1 cup barley grains, soaked for 15 minutes
3.5 litres water
1.5 cup candied winter melon
1/2 cup rock sugar
- Boil the water over high heat and add in the soaked barley grains once the water starts to bubble.
- Boil the barley for 1 hour over low heat. You may want not want to close the pot lid completely, leaving a small ventilation gap to prevent boilover. Barley tends to over-bubble when boiled. Word of caution : Check the stove from time to time to ensure the flame is not put off by slight whiff of wind or something like that.
- After boiling for 1 hour, add the candied winter melon and rock sugar. By now, your pot should left with only 3 liters of water. Continue to boil for another 30 minutes with the tilted lid.
- Off the heat after and close the pot lid securely. Serve the barley in the next 15 – 20 minutes.
After more than 20 times making this drink at home, I have made some discoveries to a perfect barley drink.
- Soaking the barley before boiling it makes it easier to soften. Even a 15-minute soak is sufficient. I do not recommend longer because we do not want ‘powderized’ barley.
- Turning off the heat after 1.5 hours of boiling leaving the latent heat to continue to ‘cook’ the barley is a good way to save gas, reduce the evaporation (loss of liquid) and prevent the candied winter melon to turn tasteless from over-boiling.