Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Winter Melon with Barley Dessert (冬瓜薏米糖水)

This is the type of food that is far from gourmet and which, I would generally would categorize it as epitomize home cooking.

Winter Melon with Barley Dessert (冬瓜薏米糖水) - One of the common dessert that my mother cook for us when the weather is really hot.

I still remember how much my deceased father loves this bowl of sweet and fresh home-cooked dessert. He will never fail to ask my mother for another bowl. This is the 1st time I cook this dessert for Max. He loves it so much! After he finished the 2nd bowl, he asked if he can have another bowl. Hahaha.. It can be eaten hot or cold. It's up to you.

I purchased a big cut of winter melon from the wet market. This cost me about S$1.50 I think? I forgotten. Anyway, this fresh melon doesn't cost much. So, go ahead and be generous.

Please don't opt out the candied melon. This is really good to have. I love it's crunchiness of the candied melon. And I think you would love it too.

  • 200g Candied Melon 糖冬瓜
  • 100g Barley 薏米
  • 500g Winter Melon 冬瓜
  • 50g Rock Sugar 冰糖 (Adjust amount to your preferred sweetness)
  • 2L Water
  1. Give Winter Melon a quick rinse, cut away the skin and cut them into huge cubes. 
  2. Wash Barley, drained, set aside.
  3. In a pot, add water and Barley. Boil under high heat. Once it's boiling, reduce to medium low fire and let it cook for 30mins.
  4. After 30mins, still on medium low fire, add in Winter Melon and Candied Melon.
  5. Continue to boil for another 2 hour or more if you want.
  6. Add in rock sugar and stir until the rock sugar is totally dissolved, heat off.
  7. Fish out half portion of the Barley grains and discard. And your dessert is ready to serve.
Since I'm cooking only 2L water, 100g Barley is quite alot. But trust me, u need lotsa Barley. Only with lots of Barley, the dessert will gives you the starchy "volume" and the glueiness. Once the dessert is done, I will always fish out half of the barley grains and discard. Leaving half barley grains behind. You won't be eating all the barleys for sure. I doubt your family member would be interested too.

Both winter melon and barley regarded as “cooling” in traditional Chinese medical practice. So, this is really really good if the weather is really hot and if you have heaty body. As I mentioned. You could serve it hot or keep them in the fridge and serve cold.

I don't know if your mom does this dessert or not. Because, the usual version that I saw out there is just Winter Melon. They don't have barley. For me, this is just simple and yet welcoming.

Whenever I had a bowl of this dessert, it really invoke feelings of nostalgia. I think I really miss those were the days :)


  1. This is one of my family's favourite tong sui also, i totally agree with you that this kind of homey food stirs up feelings of nostalgia and sentimentality..we grew up with such food. I like to add dried longan and red dates, so the soup turns dark brown.

  2. I have never had this dessert before but I think I will like it.

  3. Esther, yep! We grew up with such food! Yea, some people, they like to add dried longan and red dates.

    Phong Hong, try it! I'm sure you will love it :D

  4. what a hearty treat - i love this :)