This dessert is usually served during the Chinese winter festival (冬至). It is also served during other Chinese festivals to indicate togetherness or reunion (团圆).

Why did we choose this dish? A note by the head chef of Open Sauces, Maja Kuzmanovic: “When I asked Andi Strauss if he had suggestions for the kind of food that would illustrate his toast, he said: make something that looks dirty but tastes delicious. I was reminded of a delicious light ginger soup that I ate in a small desert cafe in Singapore. When I received my order, I thought they might have swapped my soup bowl for a bowl with dirty dishwater. I dared taste it and it was delicious! Perfect recipe for Strauss. I never made this soup before Open Sauces, so I found a few recipes online and picked the one with ingredients that would make the soup look the dirtiest, but taste intensely aromatic.”

  • 25 glutinous rice balls
  • 20 cm section of ginger
  • Sugar to taste (~10 tablespoons)
  • 10 bowls water
  • 6 pandan leaves
  • Handful of crushed peanuts mixed with sugar (3:1 ratio)

Wash the ginger and crush it slightly with a handle of a cleaver (or chopping knife or anything hard). Put ginger and water in the pot. Boil for about 20–30 minutes. Add sugar to taste and stir. Add roughly cut pandan leaves and boil for another 1–2 minutes. Take the pot off the stove. In another pot, boil about 2 litres of water. Once the water is boiling, carefully add the rice balls and continue to boil until the balls begin floating on the surface. Scoop one ball per serve and pour ginger soup into the bowl. Garnish with the crushed peanuts mixture.

All ingredients were sourced from Asian grocery stores in Brussels.

(an sidebar recipe)