Ginkgo Barley Dessert with Foo Chuk is one dessert which my wife loves. It is known to be nutritious as cooling. Some chinese restaurants serve this dessert as part of a banquet, though usually for the more expensive menus because the ginkgo nut is rather expensive.
When purchased, the ginkgo nuts usually need to be broken either using a nut cracker or a mortar & pestle with a gentle knock. Ideally, take a toothpick and push the toothpick through the middle section of the nut to remove an “embryo”-like structure. This part of the nut is usually bitter tasting.
As for the foo chuk (soya skin), choose or ask your grocer for the soft type. The hard type is more suited for stews. However, even the soft type has different grades. Some will disintegrate very quickly during cooking whilst some remain intact, but soft enough to eat. The latter is the preferred choice.
This is my wife’s recipe for Ginkgo Barley Dessert with Foo Chuk
- 20 grammes of barley
- About 15 to 20 pieces of ginkgo nuts
- 1 to 2 pieces of foo chuk (more if you like)
- 4 pieces of Screw pine leaves / Daun Pandan (washed and tied to a knot)
- Sugar to taste
- About 1 litre of water
Bring water to boil in a large pot. Add screwpine leaves, barley and ginkgo nuts and let it boil on medium heat for 45 minutes. Add foo chuk and sugar to taste and let it boil for another 15 minutes or so before serving.
Cooking time and amount of ingredients is approximate as it is dependant on your liking. However, the ingredients are essential, of course. You can make do without the screwpine leaves but you will miss out on the fragrance which it imparts.
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