How to make Ginkgo, Barley and Tofu Skin Dessert from scratch: 10 Steps (with Pictures)

Here is a step-by-step recipe (with Pictures) for making Ginkgo, Barley and Tofu Skin Dessert from scratch in 10 Steps. A very memorable dessert – silky smooth, gluey and creamy. My best friend’s grandma always made this for me in my school days. She said that this dessert helped dispel body toxin and beautify the skin, we should take regularly. She also taught me how to make it. Here am I, sharing her delicious recipe with you all. I always think about her when I see this dessert. How happy and innocent those days were. Sometimes, I wish I could go back in time. What was your most memorable dessert when you were in school?

Ginkgo, Barley and Tofu Skin Dessert Recipe


5-6 persons


150g pearl barley
100g unshelled ginkgo nuts
2 pieces tofu skins (approx. 30g)
60g white rock sugar
1500ml water
2 pandan leaves


1. Rinse barley under running water to remove any dirt that you may find.
2. Soak tofu skins in water until soft, tear into small pieces and drain well.
3. Gently crack the ginkgo nuts. Soak the nuts in water. Remove the outer skin and the pith.
4. Wash the pandan leaves, tear into strips and tie in a knot. Set aside.
5. Bring water to boil. Add barley, tofu skins and ginkgo nuts.
6. Lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
7. Add white rock sugar and simmer until the sugar dissolves.
8. Add knotted pandan leaves and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.
9. Turn off the heat. Discard the pandan leaves.
10. Enjoy your Homemade Ginkgo, Barley and Tofu Skin Dessert.


  • Tofu skin is also widely known as bean curd skin or bean curd sheet. It is made from soybean and available in fresh or dried form. The dried tofu skin must be soaked in water before use.
  • Hard-boiled quail egg, water chestnut, white fungus or candied winter melon can be added to enhance flavor. Please take note that the amount of sugar must be adjusted if sweet ingredients are added.
  • The pith of the ginkgo nuts must be removed. It is quite bitter and slightly poisonous.
  • There are a few ways to prepare the ginkgo nuts. I am using the straightforward traditional way: take a ginkgo, crack it, soak the nuts in water, remove the outer skin, cut in half from the bottom with a knife and you will see the pith. Remove it. This way is a little bit wet and messy. Read: How to prepare Ginkgo Nuts.
  • Overeating Ginkgo nuts can cause poisoning. Each person should not consume more than 10 pieces each time.
  • Cooking the pandan leaves for too long will cause the dessert to taste bitter. It is recommended to add it towards the last 10 minutes and discard immediately.
  • The dessert will thicken as it cools. If it is too thick, add some water.