HomeRecipesVegetarianWinter Melon, Water Chestnut, Barley and Sugar Cane Drink (冬瓜马蹄薏米竹蔗)

This is recommended by my TCM practitioner.  The body tends to have low immunity to respiratory infection when too “heaty”.  This recipe is good to be consumed frequently, as it helps the body to be more “cooling” but not too “cooling” to result in join pains or rheumatism.  It is more “nourishing”   (“yuen” or 润) than cooling.

In this period where swine flu A(H1N1) is around, might be a good idea to make this once or twice a week to increase immunity.

Black sugar preferred as it will also help to remove the toxic in the body (去毒).  You can get them at any TCM shops like 福华 or 正中平.

Black sugar cane can be optional, as it is sometime hard to find in the supermarket.


  1. ½ Winter Melon (round type like volley ball)
  2. 25 water chestnut
  3. 1/3 cup barley
  4. 3-4 sticks of black sugar cane (optional)
  5. Sugar (prefer black sugar bought from TCM shops, otherwise use rock sugar)


  1. Brush the skin of the winter melon to remove the powdery stuffs.  Cut open and remove the seeds by scraping with a spoon.  Cut into chunks with skin on.
  2. Brush water chestnut to remove all the soil (This needs some patience).  Cut away the top (a lot of flaky skin), and also for you to check if the water chestnut is spoil (with yellow patches or soggy inside, good one should be white).  Put them into a plastic bag, and smash it with stone pestle or handle of your cleaver. (putting them into plastic bag is to prevent the juice spraying all over.)
  3. Rinse barley
  4. Wash black sugar cane and smash it with stone pestle or handle of your cleaver.
  5. Put all ingredient except sugar into a big stock pot with about 4 liters of water.  Bring to boil and simmer in low flame for 5-6 hours.
  6. Scoop up all the ingredients with a sieve and discard, add black sugar to taste (depending on your taste, 6-10 table spoon is enough).


Winter Melon, Water Chestnut, Barley and Sugar Cane Drink (冬瓜马蹄薏米竹蔗) — 6 Comments

  1. This looks like a beverage which will be well liked in my household. Just one questin – what exactly is black sugar cane and where can I buy this? Thanks in advance for your reply.

  2. The usual sugarcane is fatter, and juicer, with light green skin, those pressed for their juice as drinks in many food stalls in Singapore and Malaysia. Those are called 甘蔗 in chinese. What we need here is called 竹蔗. It is thinner, at most 1 inch in diameter, the skin color ranges from dirty green to dark red, and less juicy, and usually very sweet.
    The look of it is very distingly different from the usual sugarcane. In Singpaore, you can see them in NTUC or Sheng Shiong supermarket in some days.

  3. Hi there, I was also about to cook this drink! Btw, can I use the slowcooker and cook on low for 6hrs instead of cooking it on the stovetop?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Follow by Email