....... Divertimento: Water Chestnut Pudding

Friday, 3 February 2012

Water Chestnut Pudding

For the Lunar New Year, I got busy with making some traditional favorites as gifts to family and friends. Amongst this is the very famous Hong Kong Cantonese dessert called the water chestnut pudding. It’s a great “pantry staple” (it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week). As part of my experimentation, I varied the recipe by substituting some of the rock sugar with some Chinese brown sugar which comes in blocks 冰片糖. It added a very pleasant depth to the flavor and so I would recommend it. Here is the recipe for this adaptation of the original recipe:

Water Chestnut Pudding with brown sugar

500 g water chestnut powder
500 g rock sugar冰糖
250 g Chinese brown sugar冰片糖
8 water chestnuts
3 litres water

  1. Peel water chestnuts and chop into little bits.
  2. Boil 1.5 litres of water, rock sugar and brown sugar in a large stock pot. Add in the chopped water chestnuts.
  3. Place the water chestnut powder in a large mixing bowl. Add 1.5 litres of water and mix thoroughly. Make sure that the batter is absolutely smooth with no lumps of water chestnut powder.
  4. When the sugar is dissolved, add in one cup of the water chestnut batter. Stir immediately. The sugar solution should thicken slightly and the mixture is clear. Bring to boil again.
  5. Turn heat off and stir in the rest of the water chestnut batter. The mixture is now opaque. Keep stirring the bottom of the pot to ensure that the mixture does not stick.
  6. Divide the mixture into 3 deep 8 inch dishes.
  7. Place a trivet in a wok and fill with water to slightly above the top of the trivet. Use high heat. When the water is boiling, place a tray of the batter on the trivet and steam with the lid on the wok for about 20 minutes. When cooked, the pudding will be honey coloured and clear. When necessary, top up the water in the wok with hot water.
  8. Leave the cooked pudding in the dishes to cool.
Whilst still warm, cut into slices and serve.Leftover pudding can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. To reheat, fry slices with a little oil.

uncooked water chestnut puddingThis is what water chestnut pudding batter looks like before being steamed.

water chestnut pudding being steamed

This is water chestnut pudding being steamed. Notice that the batter is translucent around the edges and is turning a light brown honey color.

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