I’ve always liked Barley and Longan. My mom introduced me to Qian Shi ( 芡实) or what they called Euryale Seed or often called the Fox Nut. So I thought I used Qian Shi and Longan soup with the Barley soup.
Euryale seeds are used in traditional Chinese medicine, where they are often cooked in soups along with other ingredients. The Qian Shi itself doesn’t have any taste and hence used with other ingredients in cooking. It is believed to “retard” aging. This seed can be found at Chinese Medicine Hall in Asia. I haven’t been able to find it here however.
BARLEY WITH QIAN SHI AND LONGAN SOUP
If you soak the barley:
- Rinse the Barley and Qian Shi with water and discard the water. In a big pot, add in 8 cups of water and soak the Barley and Qian Shi overnight
- The next day, cook the Barley and Qian Shi with soaking water. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to low-medium, to let it gently simmer until the Barley and Qian Shi swollen and soft, about 30 minutes or so. Some people like their Barley really really soft - to the extent of mushy, then you need to cook it longer. I like mine soft but still have some chewiness
- Add in the dried longan and rock sugar. Continue to cook until the longan plumps up. Turn off the heat. It can be served hot or cold
If you didn't soak the barley:
- Rinse the Barley and Qian Shi with water and discard the water. In a big pot, add in 8 cups of water
- Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to low-medium, to let it gently simmer until the Barley and Qian Shi swollen and soft, about 1 hour or longer. It should be soft with some chewiness. Stir in the dried longan, rock sugar and cook until the longan plumps up. Have a taste and adjust the level of sweetness to your preference