Love Hyaluronic Acid? This Soup Is Just as Hydrating. Seriously

I don’t know about you but I am a little obsessed with beauty food, or ‘wellbeing food’ as it’s called in Korea. Food is integral to the long term health of our skin and when I lived in Seoul, my aunts and cousins were always concocting interesting teas and bitter seasonal salads in the name of beauty.

Because broader lifestyle is such a dominant part of the Korean approach to skincare, I wanted Yeon & Bee to reflect this by facilitating discussion on more than just which new products to purchase (although, I can’t lie, this is a big chunk of my time…). I would love for Yeon & Bee to also be a place to learn and develop.

After much procrastination around this aspect of Yeon & Bee, I’ve been fortunate enough to interview a wonderful woman, Su, who is full of lifestyle know-how. She shared her recipe for sweet lotus seed and white fungus soup, a delicious yet healthy traditional Chinese dessert, which is said to be great for skin, lungs, and spleen among others.

A lot of people get frightened by the word ‘fungus’ but what if I now used its other name ‘snow mushroom’? Sounds better, right? I mean, look at this lovely picture of this snow mushroom!

snow mushroomOkay, so it does look a little bit like an inedible sea creature but snow mushrooms have been used in Asian medicine and skincare for centuries and have the hydrating power of hylaluronic acid. If you’re not familiar, hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water and has been the beauty blogosphere’s favourite child for the past few years. Anyway, I hope you enjoy Su’s recipe and try it for yourself. If you have any ‘beauty foods’ I’d love to hear about it!

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 3.5 hours

ย INGREDIENTS

-1 White Fungus

-20 dries lotus seeds

-1 tbsp Goji Berries

-10 Red dates

-1 litre of water

-Kokuto ie. brown sugar from Okinawa. This is different to American brown sugar, which adds molasses back to white sugar. Kokuto is the result of simply cooking down pure sugarcane juice.

PREPARATION

1.Soak the white fungus in the water for 20-30 mins until they expand and become soft. Cut and discard the hard ends then chop the remaining into smaller pieces.

2.Rinse the dries lotus seeds and soak in the water until it has softened. Remove the green seeds when cleaned as they give a bitter taste.

3.Wash goji berries and red dates.

COOKING

1.Add water and put all the ingredients (except goji berries and brown sugar) into a pot. Bring it to boil. Once boiled, reduce to low heat and add the goji berries. Slow cook for an hour.

2.Then add brown sugar and cook at low heat for 1 hour.

3.Cook for further 1 hour for a jelly-like texture.

4.Serve warm or cold (can be refrigerated for up to 2 days).

5.Feel your skin become as hydrated and beautiful as that picture of the snow mushroom ๐Ÿ˜‰