food 4 tots

Osmanthus poached pears

osmanthus, pears, dessert



Source: Adapted and modified from Hunger Management (by Tan Hsueh Yun) @ The Sunday Times

Serve: 4

2 large yellow skinned Chinese round shaped or teardrop shaped pears (I used Korean pears)
25g dried white fungus (雪耳)
3 tbsp dried osmanthus flowers (桂花)
10g dried red dates
20g sweet almonds/ sweet apricot kernels or seeds (南杏) – refer to note 9
10g bitter almonds/ bitter apricot kernels or seeds (北杏) – refer to note 10
75g rock sugar/ cane sugar
2 candied dates – optional
1.5 litres water


A) Preparation

  1. Rinse the white fungus under running water, followed by soaking in a bowl of water for an hour. Using a pair of kitchen scissors, trim out the hard yellow orange parts at the bottom and separate the frilly head of fungus into bite-sized pieces. Rinse, drain and set aside.
  2. Skin the pears, core them and cut each one into 8 wedges, set aside.
  3. Put dried osmanthus flowers into a sieve. Rinse them through running water and drain. Spoon it into a disposable tea or spice bag. Seal the bag and set aside.
  4. Wash and remove seeds for red dates.
  5. Rinse candied dates and both types of the almonds.

B) Poaching using normal pot

  1. Bring the water to boil in a medium-sized pot. Add tea bag (step 3 above) and rock sugar to the pot, and turn heat down to medium. When the rock sugar has dissolved in the tisane, have a taste and add more sugar if desired.
  2. Add the white fungus, candied dates, red dates, and sweet and bitter almonds.
  3. Simmer over medium low heat for 45 minutes to an hour. The pears are done when you can pierce through them easily using a sharp knife.
  4. Let it cool in the pot for 1 hour. Fish out the tea bag containing the osmanthus flowers before serving. It can be served warm or chilled. For chilled, cool completely then refrigerate at least four hours or overnight.

C) Poaching using slow cooker (my lazy version)

  1. Arrange all the ingredients neatly in the slow cooker pot. Add water.
  2. Turn on the power and set to high to bring the water to a boil (Refer to note 8 below). Immediately reduce to low heat and simmer for 1-1.5 hours.
  3. Let it cool in the pot for an hour. Fish out the tea bag containing the osmanthus flowers before serving. It can be served warm or chilled. For chilled, cool completely then refrigerate at least four hours or overnight.


    1. If the size of the pear is small, use an extra one or two.
    2. For smaller pear, cut each one into 4 wedges so that it can still hold its shape during poaching.
    3. Sweet and bitter almonds (Chinese almonds) are actually apricot kernels.
    4. Do not soak white fungus in warm/ hot water as it will lose its crisp.
    5. I find that the amount of sugar together with the candied dates give the right sweetness to the soup. So there is no need to add extra sugar.
    6. This recipe works well for double-boiler method too, but the stewing process will take 2 hours.
    7. Osmanthus is available in either Chinese medicine shops or Chinese dried good shops.
    8. Some slow cooker models have auto function only. If so, you need to wait until the water starts to boil and simmer for 1-1.5 hours. To reduce the preparation time, you can start out with hot water. This is a cheater method which I sometimes do. Some may against it because it may shorten the lifespan of your slow cooker. So, use your own judgement.
    9. Sweet almonds/ bitter apricot kernels or seeds (南杏)- It tastes sweet and is neutral in nature. It is non-toxic and relieves cough.
    10. Bitter almonds/ bitter apricot kernels or seeds (北杏)- It heals cough and expels phlegm. [WARNING: As bitter almond carries a slight trace of toxins (cyanide), please use it with extreme caution. There is a concern about the potential health effects associated with large numbers of bitter apricot kernels being consumed on a regular basis, particularly by young children (as mentioned in this link). It is also not advisable for pregnant ladies. If you’re not comfortable eating it, then exclude it from the recipe. Other reading reference: Is it safe to eat bitter apricot kernels by David Lebovitz.]

osmanthus, pear, dessert

If you like this article, please share:

Pin It!


  1. Joanne says:

    i think for kids, so much of their likes and dislikes are about texture rather than taste. I love the texture of poached fruit, so I definitely can see why your son loved this!

    • food-4tots says:

      Joanne: Every kid has his/ her own taste buds mostly influenced by the environment he/ her has grown up. My son’s dislike can be either texture or taste. Quite unpredictable sometimes. Glad to know that you like poached fruit. 😉

  2. Susan says:

    This looks and sounds amazing. Such gorgeous photos, too. I’m intrigued by osmanthus, even though I am no stranger to Eastern ingredients.

  3. This soup looks fruity sweet and tasty. You make it so nicely presented, very nice!

  4. Alice says:

    Another successful story of coaxing kids to eat variety of fruits! Thumbs up! 🙂

  5. noobcook says:

    where you buy the osmanthus flowers from? I love this nourishing dessert soup, and the warm lighting you used to capture the beautiful shots ^^

    • food-4tots says:

      Noobcook: I got mine from both Tampines’s Round Market and a chinese medicine shop at Tampines One. Thanks for your sweet sweet comment! Oh, pretty hot during my shooting until my glasses were blurred. LOL!

