Last Updated October 21, 2021
Warm, fruity and sweet (but not too sweet), pear soup is the quintessential Chinese autumn drink. Many swear by the therapeutic effects of this drink on the respiratory system, particularly for dry coughs. A great way to enjoy the abundance of pears when they are in season.
I used organic Bartlett pears for this recipe, but any varieties of pears can be used to make this drink. Once cooked, the texture of the pears will become much softer and the flavor accentuated, so even pears with a tougher texture or relatively bland taste can work well for this recipe.
Rock sugar (冰糖) are large chunks of sugar crystals. In Chinese language it is referred to as “ice sugar” because of its resemblance to blocks of ice. Most Asian stores have rock sugar for sale, and you might find them in several shades from translucent pale white to pale yellow, depending on how refined they are.
Apart from making sweet soups and drinks, the most common use of rock sugar is perhaps for glazing. Think of the Chinese classic dishes such as sweet and sour spare ribs and red-glazed pork belly; it is the caramel made with rock sugar that gives these dishes the beautiful sheen, dark red color and a rich sweetness.
PEAR SOUP WITH ROCK SUGAR AND GOJI BERRIES
PREP: 2 min COOKING: 5 min
- 2 pears, cut each into 8 slices
- 4 cups of water
- 8 grams of rock sugar
- a dozen of Goji berries (optional)
- Add the all the ingredients in a pot. Bring the water to boil, then let the liquid bubble gently for another 3 minutes or until the pear reaches your desired softness.
- Substitutes: You can replace the rock sugar with honey, partially or entirely.
- Optional: Although Goji berries are part of this classic combination, leaving them out will not affect the flavor of the soup.