Bird’s nest desserts
Every Chinese New Year, people get frantic over savouries. Pencai, yusheng, fatt choy, Buddha Jumps Over The Wall, fish maw soup—all these tend to get the limelight on the reunion dinner table. What we often neglect, though, are desserts. A heavy meal needs something refreshing to end it, so for that, I’ve come up with three easy dessert recipes centred around a CNY favourite treat: bird’s nest.
Most of us enjoy bird’s nest for its health benefits, especially for its immunity-boosting and anti-ageing properties. While we’re mostly used to having warm bowls made from soaking bird’s nest overnight, New Moon has a selection of convenient bottled bird’s nest beverages that are also easy to use as an ingredient in post-reunion dinner desserts.
Try them out with our 3 bird’s nest dessert recipes, including bird’s nest ice jelly and matcha jelly bubble tea.
1. Bird’s Nest Butterfly Pea Ice Jelly
Ice jelly, or aiyu jelly, is a very easy dessert to make, and is a lovely palate cleanser. Instead of using lime and sugar, I’ve come up with a healthier, more IG-worthy alternative, starring butterfly pea and osmanthus tea, as well as New Moon’s Bird’s Nest with White Fungus.
New Moon’s Bird’s Nest with White Fungus features generous threads of silky bird’s nest and white fungus, as well as a lightly-sweetened syrup, so you won’t have to worry too much about the sugar content of this jelly.
To balance out the butterfly tea and osmanthus flavours, I’ve chosen some Mili Longan in Light Syrup to dress the bowl, giving it a fruity, familiar finish.
This Bird’s Nest Butterfly Pea Ice Jelly only takes 15 minutes to cook, and an hour to set in the fridge. Set them in small bowls, individual jelly moulds, or a large bowl, depending on your preference for presentation.
Yield: Serves 8
Cooking time: 15 minutes
1 packet of ice or konnyaku jelly powder
1 tbsp osmanthus flowers
1 tbsp butterfly pea flowers
3 bottles of New Moon Bird’s Nest with White Fungus
1 can Mili Longan in Light Syrup
- Check the amount of water needed to make the jelly according to the instructions on the back of your ice jelly or konnyaku jelly powder mix package.
- Pour that amount of water, typically 1.5 litres, into a saucepan. Bring to a boil. When hot, add the osmanthus and butterfly pea flowers.
- Let it sit for five to 10 minutes so the colour deepens.
- Sieve the mixture, add the now-blue water back to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, and add the sugar, as well as jelly powder.
- Remove from the heat. Whisk till no lumps remain.
- Add the New Moon Bird’s Nest with White Fungus.
- Refrigerate to set.
- When set, portion out the jelly into bowls. Open the can of Mili Longan in Light Syrup, and add a handful of longans to each bowl. If you prefer the jelly to be slightly sweeter, add some of the canned syrup.
- Serve with ice cubes, though this is optional.
2. Mango Pudding with Bird’s Nest Sago
When it comes to Asian desserts, Hong Kong-style mango sago pudding is one of the most iconic, hence my idea to create a Mango Pudding with Bird’s Nest Sago.
Apart from sago, you often see this comforting pudding topped with white fungus, which inspired a twist on the sago topping with New Moon’s Bird’s Nest with White Fungus.
Made with no artificial flavourings and no preservatives, this collagen-rich beverage is tasty enough to drink on its own. When used as a topping for pudding, it brings a soft, jelly-like texture that enhances the QQ sago balls.
Pro-tip: store-bought mango puree can be pricey, so make your own by blitzing fresh mango in a food processor or blender, and straining it before use.
Feel free to let the pudding set in bowls if you don’t have pots, but do note that the yield may be lesser.
Yield: 10 pots
Cooking time: 15 minutes
1 cup mango puree
1 cup + ⅓ cup coconut milk or evaporated milk
½ cup sugar
½ cup hot water
1 tbsp unflavoured gelatin powder
½ cup diced fresh mango
½ cup sago pearls
2 bottles New Moon Bird’s Nest with White Fungus
1 litre water
- In a small bowl, mix gelatin and hot water till no lumps remain.
