Barley and Winter Melon Drink


1 cup barley grains, soaked for 15 minutes

3.5 litres water

1.5 cup candied winter melon

1/2 cup rock sugar

Candied winter melon
  1. Boil the water over high heat and add in the soaked barley grains once the water starts to bubble.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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