When we were kids, my late dad would bring us to places to have this cold, sweet dessert. In those days, we did not have a refrigerator at home, so having this cold dessert was definitely a special treat for us.
Missing Dad plus the extreme hot weather recently, Cheng Tng seems to be a good option to combat the heat and bring me some good childhood memories. For some of you who are not familiar with this dessert, Cheng Tng literally means clear soup. It is both light and refreshing.
Some might think that Cheng Tng is easily available at hawker centres or food courts, so why bother to cook it yourself. You need to bear in mind that many of the Cheng Tngs that you consume outside have a lot of fragrance essence added into it, which is why I prefer to cook it at home. I can also adjust the ingredients according to my preference. Feel free to share your Cheng Tng cooking experience and the preferred ingredients you like to use in the comments below.
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Serves 4 to 5 persons
120g lotus seeds
120g dried longan
50g dried white fungus
10 red dates
70g or more rock sugar (depending on your taste)
3 knots pandan leaves
2 litres of water
- Soak white fungus and dried lotus seeds, separately, in warm water for about 10 minutes till they soften.
- Then trim the softened white fungus into small clusters and discard the stem portion. Set aside.
- Next, remove the green pith from the center of the lotus seeds to prevent the bitter taste when cooking.
- Add 2 litres of water and pandan leaves into a pot. Then bring them to a boil.
- Add in the white fungus and continue to simmer over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes.
- Next, add in the lotus seeds, dried longan, red dates, gingko nuts, and rock sugar into the pot. Simmer for another 20 minutes or till the ingredients soften.
- Remove the pandan leaves.
- Taste and see if it is to your liking, you can add more brown sugar if necessary.
- It can be served both hot or chilled.