- Add to a larger bowl, along with mango puree, 1 cup of coconut milk, salt, and sugar. Stir till smooth.
- Pour into small pudding pots to set, or in pudding bowls of your choice. Note that this may alter the yield. Let set in the fridge for 3 hours minimum.
- To make the sago topping, bring ½ cup of sago pearls and 1 litre of cold water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce to medium heat. Keep stirring so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Cook till the pearls become transparent, roughly for 12-15 minutes.
- Once cooked, remove from heat, and strain the sago pearls. Wash the pearls in cold water to remove excess starch. Add to a clean bowl.
- Mix sago pearls with the New Moon Bird’s Nest with White Fungus, and stir gently.
- Once the pudding is set, remove from the fridge and get ready to assemble. Spoon 1 tbsp of coconut milk on top of the pudding, then add one tsp of the sago-bird’s nest mixture. Top with mango cubes, and more sago-bird’s nest mixture. Repeat till all the puddings are dressed. Serve.
Recipe adapted from Little Sweet Baker.
3. Matcha Fresh Milk with Bird’s Nest Jelly
I’m reviving the days when fresh milk with jelly was a hot bubble tea favourite with this recipe for Matcha Fresh Milk with Bird’s Nest Jelly. It’s also a great drink to serve guests during bai nian, instead of fizzy, processed beverages.
The drink has a base of antioxidant-rich matcha layered over fresh milk, and an ultra-easy-to-make bird’s nest jelly. I used the New Moon Superior Bird’s Nest Strips with Rock Sugar for this, as each 75g bottle is just right for a single serving of jelly. Also, the rock sugar helps sweeten the bitter matcha if you don’t want additional sweeteners.
Do note that the jelly needs a minimum of two hours to set.
If you do find that you need more sugar in the drink, though, feel free to make your own simple syrup by boiling one cup of sugar with one cup of water, and stirring till the sugar dissolves. One tablespoon of this simple syrup per serving should do.
Alternatively, create your own bubble tea creation with this jelly base to serve your family and friends. From earl grey to Thai milk tea, it’s really up to your tastes. Feel free to tailor the measurements if your glasses at home are smaller.
Yield: 1 serving
Cooking time: 10 minutes
2 tsp matcha powder
1 cup cold water
1 cup fresh milk
1 bottle New Moon Bird’s Nest Strips with Rock Sugar
½ tbsp unflavoured gelatin powder
½ tbsp hot water
1 tbsp simple syrup, optional
- Mix the gelatin powder and hot water in a small saucepan till no lumps remain.
- To the mixture, add one bottle of New Moon Bird’s Nest Strips with Rock Sugar. Stir.
- Add the bird’s nest and gelatin mixture to a glass. Let it set.
- To make the matcha, mix 1-2 tsp of matcha with one cup cold water. Use a cocktail shaker if you have one for ease. Set aside.
- Remove the set jelly from the fridge. Pour one cup fresh milk on top. Add ice.
- Finish the drink with the matcha, and simple syrup to taste. Serve.
Bird’s nest desserts for CNY
This Chinese New Year, end your feasts on a light, sweet note with New Moon’s Superior Bird’s Nest Strips with Rock Sugar, and Bird’s Nest with White Fungus & Rock Sugar. New Moon Bird’s Nest White Fungus & Rock Sugar are priced at $19.90 (U.P $39.80) for a pack of six, and $49.80 (U.P. $139.60) for a pack of 24 exclusively for the festive season at selected FairPrice outlets. New Moon’s Superior Bird’s Nest Strips with Rock Sugar is having a promotion at $39.90 (U.P. $46.90).
Apart from their use as an ingredient in bird’s nest desserts, they’re great to enjoy on their own, especially chilled, after a long day of bai nian. Stock up on cartons of New Moon bird’s nest products and bring a toast of health to your loved ones this festive season.
The bird’s nest items and more New Moon products are now available on the New Moon website, major supermarkets, pharmacies, and petrol kiosks islandwide. They are also sold on major online marketplaces, while stocks last.
For more reunion dinner ideas, check out our easy tuan yuan fan recipes to create a banquet-style reunion dinner under two hours.
Photos taken by John Lery Villanueva.
This post was brought to you by New Moon.