Cheng Tng Recipe [Asian Dessert]

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Cheng Tng  ( 清汤 )which literally means “clear soup”, is a very popular dessert that is available in almost every Hawkers Centre in Singapore. There is a similar dessert in Vietnam called Ching bo leung.  It is a good choice for the health-conscious, as it combines an array of healthy, dry ingredients that are boiled in a sweet soup-like dessert that is sweetened with rock sugar. There are a variety of ingredients that may be used, and you can add or omit according to your personal preference or availability of ingredients.

Definitely one of Singapore’s most popular local desserts, it is a sweet bowl of refreshing comfort! A treat that may be served hot or cold! It is absolutely delightful served cold, during the hot summer months while being perfectly blissful served hot, on those rainy cool evenings!

The common ingredients are Dried Longan, Dried red dates, Pearl Barley, Sago, White Fungus, Pandan Leaves (Screwpine), Lotus seeds, Ginko Nuts, Dried Persimmon, Pang Da Hai (胖⼤海/ Boat Sterculia Seed/Malva nut). It can also contain jelly strips. You can use agar-agar or Konnyakku.

Many consider the 'Pang dai hai' (dried Malva nut ) to be the most important component. It has a cooling effect and disperses 'Qi' . According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), qi is the vital energy that circulates through the body at all times. It has a wonderful cooling effect, but pregnant are advised against it.

I make it sometimes with and sometimes without the Pang da hai, the color of the Cheng tng will vary accordingly. The broth may also be naturally sweetened by adding sweet potato, dried persimmon, and sugared winter melon.  A perfect Cheng tng will not just be sugar water with added ingredients, you should be able to taste the flavor of the individual ingredients as they add soul to the sweet broth as they come together.

Instead of chilling or adding shaved ice to the hot broth, the cold version may be served with cute ice balls too. Use silicone molds to create lovely ice cubes.
#chengtng #singaporerecipes



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