in love with quite a number of her food on the menu and has been singing praises to my friends since. They’ve also start patronising her cafe.

      • Organic dessert shop? That’s rare isn’t it, for sg? Good to see the organic movement is going to south east Asia. My parents always complain about how hiked up organic food prices are compared to conventional in Malaysia

        • Sam Han says:

          Yes organic movement started decades ago but the “pricey” tag deterred average Sgp from buying but nowadays, it’s quite common. The question is how organic is organic?

  5. Jessica says:

    Looks yummy! And how fun to eat it while getting a manicure! 😀

  6. Teo Ai Li says:

    Hi, I added BS to all the beancurd but the soup is not milky at all. What could have happened? Thanks

  7. Teo ai li says:

    Hi! Would like to clarify re the amount of beancurd skin to use and soak. If I am using 200gm, I will only soak 100gm in baking soda and the balance 100gm just soak in water till soft. Am I correct? Then when do I add in the beancurd skin without soaking in baking soda? Fyi. I used only 100gm of beancurd skin and soaked all of them in baking soda. The drink was like soya bean milk but it was also very rich and slightly thick. Is it how it should be? Thanks and appreciate your help!

    • Sam Han says:

      Hi Ai Li, yes the dessert should be soya bean milk like if you soak them in BS. You may put in the un-soaked beancurd skin once the “milky soup” is achieved or about 10 minutes before the cooking is done. The thick texture could also be from the barley being overcooked, so if you don’t like too thick, make sure to put in the barley a little later (or use lesser of it).

    • Sam Han says:

      You can use 100g of beancurd skin to soak in BS and another 50g – 100g of unsoaked ones. The amount can be adjusted to your personal taste preference but try not to exceed 200g in total.

  8. Teo Ai Li says:

    Hi! Im so sorry to bother you again. I finally managed to get the milky taste in the soup but somehow it tastes a little bitter. Is it due to too much baking soda or I did not wash well after soaking with baking soda? By the way, how do you weigh the dried beancurd since its so light? Thanks for your help!

    • Sam Han says:

      Hi Teo,
      Your dessert seems to be producing different results each time you cook. I suppose it is the potency of your Baking Soda (BS). Try to use fresh BS each time you cook. You may try soaking the bean skin for 10 minutes in water before adding BS and continue to soak for another 20-30 minutes. The ratio of BS is not how much bean skin but rather the amount of water you use to soak them. Use 1 tsp for every 2 to 2.5 litres of water. Rinse the soaked bean skin thoroughly under running water and soak them in water again until you are ready to use them. Drain away water as use the bean skin as directed. Bitterness could be from any residual BS or the ginko nuts (inner stems not fully removed) or nuts not rinsed well.

    • Sam Han says:

      There’s always weight listed in the package. A little more or less (i.e. 50g) does not matter. FYI, I have a digital weighing machine that gives me accuracy of 0.1g for baking purposes. 🙂

  9. Teo Ai Li says:

    1 more question…if I were to double this recipe, do I also double the amount of BS (from 1tsp to 2tsp)to soak the beancurd? I plan to cook this for a potluck dinner so really appreciate your help! Thanks

    • Sam Han says:

      The ratio of BS is not how much bean skin but rather the amount of water you use to soak them. Use 1 tsp for every 2 to 2.5 litres of water. Rinse the soaked bean skin thoroughly under running water and soak them in water again until you are ready to use them. Drain away water as use the bean skin as directed.

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