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Jan 29, 2002 02:41 PM

Sweet Soup

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Last couple times we've dined there, our local Chinese all-you-can-eat has offered sweet soup. White in color, relatively watery, with a blending of tapioca, and what seems like bits of boiled chicken floating on top, this is the best dessert in the place. Flavor is somewhat akin to orchata, so I'm wondering if it's made from rice water. What is this stuff?


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  1. After meal sweet soups served by Chinese places can be any sort of combinations of ingridents. What you describe can be just their house special. The broth is ususally thicken by cornstarch and sweetend. Although I can't image using bits of chicken in a dessert soup. My guess it's either eggs (like in egg drop soup) or maybe taro?

    6 Replies
    1. re: Wendy Lai

      What restaurants have a variety of sweet soups? Is this the same thing as the tong shui I've had at NY's Sweet 'n' Tart?

      1. re: Dumpling

        My English Chinese is not so good, but I think tong shui in direct translation means sugar water. It's like saying soup of the day. They make a sugar water dessert of the day.

        I've encountered red beans, green beans, lotus seeds, peanut, tapioca balls, tiny rice balls, and other stuff that I don't know the English words for.

        1. re: Wendy Lai

          Where have you had these delicious-sounding treats? Or, more to the point, where can I get them?

          1. re: Dumpling

            I don't know how to answer that...most Chinese place will serve some sort of sweet soup or maybe fruit if you order a family style dinner. Truth be told, most of the time they are not viewed as an important part of the meal, so I can't give you any suggestions.

            However, if you want to make them for yourself, they are easy to do. Go to an Asian market, buy some red bean, some mung beans, some tapioca, and maybe some lotus seeds. Wash the two beans and boil them for a while then shut off the fire and let it sit covered for 30 minutes. In the meantime, boil the tapioca seperately until done. If you get dried lotus seeds, soak them until rehydrated, pick off any green parts in the center (they are bitter), cook with the beans. After 30 minutes of sitting, turn on the heat again, boil until soft and add sugar to taste, add in the tapioca balls when the beans are done.
            Sorry if the directions are fuzzy, I don't have a recipe for them (neither does the restaurant I'm sure), I just throw things in.

            1. re: Wendy Lai
              Shep aka 2 Cheap Hungry Guys

              Thanks for all the info. I think the bits are some kind of root veggie, yep, too mealy for meat.

              TK Buffet is on Webster Street in Alameda, on the right past the first traffic light after you come out of the Tube. Looks like a motel, cause that's what it is.

      2. re: Wendy Lai

        You got it right on the Taro and not chicken. But the most important ingredient is missing, coconut milk. I have yet to find one that doesn't have coconut milk as an ingredient. I think tapioca is naturally starchy. No need for cornstarch to thicken it up.