Pacifying the Dragon with Tong Sui
Sai Kung is one of the most beautiful places in Hong Kong.
I had the rare opportunity to participate in the Jiao Festival in Tseng Lang Shue Village, Sai Kung, Hong Kong which only takes place once every 30 years.
I was able to observe a very special ritual called “Pacifying the Dragon”. During this ritual, a duck was used to lead the dragon represented by a long red cloth; a rooster will be used as its tail up to the top of the highest peak in the local village. This dragon visited certain locations near the village where rituals were performed by Zhenyi Daoists and ritual representatives.
Of course, I was one of those crazy people who climbed up this unpaved treacherous hill with the locals to keep the spirit of the festival alive. I was intrigued to watch as the various components of the parade were assembled; a duck to lead, a lion, a chicken at the end, a "Man of fortune" bearing a clay urn containing grain, which is buried on the hillside to pacify the dragon. The Jiao Festival event occurred during the weekend of mid-December 2011, I'm a
bit ,okay just a tad late, on getting my posts published.
Of course Bam's Kitchen is leading up to a recipe and you can stop worrying as I promise this cute little duck was NOT on the dinner menu.
The local villagers in this area speak Hakka and are so friendly and kind. Ohh my goodness and the amazing food. Unfortunately, this food we were not allowed to eat as this food is a food offering for this religious and spiritual ceremony.
All this climbing mountains and surrounding myself with food, that I cannot eat, was making me hungry. I want something nurturing, warm and slightly sweet. I think I want some of my dear friend's, Wang Xiao Yu's Tong Sui (Chinese Sweet Dessert Soup). Alice is one of the sweetest persons I know and she makes the sweetest little dessert soup. To my dear Alice ,this post is dedicated to you. Keep reading ahead to find out the secret for making this delicately sweet soup.
糖水 (Tong sui) is a sweet dessert soup. Unlike Western desserts, Asian desserts are lightly sweet and refreshing. The warmth of the soup in the winter months is really soothing. It is a really simple dessert with just a few ingredients and a very short cook time. One of my favorite ingredients in the soup is wolf berries (gogi berries) gou ji zi. Please visit my dear friend's Sharon's website at http://www.chinesesouppot.com/2-common-ingredients/863-goji-wolfberry to learn more about this interesting Chinese herb and also delicious Chinese soups.
Wang Xiao Yu's Tong Sui
Serves 4 adults or 2 hungry teenagers
- 200 ml of water
- 1/2 cup of small Chinese Glutenous rice balls (frozen)- if located in the western world, you could substitute tapioca or plain white rice, but does not have that same chewy texture. Plain diced mochi is a good alternative in Asia.
- 1/4 cup or rice jiu (Chinese rice ETOH)- ( I think a better alternative may be a sweet dessert wine or umeshu)
- handful of wolf berries- (can try substituting with light-colored sultans)
- drizzle of honey or alternative sweetener
- 1/2 teaspoon of Chinese Sweet Osmanthus Flower Tea (can substitute with crushed chrysanthemum tea)
- 1 beaten egg
Step 1: In a medium-sized pot, place in water, Chinese glutenous rice balls, rice or sweet dessert wine, wolf berries, honey and Chinese Sweet Osmanthus Flower Tea and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
Step 2: Slowly add egg in a stream and incorporate into soup. Adjust and add more honey as desired,
Step 3: Enjoy your Sweet Dessert soup (Tong sui) with friends and Chinese tea on a cool winter's day.