'tong sui' on Serious Eats

Snapshots from Asia: Tropical Fruit Feast; Tong Sui, Sea Coconut, and Toddy Palm Fruit

When I’m asked about the foods I miss most from home, friends get incredulous when I mention Mom’s tong sui or “sugar water.” "Sugar water? But you’re not even all that fond of sweet things!" they say. Off-puttingly saccharine as it may sound, tong sui is no syrup bog but a lightly sweetened broth of nutritious goodness—an extension of the traditional Chinese medicine belief that all food (even dessert) is medicinal and can help bring your body into better balance and health. Unfortunately, tong sui tend to be complicated affairs involving multiple ingredients and hours of double boiling and so, in my world, tong sui is produced by super moms and super dads, not lazy offspring.... More

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