Hi everyone … I’M BACK!!!
Apologies for the silence – I just came back from a well-deserved family break in sunny Gold Coast. My lil’ one made me promise that I cannot touch or let alone even go near to my laptop during the holiday. Mind you, 9 days of theme parks and water parks was more than enough for the adults but it was a lot of fun 🙂
Today I’d like to share with you a Chinese delicacy which is common to us but may be rare (and perhaps a wee bit gross and unappetising) to some of you. Hasma is an ingredient that we use in many Chinese soupy hot/cold desserts and considered to be a luxury ingredient. Because it’s rare and expensive, in the past, this ingredient is only privileged to the Chinese Emperor and Empress.
So, what exactly is hasma?
“Hasma comes from the fatty tissue near the fallopian tubes of Snow frogs known as Xueha, from the Northern part of China.
They’re prized for their health benefits and traditionally known to treat respiratory issues, to gain porcelain-clear skin and for the women – to restore inner strength post childbirth. “
Hasma is sold in dried form and comes packaged by grams. I paid $30 for only a 10 g packet and specially flown in from Malaysia. They have to be soaked in cold water overnight, which will later expand into large clouds of translucent and gelatinous matter. Basically, this delicacy is tasteless but they are loved for their texture after they are cooked – soft, slithery and voluptuous.
Double-boiled Nashi Pear with Hasma (adapted from Sam Leong’s A Taste of Home)
10 g dried hasma
220 ml hot water
1/2 slice ginger
2 nashi pears
15 chinese red dates
50 g dried longan
500 ml water
100 g rock sugar, to taste
Chinese wolf berries, soaked in water until soft, to garnish
Mint leaves, to garnish
1. Prepare hasma a day before by soaking them in cold water overnight.
2. The next day, drain and remove impurities from the expanded hasma. Place them in a heat proof bowl with 220 ml hot water and the ginger slice. Steam for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
3. Wash and cut the nashi pears in half. Using a melon baller, scoop out as many balls as possible. Discard the rest.
4. Place the pear, dates, dried longan and rock sugar in a heat proof steaming bowl. Steam for 1 hour. Taste and adjust sweetness. Remove and discard dates and longan. Divide the pear syrup into 2 bowls. Add hasma and wolf berries. Garnish with mint leaves. Serve hot or chilled.