Dried lily bulbs are a notable edible flower in Chinese cuisine and has been long used in traditional Chinese medicine. You can find them in Chinese herbal stores or Asian supermarkets. Isn't it just amazing that we can eat the bulbs and seeds from the beautiful lotus flower?
Other than lily bulbs and seeds, this recipe includes many other exotic ingredients as well. We've all heard of goji berries which are often touted as a superfood. A new thing that I've learned is that they are also called wolfberries. Wolfberry turns out to be the commercial name for goji berry.
You may have had Chinese ear mushroom (black wood ear fungus) before from a Chinese restaurant. But for this sweet dessert recipe, we will be using white tremella mushroom (snow fungus) which has a more tender texture. Both of these may seem a little intimidating to cook with at first especially you've never had it before. However, they are quite delicious and have many medicinal benefits to the body as they are anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor. They are also important in traditional Chinese medicine.
You've probably had medjool dates before, but have you ever had jujube dates? This is one of my favorite ways to use dried jujube. You can also eat it in the dried form as a snack without cooking it. I also love crunching on fresh jujube dates (picture below), which I've been able to find in certain tents at the farmer's market. If you live in Houston, I'm talking about Urban Harvest. So be sure to look for fresh jujube dates as they look and taste completely different than the dried form. They both taste so unique that it's hard to believe they are even the same fruit. The dried red dates add sweetness to the porridge, so I prefer to have more than less! Just be careful to eat around the pits.
Here are all the ingredients together in one glorious bowl!
- 1/4 cup dried lily bulb百合干
- 1/3 cup lotus seeds 莲子
- 1/3 cup dried longan 桂圆肉
- 5 cups water (use more or less for desired thickness)
- 1 cup glutinous/sticky rice 糯米
- small pieces dried tremella mushroom 银耳
- 1/4 cup dried goji berries 枸杞子
- 1/2 cup Chinese jujube dates 红枣
- 3 tbsp dried ginseng fruit 人参果 (opt)
- 1/4 cup raisins (opt)
- brown sugar
- soak dried lily, lotus seeds, and longan 4-5 hours or overnight
- wash and drain all ingredients when ready for cooking
- boil everything but rice in water (use less rice for soupier consistency and vice versa)
- after 20 minutes, add rice and simmer for 30 minutes until rice and dates are soft
- serve in bowls and mix in brown sugar to each person's liking at the end
I hope you learned a lot about one of my favorite traditional Chinese foods today!
Comment below to tell me your thoughts.