Went past Chinatown yesterday and got inspired!
Stewed Pear, White Tree Fungus, and lavender flowers with goji berries, green Chinese raisins, cardamon, dried papaya, and red date, sweetened with agave nectar and rock sugar.
Based on a classic and very delicious tasting Chinese herbal remedy for cough and for soothing the throat, I made a dessert beverage loaded with delicious edible things! Here’s what I did:
First, I soaked dried 4 White Fungus pods in warm water for about and hour, and trimmed away the hard plug at the rear of each. I separated the fungus into small pieces. Don’t be scared, this stuff is tasteless and really all about it’s neat texture that absorbs all the fruity/floral flavours.
Next, I peeled and cubed three very ripe Bartlett pears, and brought about 10-12 cups of water to a boil as I did. Once boiling, I added the pears and the fungus, along with 1/8 cup of dried lavender flowers, and allowed to boil lightly for about 20 minutes, until the pears were starting to cook through on the edges. Then, I added a 1/4 cup of goji berries, a 1/2 cup of green chinese raisins, 1/2 cup of diced dried papaya, 1/2 tsp of green cardamon powder (or 2 whole cardamon pods), and up to a tsp of salt. I allowed this to boil quite lightly for an additional 10 minutes, until pears were cooked through and dried fruit is saturated. It is okay to cook for longer if you need to. Once the pears were cooked through, I added 4 red dates and allowed them to soak, and while it was all still hot, I sweetened the dish to taste. for me it was a bout a quarter cup of agave nectar and about 6 teaspoon sized pieces of rock sugar.
Allow to cool at room temperature before chilling and then enjoy like like a dessert beverage/soup. Many also enjoy this dish hot.
It most resembles a kompot- a traditional slavic drink made from boiled dry fruit. The addition of the light crispy tree fungus along with the delectable stewed pear makes it more like a dessert suspended in a delicious exotic fruity tea. YUM!