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Ginger + Warm milk = Pudding. That's it. No agar agar, no gelatin, no cornstarch...nothing to set the pudding other than the ginger itself!
I recently came upon this Chinese dessert and I was absolutely fascinated by how it's made and just HAD to share it with you. It's a super soft, warm ginger pudding, and it is so soothing that I consider it "spa food". It's softer than the softest of tofu—it can almost be a drink—but at the same time it's got a luscious silky body to it. The enzymes in the ginger ever so gently curdles the milk, creating an ultra soft pudding within minutes. The Chinese figured this out before they knew what an enzyme was and created this most wonderful dessert. I hope you try it and please let me know how it goes!
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Ultra Soft Ginger Milk Pudding
- Yield: Serves 2
- 4 tsp fresh ginger juice (see note)
- 160 ml whole milk (if you're lactose intolerant, use lactose free milk; it will not work with non-dairy beverages like soy milk)
- 40 ml evaporated milk (for a lighter, softer pudding, just omit evaporated milk and substitute the same amount of milk)
- Sugar, to taste (I use about 2 tsp)
Note: To get 4 tsp of juice, make sure you start out with at least 3 inches of ginger root to be safe. This recipe will work with slightly more or less ginger juice, so you can try playing around with different proportions if you prefer a milder/stronger ginger flavour. However, after a certain point, it will not work because there will either be too little ginger to set the pudding, or the ginger juice and will dilute the milk too much. I don't know what the limits are cuz I haven't tried out all possibilities, so if you find out, let me know!
Grate the ginger using a fine grater, or chop and blend in a food processor or blender. Squeeze the ginger juice out either by pressing the grated ginger through a fine mesh sieve, or wrap it in cheese cloth and wring it out like I did in the video. (I find I get more juice out with the cheese cloth method.) Discard the fibre. (Tip: do not juice the ginger ahead of time as the enzymes will die off as the juice sits, and it won't set the pudding)
Stir the ginger juice well—as you'll notice that the starch in the ginger juice settles very quickly—and add 2 tsp of ginger juice into each of the serving cup.
Combine the milk, evaporated milk, and sugar in a heat-proof container (best to use a spouted container for easy pouring) and microwave just until it starts to steam. Use an instant-read thermometer and check the temperature. You want the temperature to be around 70°C-75°C (although I've had success with temperatures from 65°C - 80°C without noticing a significant difference in firmness).
Once the milk reaches the temperature, stir the ginger juice in the serving up to make sure the starch is not settling at the bottom, then quickly pour half the milk mixture (100 ml) into the cup. Repeat with the other cup. Let the pudding set for 5 minutes without disturbing them! I forgot to mention this in the video, but if you move, shake, stir the pudding while it's trying to set, you'll break the curd and it will not be smooth.
Once the pudding is set, serve warm and prepare to be soothed by this silky soft gingery pudding!
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