I had this once, and that was about 9 to 10 years back then. I remembered I waited under the hot sun beside the air mata kucing stall (literally longan drink stall), waiting for my turn to collect my bowl of ice cold drink. And when i savor it, I starts to "oohhh~ahhhs~woohh~!!!". It's so concentrated, so sweet, so cold, so refreshing, so smooth and satisfying! It's under the hot sun, and my hand is holding that metal bowl. My palm's heat melt the ice even faster. This kind of experience is really priceless!
So, here's the thing. I'm trying to replicate the original Petaling Street luo han guo longan drink. Since it is the effort of replicating, I must make sure it taste as close to the original as I could lah. And for it's originality sake, I intentionally used a metal bowl to take a photo of this. It looks kinda quite alike! Hahaha...
There's a way to savor this longan drink. The whole idea is to cook up a pot of luo han guo and longan infused essence, with mad sweetness. And then, pour the infusion over to a bowlful of ice. Let it melt away, and slowly savor. You could argue that it is just too sweet, or it is more convenient to just add more cold water in it to make it faster instead of waiting the ice to melt away. But well, you know? Original one is like that mahhh... :D
If I wanna dilute the infused essence with water, I might as well boil a big pot of luo han guo and longan water loh. What makes it so special? Correct? This one is different. This is the super "kaw" (thick and strong) version of luo han kuo longan drink. They are much more "kaw" than the Kopi-kaw selling at your neighborhood kopitiam. They are like... espresso shot! Woooh!!!
I discussed with my mother about this longan drink. She argued that there's candied melons and melons flesh strips in there! I looked at her with my amazed look. Cos she usually doesn't even remember what she had last week! And now she tells me she remember all these donkey years back thingy?! Hahaha..
So, to kill the curiosity of the cat, I decided to add a handful of candied melon in. Oh well, it's a copycat version la. We can't be having the exact recipe from the stall. Whatever they display at the stall and whatever can be found in the bowl of longan drink can be the possible ingredients. So, anything is possible!
Ingredients (Serves 8 to 10, with bowlful of ice)
(Source : Wendyinkk, with modification)
- 400g Fresh Winter Melon
- 100g Candied Melon
- 3 Luo Han Guo
- 100g Dark Longan Flesh
- 250g Rock Sugar
- 2.2L Water
- Discard the winter melon seeds, give the skin a good scrub. Cut them into big chunk (skin on), and set aside.
- In a pot, bring water, winter melon chunks and candied melon to a boil. Lower the fire (the lowest fire) and let it simmer for 2 hours. I'm lazy, I cooked mine for 1.5 hours only. I just can't wait.
- Wash the luo han guo. Crack them. Put them into the pot together with rock sugar and let it continue to boil for another hour.
- Strain the infusion. Pick up some winter melon flesh and candied melons from the strained remainder. You don't have to pick up all of them. Just abit will do. Chop them into small piece, or into strips.
- Put dark longan flesh and chopped melon flesh into the strained infusion and boil it for another 20mins. You should be getting about 1 litre of concentrated infusion at the end.
- Let it cool down completely. Chill them in the fridge if you are making it for the next day.
- Take a FULL bowl of ice, scoop some infusion over. Let them melt for 5 mins and slowly savor it.
This is the dark longan flesh that I got from the chinese medicine hall. They taste really sweet and smells good. If you are replicating this longan drink, I'd highly encourage you to use this type of dark colored longan flesh instead of the lighter color longan, which is usually dehydrated.
This luo han guo and longan infused essence is VERY concentrated and sweet. But when it melts with the bowl of ice, the sweetness is just nice. I serve a bowl to my MIL. For the 1st sip, she complained. But after I explained, and ask her to drink it slowly instead of gulping the bowl of longan drink like a Garfield, she then slow down and let the ice melts away. And after she finished the 1st bowl, she asked if she could have another bowl. Haha..
One of the feature of this drink is the generous presence of longan flesh is not only making it a thirst quencher, but also a bowl of nice dessert too. When the ice started to melt away and it's just nice to drink em'.
So, do you prefer the metal bowl photo that gives more originality look? Or this tauhuay bowl that is arguably better looking?
No matter what, taste is still the most important. Do give it a try! :)
I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest KL Selangor Month hosted by Shannon of Just as Delish.