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Vegan Chinese Snow Fungus Soup (Tong Sui)

Vegan Chinese Snow Fungus Soup (Tong Sui)

Chinese Food, Sweets

the blog:

Lightly sweetened and nourishing for the body, this Vegan Chinese Snow Fungus Soup is the perfect dessert to have at the end of a meal. It is soothing and refreshing to have and requires very minimal ingredients to make.

Vegan Chinese Snow Fungus Soup (Tong Sui)

When you think of soup you usually think of something savory. However, in Chinese culture, one of the common desserts is sweet soups. Sweet soups like red bean soup or sesame soup can be served warm or hot. Personally, I always like them cold, especially when you have it after a warm meal.

“Tong sui” in Cantonese literally translates to “sugar water”. This Chinese Snow Fungus Soup is one of the many examples of tong sui and is one of the most common ones my mom made for my family especially during the summer. It is also common during Lunar New Year. It is entirely vegan and gluten-free.

Every time my mom makes them, I can smell them right when I walk into the kitchen. The Snow Fungus Soup has a naturally sweet aroma to it, different from the overpowering sweetness of say icing, cake, or caramel (you get what I mean right?). I remember standing on my mom’s kitchen stool, removing the lid, hoping the soup would have cooled down enough so that my mom could refrigerate it immediately so that I could have it soon. Sometimes, the impatient me would add ice cubes to it just so it would cool down faster, but of course, the taste would be water down which I did not like.

Vegan Chinese Snow Fungus Soup (Tong Sui)
Vegan Chinese Snow Fungus Soup (Tong Sui)
Vegan Chinese Snow Fungus Soup (Tong Sui)

My mom would transfer the large stockpot of the Snow Fungus Soup into several large pitchers and pack our two fridges with it. Because there were so many of them, every time my siblings and I would open the fridge looking for something to eat, my mom would tell us to have more of the soup before it turned bad. Because of its traditional medicinal benefits, my mom would always say that I’ll become even prettier after having it. I definitely was always swayed by it.

Anyhow, let’s get to making this Chinese Snow Fungus Soup!

You must be wondering what Snow Fungus is?
Snow fungus, also known as white wood ear, is a type of fungus commonly used in Chinese cuisine. It is grown naturally in tropical areas and has been harvested for culinary and medical uses.

Snow fungus, unlike wood ear, does not have much flavor. It comes usually in dried form and needs to be rehydrated until it is soft again before using it to cook. It is mainly used for its texture, chewy and gelatinous. In traditional Chinese medicine, snow fungus is popular because of the belief that it will strengthen the body, improving blood circulation and beauty benefits like rejuvenating the skin.

Vegan Chinese Snow Fungus Soup (Tong Sui)
Vegan Chinese Snow Fungus Soup (Tong Sui)

Here are the main ingredients you will need.

Snow Fungus: you can find them in most Asian grocery stores. They are white or lightly yellow in color.

Dried Red Dates (also known as jujube): this brings the natural sweetness to the soup

Dried Goji Berries: also adds sweetness to the soup with the red dates

Dried Pearl Barley
Rock Sugar

Asian pear: this is optional and some like to use apples as well. I really enjoy the refreshing flavors and the additional sweetness from the pear to the soup.

Additional Mix-ins: dried lotus seeds, dried longan

Vegan Chinese Snow Fungus Soup (Tong Sui)

Tips

Where can you buy Snow Fungus?
You can find them commonly in Asian grocery stores. They are white or slightly yellow in color.

Is the Chinese Snow Fungus Soup gluten-free?
Yes! It is entirely gluten-free.

How do I store the soup?
Allow the soup to cool completely. Then, transfer the soup to pitchers or airtight containers and refrigerate them. The soup is good for up to one week max.

Are there other mix-ins I can add?
Yes! You can add dried lotus seeds, more jujube dates, pearl seeds and even dried longan to the soup.

How do I know when the soup is done?
Some of the liquid should have evaporated and the dates and snow fungus should be completely soft. The rock sugar should have melted as well. The simmering is important to release the flavor from the mix-ins.

If you like this Vegan Chinese Snow Fungus Soup, you might also like to try:
Vegan Chinese Steamed Rice Cakes
Vegan Chinese Almond Cookies
Vegan Black-Eyed Pea Pudding

I cannot wait for you to try this Chinese Snow Fungus Soup! If you do, please tag me on Instagram @_withhelen or leave a comment below letting me know you like it! Happy cooking!

Vegan Chinese Snow Fungus Soup (Tong Sui)
Print

Vegan Chinese Snow Fungus Soup (Tong Sui)

Lightly sweetened and nourishing for the body, this Vegan Chinese Snow Fungus Soup is the perfect dessert to have at the end of a meal. It is soothing and refreshing to have and requires very minimal ingredients to make.

  • Author: Helen Au
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Sweets
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale

20g (~½ cup) dried snow fungus
1500g (6 cups) water
30g (or more if you prefer a sweeter taste) rock sugar
1 medium (~225g) Asian pear (or apple), sliced into bite-sized pieces
8g (3-4) dried red dates (Chinese jujube)
12g (~1 tbsp) dried pearl barley
12g (~1 tbsp) dried goji berries

Instructions

  1. Soak the snow fungus with warm water for 1 hour or overnight until it is soft. Once it is softened, trim out the yellow root part. 
  2. Add the water and rock sugar to a medium pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add in the snow fungus. Cover the pot and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes. 
  3. Add in the sliced pears, red dates, pearl barley, and goji berries. Cover the pot and allow it to simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the liquid is lightly amber in color and some of the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Serve warm or allow the soup to cool completely before transferring it to the fridge. Enjoy!

Keywords: snow fungus soup, chinese soup, chinese dessert, chinese cuisine

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Share a photo and tag me on Instagram @_withhelen. I can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

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