KUALA LUMPUR, May 1 — Hot humid weather calls for cooling desserts. A bowl of refreshing leng chee kang is the perfect solution — simple, sweet and incredibly satisfying!
Usually prepared at home, the broth and ingredients are prepared ahead and assembled upon serving. Most of the ingredients are dried items that need to be reconstituted before they are used. The Chinese believe these ingredients help to cool down the body.
You make the broth by boiling it with lo han kuo or Buddha’s fruit, dried longans and lotus seeds. It’s sweetened with rock sugar. Some like to add pandan leaves to the broth to give it an additional aroma.
The addition of the lo han kuo gives it a deeper taste but makes the broth a bit darker in colour.
Depending on each stall, a variety of items that range from hard boiled quail’s eggs, gingko and even agar-agar strips is added. Some unusual items include the malva nut or pong tai hang that needs to be soaked for it to expand into brown jelly-like fibres. There are also dried persimmon slices and winter melon strips.
Stall No. 14, Medan Selera SS2, Jalan SS2/63, PJ. Open: 11am to 11pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
You will be spoiled for choice at this food court where almost every drinks’ stall along the stretch sells leng chee kang. Our personal favourite is this stall for its not overly sweet version. The broth tends to be darker brown in colour but full of flavour. As you drink the dessert, you will discover a treasure trove of goodies — hard boiled quail’s egg, barley, agar-agar strips, longan, lotus seeds, gingko nuts, malva nut, snow fungus, dried persimmon, sago pearls, barley and winter melon strips.
Stall at Jalan SS20/16, Paramount Gardens, PJ. Open daily: 6pm to 10pm.
Look for this next to the chee cheong fun stall for refreshing desserts. Here your leng chee kang is served in clear glass bowls. Slurp down the light brown sweet broth with plump longans, basil seeds, gingko, barley, dried persimmon and lotus seeds. Ask for the leng chee kang special where gui ling gao (herbal jelly) is added to a big glass bowl of leng chee kang. This ups the cooling factor for you. Here the jelly has a mild herbal taste making it a good pairing with the sweet tasting broth. On Sundays, they open a stall at the pasar malam, just a few metres away.
Soon Kee Lin Chee Kang Sejuk dan Panas, Jalan Sayur, Pudu, KL. Open: 6pm to 10.30pm. Closed every second Monday of the month.
Walk all the way till the end of the street to discover this stall that serves leng chee kang using an old recipe harking back 60 years. The woman stall owner inherited the business from her mother-in-law. You will find items such as green beans, lily bulbs, agar-agar strips, gingko nuts, lotus seeds, longan, dried persimmon, barley and malva nut. The green beans are not common with most stalls around the Klang Valley.
Desserts and drinks stall at Jalan Peel, KL. Open: 2pm to 11pm. Closed every Thursday.
Located next to the Nasi Lemak Peel Road stall, this dessert and drinks stall does brisk business to cater to the dinner crowd. The leng chee kang is a refreshing choice even though ingredients are rather sparse. With a broth that is not overly sweet, you mainly find agar-agar strips, longans, red coloured sago pearls and barley.
K.T.Z. Desserts, 66, Jalan 7, Kepong Baru, KL. Open daily: 11am to 11pm.
Look for all kinds of tong sui, shaved ice desserts and savoury snacks at this popular stall in Kepong. Their pared down version of leng chee kang may lack a variety of ingredients but it makes up for it with top quality items. Enjoy plump and thick skinned longans, lily bulbs, lotus seeds and crunchy white fungus for a satisfying sweet fix. – MMO