Saturday, November 28, 2015

Stewed Snow Fungus, Pears and Red Dates

The last time I cooked this was in 2010.

But when I saw the lovely Packham pears at the nearby fruit store, I couldn't resist buying a pack.  And because I knew my mom would enjoy having snow fungus, I made a batch... no sugar added of course!

Here are the cast of characters...

Here's the recipe:

2 pieces Packham pears or about 4 pieces Chinese pears
1 - 2 pieces dried snow fungus (about 25 grams), rehydrated
12 pieces dried red dates (Chinese jujube), rehydrated
2 liters purified water

Soak the snow fungus in water (not hot) for about 20 minutes. Remove the hard "core" and shred into manageable pieces. Remove any dirt, if any. In the meantime, peel the pears and slice into larges slices or cubes. Make 7 cuts on one end of each red date.

Put the pears, snow fungus, red dates and water into a slow cooker pot.  Cook about 45 minutes (for a crunchier bite to the snow fungus) or up to an hour and 15 minutes (for a really tender and soft snow fungus).  Remove the pears midway if necessary to prevent them from crumbling). Let the water reduce to about 1 liter or so.  Return the pears. Serve immediately.

This can be served cold too!

To sweeten the dish, use rock sugar.  Personally though the pears give a tinge of sweetness which is enough for me.

Snow fungus, or white fungus, is a traditional Chinese "herb" believed to be a general tonic and beauty enhancer (with anti-aging properties).  It is believed to have medicinal value especially in treating dry coughs and heart palpitations.  It has even been said that snow fungus helps battle tumors, lower bad cholesterol, protect the liver and fight inflammation.

As for the red dates (also known as jujubes), they are said to be beauty enhancers, as well as aid in lowering blood pressure, reversing liver disease, treating anemia, and slowing tumor cell growth.

How's that for healthy?!? 

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