Daily Cooking Quest

六味糖水 - Chinese Six Herbs Sweet Soup

This is one of the many Chinese herbal soup that my Mom prepares for us. Her version is always the savory one, with pork ribs, but I found out later that many families also make this into sweet soup (糖水). Since I love the savory version to death, I want to give the sweet version a go. ♥

六味糖水 - Chinese Six Herbs Sweet Soup

You can see from the ingredient shot that I am actually using 7 herbs plus rock sugar to make this soup. The requisite 6 herbs are the one without the apricot kernels. To make a proper six herbs soup, you will have to gather the other 6 ingredients from your Chinese herbalists. If you are lucky, some shops even sold them in a package with enough ingredients to make a 4 person serving soup, which is super convenient. ♥

六味糖水 - Chinese Six Herbs Sweet Soup Ingredients

六味糖水 - Chinese Six Herbs Sweet Soup

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 2 hours 30 mins

Total Time: 2 hours 45 mins

Serves: 4 to 6


  • 6 cups water
  • 20 gram lotus seeds (Chinese: lian zi)
  • 20 gram fox nuts (Chinese: qian shi)
  • 20 gram apricot kernels (Chinese: nan bei xing)
  • 20 gram lily bulbs (Chinese: bai he)
  • 20 gram Chinese yam (Chinese: huai shan)
  • 20 gram Solomon seal rhizome (Chinese: yu zhu)
  • 20 gram dried longan (Chinese: gui yuan)
  • 100 gram rock sugar, or to taste


  1. Soak lotus seeds in cold water until slightly soften, carefully open each seed to remove the bitter heart.
  2. Pour water in a soup pot, then add lotus seeds, fox nuts, apricot kernels, lily bulbs, Chinese yam, and Solomon seal rhizome into the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until everything is soft and tender. About 90 minutes to 2 hours.
  3. Add dried longan and return to a boil. Cook for another 15 minutes until the longan pieces are plump looking again.
  4. Add sugar and stir until completely dissolve, adjust the sweetness according to your preference.
  5. Turn off heat. This soup can be served hot, at room temperature, or even cold.


  • Helen says:

    Instead of rock sugar you can use dried dates or plums

  • emily says:

    Hi, I am very interested to try this but having difficulties trying to get the ingredients. Are there any online stores in US that you would recommend? I live in midwest, so there's no close chinatown that I can go.

    • Anita says:

      Hi Emily, I have never bought any Chinese herbs online so I cannot help. Amazon sell each individual ingredient if you want to, but the price does add up rather quickly. Again, I am so sorry I cannot help much.

  • Lily Cheam says:

    Can I boil dried wai shan with rice and black beans? Then puree, add sugar and chill. Can it be served as cold dessert?

    • Anita says:

      Hm... I have never tried pairing wai shain with rice aand black beans, but it sounds doable and should turn out into a pretty nice porridge. Sure, you can serve this dessert cold :)

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