Chinese is not a huge milk consumer and yogurt does sound very odd for Chinese. What I am talking here is ginger milk curd, a set yogurt or junket or tau fu far (Chinese soy milk curd) like sweet pudding very popular especially in Hong Kong or Canton in China.
The making of this milk curd is nothing like yogurt or even junket. The setting agent is a secret ingredient - ginger. Ginger contains enzyme which will set milk at certain temperature. Not heard of this theory or practice in the western world but Chinese has been making this curd for years when fresh or long live milk was available mainly imported.
I fell in love with this silky smooth pudding many years ago but never know how to make it. Excellent cure when you have a sore throat or cold, slips down nicely. Also great if you have gas problem or indigestion experience with dairy and like to take milk to increase your calcium intake.
Many recipes out there are not that reliable, I had quite a few failures but have now sussed it. Some said 1 tsp of ginger juice per bowl which is not enough and some suggested a much lower temperature which will not work. Other has suggested pouring the milk from one pan to the another and back again, this is to cool the milk but I find this is not really necessary.
This yogurt is suitable for vegetarians (if you take milk) or anyone who hates the slight sourness of yogurt and won’t use gelatine or rennet to set milk. The only thing is you got to love the flavour and spicyness of ginger. The ginger must be old, young ginger will not set the milk. Common ginger available in UK are old ginger so it is suitable.
Here is my version of the recipe if you like to try. Most recipes out there only use semi skimmed or full cream milk without additional milk powder, the curd is very soft. I prefer to use full cream milk find it more silky and the additional milk powder makes the curd much thicker. You do need some sugar for this pudding, without sugar the taste of ginger can be a bit harsh.
Ingredients: (for all measurements, use std measuring spoon, not Chinese soup spoon)
500 ml full cream homogenised milk
3 - 4 tbsp skimmed milk powder (make sure the milk powder contained no vegetable fat)
about 50 g ginger to make around 4 tbsp of ginger juice
4 – 6 tsp of sugar (depending on how sweet you like)
2 Chinese rice bowls or ramekins (that will hold 250 - 280ml liquid)
- Grate the ginger and squeeze out as much juice as you can. Pass the juice through a fine sieve. You need 4 tbsp of yellowish cloudy juice.
- Boil the milk till warm then stir in the milk powder. Continue heating the milk till around 80 deg C, or when you start to see small bubbles appearing around the rim of the pan on the top of the milk. Turn off the heat and stir in the sugar.
- Now stir the ginger juice to make sure any sediment is stir back into the liquid. Spoon this immediately into individual bowl.
- Pour the milk into the bowl from a height about 12 - 15 cm away so the ginger juice is mixed thoroughly with the milk while pouring. Pour the milk in one go only (very important), do not go back if you have any left over or you may find the curd separates.
- Cover the bowl with a saucer and let it sit without disturbing. The milk will set in around 3 – 5 minutes. Here is the test if the spoon does not sink you have done it right.
Ready to eat straight away warm or cool in the fridge and eat it cold. The curd is quite soft and should be very silky. Do not stir the curd or it will return to liquid milk again.
If the milk does not curdle after about 8 minutes as it should be, here is a trick you can try if you have a microwave, put the bowl into the microwave set it at the lowest setting and ping for around 1 minute you should see the milk set.
Not sure if ginger will work with soya milk. Many say won't work. I will try and keep you posted.