Its summer in New Zealand now and the heat in Auckland can be unbearable. What more perfect than a nice chilling beverage to cool the body and cheer me up. In Malaysia cheap and abundant stalls selling fresh coconut juice solves the problem. But coconuts in New Zealand costs like $4 each….at least! Ice creams are nice of course but it just makes you thirsty. Soft drinks and beer aren’t my cup of tea. I always liked chinese herbal tea (leung-sui) though. So I’ve decided that the boiled fungus and longan drink (suet-yee-longan) would be ideal for summer.
- White fungus, about 1 handful
- Dried longans, about half a handful, rinsed
- 2-3 pcs honey dates (mat-joe), optional, rinsed
- 2 strips pandan leaves
- Sugar to taste
- First soak the white fungus until its expanded and soft. Break it off into bite size pieces, wash and drain.
- Bring about 3.0 liters of water to boil in a pot with pandan leaves.
- Once boiling add in the fungus and dates if using. Bring to boil again.
- Once boiling, add in sugar to taste and bring to boil. Sugar is added early so that it has time to caramelise.
- Once boiling, lower the heat and let simmer covered for about 45 minutes or until the fungus is no longer “crunchy”.
- Add in longans. If necessary, season with sugar and/or add water. Bring to boil.
- Once boiling, lower heat and let simmer for another 20-30 minutes.
- All done!
I usually let it cool before consuming. For best results, I usually chill it in the fridge over night and its perfect for dessert or just a beverage by itself the next day! The soft and juicy longans with the silky fungus and slightly thick sweet pandan-scented broth says it all 🙂