Auspicious Delicious Sweet Soup To Welcome The Chinese New Year


Clockwise from top – dried lily bulbs, dried lotus seeds, gingko nuts in shell, rock brown sugar


Dried Longan

Good evening, dear friends πŸ˜€

As the Chinese New Year (7 Feb) is coming nearer, I thought I would post here a recipe for an auspicious “Tong Sui” which literally means “Sweet Water” in Cantonese, but actually it is a healthy, delicious sweet soup usually served as dessert.

During the CNY, many homonyms are used to create auspicious meanings out of words. So, this dessert is actually cooked on the eve of CNY, right after the Family Reunion Dinner, and it is left to simmer in a slow cooker to be served first thing on CNY. The best part of this is that the wonderful smell of thisTong Sui is wafting throughout the house as we sleep and its good smell is what greets us when we wake up to the new year!

Let me introduce the ingredients for this recipe and you will understand the meaning of this dessert as well as know its health benefits.

Ingredients –

200 gms dried lotus seeds, called “Lin Jee”

100 gms dried lily bulbs, or “Pak Hup”

100 gms gingko nuts, or “Pak Kor” (shelled, boil in water for a few minutes and the skin will rub off easily)

100 dried whole seedless longan meat (not in picture)

200 gms of rock sugar

2 litres of water

When we merge some of the names from the ingredients, this dessert has an auspicious of “Pak Lin Yan Kor Ho Hup” with the meaning “A Hundred Years Of Fated Peace And Harmony”……, we have an auspicious start to the new year when we have this dessert as a family in harmony after we woke up and we are dressed in our new clothes.

Lily bulbs are a cooling herb which is yin in nature, nourishes the lungs and has a calming effect. This is especially good for easing insomnia, irritability and restlessness. Lotus seeds nourish our kidneys, spleen and heart, and they are also calming in nature. Gingko nuts are high in antioxidant and are supposedly good for bladder and urinary problems.

Method –

1) Soak lotus seeds for 3 hours. Rinse and place in a slow cooker together with the water and sugar.

2) Bring to a boil and simmer at low heat until the next morning when you wake up.

3) Meanwhile, wash and soak Lily Bulbs overnight.

4) On the morning of Chinese New Year, when you have washed up, check on your CNY Tong Sui – by now the lotus seeds would have softened. Add in the Lily Bulbs, increase the hear and boil for 30 minutes.

5) Lastly, add the Longans and boil for a further 30 minutes. Check to see if the soup is sweet enough.

Serve in small bowls for your family and enjoy this wonderful auspicious Tong Sui or sweet soup together! I would like to wish you and your loved ones prosperity, harmony and peace!Β  πŸ˜€


8 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    ilovepearly said,

    That looks like something I ate the other day but with bean curd also.


  2. 2

    sweetrosie said,

    hello dear choesf πŸ™‚

    Very interesting and great photos. When would you eat this soup? After dinner, or as a snack in the afternoon?

    It sounds wonderful, the ingredients all have a poetic kind of sound to them πŸ™‚

    with love and happiness


  3. 3

    yen1908 said,

    Good morning to you, choesf

    I am cooking this sweet dessert now in my slow cooker with our family favourite ingredients gingko nuts, red dates, dried longan and rock sugar. Hmm….i could smell the sweetness of the longan as well as the fragance of the gingko and red dates…….like you said…..hmm…it is delicious!

    Gong Xi Fa Chai


  4. 4

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Hello there, my dear ladies! πŸ˜€

    Sorry for the late reply as I was extremely occupied with my CNY preparations and then for the past few days, we have been visiting our many relatives! πŸ˜†

    There are many variations of this sweet soup, which can be served cold or hot, with other ingredients, at any time – during tea time with a snack, or after a meal as a dessert, or when we have a hot day, then this dessert tastes best with some ice cubes in it. πŸ˜‰

    Gong Xi Fa Cai!

    With peace and joy,

    choesf πŸ˜€


  5. 5

    loop said,


    i just bought a 10 plants chinese “soup” box, it’s a box with 10 little plastic bags of medicinal plants. Does anyone know how to use it?
    – livΓ¨che
    – astragal root
    – astrotylis lancea form alyrata sojuste var
    – codonopsis lanceolata
    – licorice
    – chinese peony root
    – rhemannia glutinosa
    – cinnamon
    – chinaroot

    I know it’s medicinal, but it is sent in a supermarket so think anyone could use it, do you have an idea ?


    – cnidium


  6. 6

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Hi there and welcome, dear loop πŸ˜€

    I’m not sure exactly what those Chinese herbs are but if the supermarket said it is safe for everyone to have it as a soup…then you can try this recipe –

    Ingredients –

    1 packet Chinese herbs (remove the plastic bags)

    2 litres or 10 cups water (I’m not sure how strong the soup will turn out as I don’t know the amount of the herbs there)

    2 chicken breasts (skin removed and cut into large chunks) or 500 gm pork ribs

    Salt to taste

    Method –

    Put all the ingredients into a pot and bring water to boil.

    Reduce heat to small and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt to taste.

    Drink the soup on its own before bedtime and this will rejuvenate your body while you sleep…or you can have it together with your rice and other dishes.

    Hope this helps… πŸ˜‰

    Alternatively, if you are able to take a photo of this, let me know and I will contact you by email…there are many concoctions of Chinese herbal soups, some are heaty and some are balancing in nature. Some are good for women to take. I will tell you what this soup is for once I can see the photo of your herbs and give you a more exact recipe for it. πŸ˜‰

    Do have a lovely weekend ahead!

    With peace and joy,

    choesf πŸ˜€


  7. 7

    CluelessMalaysian said,

    Hi homemaker,
    i bumb into your blog when i was searching for chinese herbal. Read upon…i did bought the same pack of soup that loop have. I wonder the same what actually the soup benefit. I can send you the pic if needed.

    Thanks for your help in advance.


    • 8

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hello there and welcome, dear Clueless Malaysian πŸ˜€

      This sweet soup (Tong Sui in Cantonese) is actually quite good for health in addition to its auspicious meanings for the Chinese New Year. It calms the body (Yoon in Cantonese) and is very good to counter the hot heatwave usually experienced during the CNY.

      Lotus Seeds are very good for the spleen and kidneys and are believed to be anti-aging, too.

      Lily Bulbs can counter heatiness in the body and are very good for the lungs and for relieving coughs.

      Gingko Nuts can aid the digestive systems, good for the lungs and memory.

      Dried Longans are good to improve sleep quality.

      Hope that helps …. πŸ˜€

      With best wishes,

      choesf πŸ˜€


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