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Papaya and snow fungus sweet soup

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 almost ripe papaya, about 1kg
2 tbsp sweet almond kernel
1/2 tsp bitter almond kernel
1 palm size dried snow fungus, about 40g
100g rock sugar

1. Soak dried snow fungus in water for 30 minutes until soft. Trim the thick yellowish base and tear softened snow fungus into little florets. Rinse again to remove grit. Drain in colander.
2. Rinse both sweet and bitter almond kernels. Put in a medium crock pot. Add snow fungus and 9 cups of boiling water. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours.
3. Skin and discard seeds of papaya. Cut into 2cm cubes. Add rock sugar and cubed papaya to simmering snow fungus.
4. Cook for another hour. Taste, adding more rock sugar if desired.
5. Serve either hot or chilled.

For stove cooking: Bring water to boil in a medium sized deep pot. Add snow fungus and both sweet and bitter almond kernels and simmer, over moderate heat, for 1 hour. Add rock sugar and papaya cubes and continue to cook for 1/2 hour.

Recipe source: Lifestyle magazine

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