Cooling brews to combat the heat

With daily maximum temperatures poised to soar above 35 deg C, beat the heat with The Straits Times Food Online this week.

Here are two recipes – with accompanying videos – to cool down with. Try making a soothing Chinese Pear and Snow Fungus Soup or a tasty brew of Sugar Cane Herbal Tea using dried sugar cane.

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CHINESE PEAR AND SNOW FUNGUS SOUP


ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 piece dried snow fungus (35g)
  • 1 fresh Chinese pear (425g)
  • 1.4 litres water
  • 2 sugared flattened tangerines (50g), rinsed
  • 1 honey date (25g)
  • 2 pieces dried tangerine peel (0.5g)
  • 1 Tbs nan bei xing (Chinese apricot kernels, 10g)
  • 1 Tbs chuan bei (fritillaria)
  • 3 large red dates, halved and pits removed (33g)
  • 20g honey rock sugar (optional)

METHOD

1. Soak the snow fungus for at least 30 minutes. It should be fully immersed in water. Soak it overnight if you prefer it softer in texture when cooked. Use a pair of scissors to remove the tough stem endings.

2. Rinse the snow fungus and place it in a colander to drain excess water. Set aside.

3. Peel the pear, remove the seeds, slice into eight sections and set aside.

4. Pour the water and all the ingredients into a pot.

5. For stove-top cooking, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 1hr 30min. If using a slow cooker, turn the heat to high and boil for two hours.

6. Optional: If you prefer the soup to be sweet, add 20g of honey rock sugar.

SUGAR CANE HERBAL TEA


ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 golden luo han guo (45g)
  • 4 chilled figs (60g), halved
  • 3 litres water
  • 100g dried sugar cane
  • 2 honey dates (40g)
  • 2 sugared flattened tangerines (40g)
  • 70g bei sha shen (coastal glehnia root)

METHOD

1. Rinse all the ingredients.

2. Fill a pot with 3 litres of water and add all the ingredients.

3. Cover and bring to a boil. Once the water comes to a boil, turn the heat down to low.

4. Simmer for 45 minutes, then turn off the heat.

5. Allow the mixture to cool. Strain and serve.

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