Ginkgo Barley (Fu Chok) 白果薏米
This is one of my favourite Chinese desserts of all time. Also known as fu chok (foo chuk), this dessert tastes light, refreshing and nourishing. It is also really easy to make. Be sure to buy the soft type of bean curd skin sheets to make this dessert. The other type, which looks alike but is harder and oilier, is more suitable for making Chinese style meat stews (I found out the hard way because I use the wrong type on my first attempt of making the dessert). I cheat by using canned ginkgo nuts (where the nuts are already shelled and boiled), so the steps and cooking time for this recipe are greatly simplified.
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(Serves 6 to 8)
- 50g holland barley (洋薏米), rinsed a few times
- 1800ml water
- 5 pandan leaves, tied to a knot
- 20 pitted red dates
- 100g soft beancurd skin sheets (三边腐竹)
- 100g canned (boiled and shelled) ginkgo nuts (白果) (I used half can)
- 130g rock sugar (冰糖) (adjust to taste)
1. Soak bean curd sheets in a large bowl of water till soft, around 5 minutes.
2. In a pot, add water, barley, pandan leaves and red dates. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 20-30 minutes till barley is soft.
3. Add gingko nuts and soaked softened beancurd sheets (do not add the water used to soak the beancurd sheets), and continue simmering for another 10 minutes, or until the beancurd skin reached the consistency you like (big pieces or congee-like fine consistency; I like somewhere in between).
4. Add rock sugar to taste, turn off the flame when the sugar is fully dissolved. Discard pandan leaves. Serve warm or chilled.
Behind the Scenes Photos
1. Make sure you buy the soft type of beancurd skin to make this dessert. The other type, which is harder and oilier, is more suitable for making Chinese style meat stews (lor bah).
2. Get the finer type of barley, usually labelled as holland barley (洋薏米). They are easier to cook and softer to eat.
3. If you are using raw ginkgo nuts, you will need to increase the simmering time in step 2 (around 1 hour) till the nuts are soft. Add a bit more water too. Before using, gently crack open the shells with a mortar and pestle, insert a toothpick to flick out the dirt in the center of the nut which is bitter tasting.
4. Instead of canned ginkgo nuts, you can use those which are vacuum packed as well. Because of the way the nuts are compressed by the vacuum packaging which distorts their shape, I personally prefer the canned type.
5. You can substitute gingko nuts with lotus nuts, or use a combination of both.
Fancy more Chinese desserts recipes?
Who’s also making it
- Christine’s Recipes (her version comes with soft-boiled eggs)
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