Papaya, snow fungus and almonds soup (木瓜雪耳糖水) is a Chinese dessert which I tried at a famous dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong last month. When I tried the dessert, I thought this is something I can try to recreate at home since I have made something similar before – snow fungus with ginkgo nuts soup. I thought the combination of papaya, almonds and snow fungus is really nourishing and beautiful. This soup has health benefits such as improving blood circulation, strengthening respiratory system and improving complexion. I love to drink this dessert chilled.
This is the papaya I used for the recipe. Was surprised when I cut it open to find that it is yellow fleshed but it turned out still tasty in the dessert soup. I would have preferred orange flesh papaya though, I think the dessert will look prettier in orange :)
Soak snow fungus in a bowl of hot water until it is puffed up and turn a whiter shade, then carefully drain soaking water. Using a pair of kitchen scissors, trim and discard the dark yellow hard part on the centre underside of the fungus. Cut the rest of the fungus to smaller pieces and set aside.
Peel (using a vegetable peeler or knife) the papaya skin. Cut the papaya in half lengthwise, and use a spoon to scrap out all the seeds. Cut into small chunks.
In a soup pot, add water, fungus, pandan leaves, red dates and Chinese almonds. Bring to a boil and then simmer (with lid partially closed) for 20 minutes. Add papaya pieces and simmer until the papaya is soft (about another 20 minutes or more).
Add rock sugar to taste and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. Discard pandan leaves. Serve warm or chilled.