Snow Fungus Soup

This snow fungus soup (雪儿糖水) is a simple & nourishing Chinese dessert (tong shui/糖水) to make at home. It is often cooked during Chinese New Year and auspicious occasions (I remember having it at my friend’s house on the morning of her wedding). Its sweetness symbolises sweet blessings (甜甜蜜蜜). Check out the ingredients and step-by-step photos in this post.

Related Recipe:
See Also:

This is also a simplified form of our local Cheng Tng dessert (usually Cheng Tng comes with more ingredients such as lily bulbs, sea coconut, sweet potato and barley). Snow fungus is highly nutritious and it has health benefits such as improving blood circulation, and strengthening one’s respiratory system. Because I cheated (as usual) by using instant ginkgo nuts (where the nuts are sold shelled & boiled), the steps and effort for this recipe are greatly simplified.

Snow Fungus Soup Dessert Recipe


Snow (White) Fungus

Snow Fungus aka white fungus (银耳) is the main ingredient of this recipe.

Snow Fungus Selection


White plate: This is a quality piece of whole snow fungus. The colour is vibrant yellow and it is very fragrant.
Green plate: These are the fragments in the bag of the whole fungus I bought. Don’t throw them! They taste the same (and easier to eat for elderly) even though they are broken. Don’t serve them during auspicious occasions though.
Grey plate: This is a plate of average quality fungus. The colour and smell are not as good in the dried form, and they are usually sold in chunks instead of whole. But they are still delicious when cooked and won’t ruin the dessert (tried-and-tested).


Snow Fungus Soup (Ingredients)

Rest of the ingredients are pandan leaves (tied to a knot), dried red dates, dried longan meat & rock sugar. This is one dessert which makes the kitchen smell so good as it is simmering away.

Gingko Nuts (Vacuum Pack)

Gingko nuts (白果) – I only use vacuumed pack (or canned ones) as the nuts are already removed from the shell & boiled. Such a big time saver! The brand (pictured above) I got from Sheng Siong does not contain the black dirt in the middle of the nut. If you found a dirt in the middle, use a toothpick to pry it out as it is bitter tasting.


Snow Fungus (Soaking)
Soak the fungus in hot water until puffy and turns a whiter shade (I use less water so I flip it over midway).

Snow Fungus (Prepped)
Discard the dark hardened parts on the underside of the fungus (white plate). Cut the fungus to bite-sized pieces.

Snow Fungus Soup (Ingredients)
Making the dessert is too easy! Just dump everything except the rock sugar into the pot.

Snow Fungus Soup Pot

Add water and bring to a boil.

Snow Fungus Soup Dessert Recipe

Partially open the lid and simmer until the fungus is softened to liking. It should not take more than an hour. Add rock sugar and top up water only during the last few minutes of cooking. Enjoy this sweet & nourishing dessert.

First posted in Jul 2010, updated in May 2020.

Snow Fungus Soup Recipe

Look out for good quality white fungus recognizable by its whole fungus shape – better ones are cleaner and more fragrant.

Check out the ingredients & step-by-step photos on the previous page.


  • 20 grams snow fungus (aka white jelly fungus, silver ear, white wood ear, 雪儿,银耳)
  • 2 litres water top up more if needed
  • 5 pandan leaves tied into a knot
  • 15 dried longan (龙眼干)
  • 10 red dates (红枣) use pitted (seedless) if eating them
  • 15 ginkgo nuts (白果) use either canned or vacuum-packed type; see cooking note
  • 50g rock sugar (冰糖) to taste


  1. Prepare the fungus. Soak snow fungus in a bowl of hot water until it is puffed up and turn a whiter shade, then carefully drain soaking water. Using a pair of kitchen scissors, trim and discard the dark hardened part on the centre underside of the fungus. Cut the fungus to smaller bite-sized pieces and set aside.
  2. Make the dessert. In a soup pot, add prepared fungus and the rest of the ingredients except rock sugar. Bring to a boil and then simmer (with a small ventilation opening at the lid) until the fungus is softened to liking, about 60 minutes.
  3. During the last 5 minutes of simmering, top up water and add rock sugar. Stir through until the sugar is fully dissolved. Add more rock sugar to taste only if needed. Discard pandan leaves. Serve warm or chilled.

Cooking Tips(s)

  1. I use vacuum-packed boiled gingko nuts as a fast short-cut. Try to get those with the center black dirt already removed. Otherwise, you have to insert a toothpick to flick out the dirt which is bitter tasting.
  2. If you wish to use raw gingko nuts, gently crack open the shells with a mortar and pestle, insert a toothpick to flick out the dirt in the centre of the nut before adding to the pot.
  3. You can substitute gingko nuts with lotus nuts (莲子), or use a combination of both.
  4. Instead of dried longans, you can substitute with fresh or canned longans. Add them to the dessert after it is made.