Ginger milk pudding

A lot of people don’t like Chinese desserts or think they just can’t compare to Western desserts. They’re completely different beasts and to my mind, fresh fruit is the perfect end to a Chinese meal. I think Chinese sweet treats or baked goods are just usually better eaten as a snack.

I must seem like a ginger fiend with a second post about ginger with another to come soon to pickle the stuff! Ginger milk pudding is a really simple dessert or gently sweet treat. However, I must admit that it involves buying old ginger of the extra starchy variety. I know young ginger when I see it but the extra starchy kind? Err, not so much.

I made this with my mum who is an expert when it comes to buying fruit and vegetables. She bought the starchy ginger ahead of time and we made this together when I visited my parents. The starch is necessary to make the pudding set as it coagulates the milk.

The result is light, silky soft, ready in a few minutes and reminiscent of silken sweet tofu that’s available at yum cha. Except exceptionally ginger-y.

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The pudding is created with just milk, ginger and sugar. Traditionally it’s made with buffalo milk; I believe because it’s a richer, creamier milk. I suggest you use full fat milk at the very least. It feels amazing to see the pudding set so quickly without using setting agents like gelatin, pectin or agar agar. Maybe I get overly excited but it felt like a small miracle (or science experiment).

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Ginger Milk Pudding

START COOKING: 10 minutes before serving time

FEEDS: 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams of starchy, old ginger (for a milder ginger flavour, use a little less)
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar (preferably not brown to keep the taste really delicate)
  • 3 cups of creamy milk

Method:

  1. Scrape off the ginger skin with a spoon or dull side of the knife. Grate the ginger into a shallow bowl, making sure to retain all the juices. Once grated, strain the grated ginger over a sieve into a small bowl, squeezing the ginger pulp to extract the maximum amount of juice. You can see how the ginger liquid appears cloudy and thick – this is the precious starch.
  2. Portion up the starchy ginger juice amongst four chinese rice bowls (or any other appropriately sized small bowls that you wish to serve this in).
  3. Heat up the milk and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until just simmering. Stir a couple of times to ensure the sugar is dissolved and then take off the heat. Pour into a clean, large jug and then back into the saucepan. Repeat the pouring between the two vessels two more times. I believe this is to help the milk cool slightly and also slightly aerate the liquid.
  4. Give the ginger juice in each bowl a stir just before pouring the warm milk mixture in, dividing it evenly amongst the bowls. Don’t disturb the ginger pudding after this point and leave for 3-5 minutes to set. It’ll still be very soft and jiggly. An example of the final texture is below. Enjoy it fresh whilst it’s still just warm.

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