  6. I had osmanthus jelly in HK and loved it! This sounds great, very healthy and tasty!

  7. tigerfish says:

    The next time I use my slow cooker, it must be for a tong sui like this 🙂

  8. LK this is perfect. I’ve had this horrible cough that just won’t go away… maybe this’ll work. Now I need to go buy almonds and osthmanthus!! Where did you buy most of your ingredients from?

    • food-4tots says:

      Clare: Thanks but still have rooms for improvement! sorry to hear that…yeah you can give it a try and also my green radish and carrot soup. Usually I bought my Chinese herbal ingredients from Hock Hua and Yu Ren Sheng. For osmanthus, I got mine from both Tampines’s Round Market and a chinese medicine shop at Tampines One. Btw, have you heard of steamed orange? It worked for me and some who had tried this remedy. If you want to know further, drop me an email. Hope you have a speedy recovery! 😉

  9. peachkins says:

    hmmnn.. this is something I wanna try.

  10. LCOM says:

    Yummy, I can smell and taste the sweet soup already.

  11. Little Inbox says:

    I don’t like this type of pear as well, hehe…

  12. This is a comfort sweet soup to me, delicious, healthy. I also love to cook pears with only osmanthus and sugar, a lazy version : ).

  13. KY says:

    What a healthy dessert infused with mother’s love! Like the gorgeous photos, especially the ingredients… looks like taken from a book. Great job!

  14. I always enjoy reading your posts and your photography…beautiful!

  15. Criz Lai says:

    I missed cooking this dessert ever since everyone in my family cut down on sugar intake. It’s indeed a very nice and cooling recipe for the body system.

    By the way, do you usually add in sugar before all the ingredients are cooked? I normally add in last as some ingredients would not get fully cooked in sugared water.

    • food-4tots says:

      Criz Lai: Depending on what type of desserts I cook. For red bean sweet soup, sugar can only be added last and after the red beans turn soft. For this poached pear recipe, I think the author wants the pears to slowly absorb the sweetness of the sugar during the cooking process. Correct me if I’m wrong. 😉

  16. What a unique combo of ingredients here. My kids love sweet chinese pear too. Must be so tasty in this soup!

  17. Jessica says:

    This looks wonderful! Beautiful photo!

  18. Dora says:

    A healthy dessert!

    BTW, have you tried osmanthus flowers kueh before? Wonder how it tastes? Also, where can i buy it?

    • food-4tots says:

      Dora: Thanks! I had tried one recently at a Chinese tong sui stall (next to Toastbox) at Tampines One. Not really up to my expection. It looks like normal jelly with osmanthus and wolfberries.

  19. sweetlife says:

    what a neat recipe, chinese pears are super hearty we love them, love this


  20. Pei-Lin says:

    To be honest, I’ve never tried anything osmanthus. I still have that small bag of dried osmanthus given to me by another blogger friend Wendy in the fridge. Yet to decide on what to make with the flower. Probably something refreshing … I think you’re giving me an idea … =)

  21. Swee San says:

    oh yay !! still got 1/2 packet of Osmanthus, gonna try making it. Thanks 🙂

  22. […] Ann City (shops outside Cold Storage). – Chinese Medical Hall at basement of Tampines 1 (thanks to Food for Tots for the […]

  23. […] Any Effective Recipe For Cough/Phlegm You can try pear soup. Osmanthus poached pears | Food-4Tots | Recipes for Toddlers This recipe has osmanthus, red dates and white fungus. I usually dont't include those. I only use […]

  24. I have a huge osmanthus tree growing outside my house in Shanghai – right now it’s flowering and the delicious scent is wafting into the room as I type. I have been drying the flowers for days with a vague idea of infusing them into something – cream was my first thought, but this sweet soup looks delightful. Thanks for the infusing tips.

    Cheers, Fiona

  25. I have a huge osmanthus tree growing outside my house here in Shanghai, and at the moment it’s flowering and the sweet scent is wafting into the living room. I have dried lots of the flowers with vague thoughts of steeping them in something….cream perhaps? Now I will try the soup instead because the Chinese pears are also in season….Thanks for the tips on infusing them

    Cheers, Fiona

  26. Cody says:

    Thanks for your tips! I enjoy reading your blog.
    Wanna ask u where u buy the disposable tea or spice bag from?
    I bought what I thot was disposable from Japan Home but it turned out bait like a thinner version of a coffee sock.
    I worry that th osmanthus fragrance can’t be emitted using a spice or tea bag. Will it?

  27. Samantha says:

    Where u get the tea bag for use?

  28. […] Ann City (shops outside Cold Storage). – Chinese Medical Hall at basement of Tampines 1 (thanks to Food for Tots for the […]

Leave a comment