Rock Sugar (冰糖)

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Rock Sugar |

Rock sugar (冰糖, bing tang) or rock candy is crystallized sugar. It has a transparent color and tastes milder than granular sugar. It is commonly used in Chinese cooking as a sweetener and yields better cooking results than does granular sugar.

In Chinese cooking, rock sugar can be divided into monocrystal rock sugar (单晶冰糖, dan jing bing tang) and multicrystal rock sugar (多晶冰糖, duo jing bing tang).

The monocrystal type is smaller and has a regular square shape and a smooth surface. The multicrystal type usually comes in very big lumps, with a coarse surface and an irregular shape. It has a sweeter taste than the monocrystal type.

The former is usually used as a drink sweetener or candy snack, for example, in chrysanthemum tea. The latter is used in cooking, especially in soups and braised dishes. By using rock sugar, the cooked meat will have a shiny appearance and a more delicate flavor. You can always use granular sugar as a replacement if you don’t have any rock sugar.

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Reid says:

    Your answer gets ambiguous and makes no sense. Which is “the latter? You make reference to both mono and multi sugar

    • kay says:

      looolll you can’t read and don’t understand “former” and “latter.” why don’t you google how to understand those words before criticizing accurate writing? monocrystal = former, because it’s listed first, multicrystal = latter, because it’s listed after monocrystal.

  2. Reid says:

    Ps, I love your website!

  3. Quirke says:

    Can I make these rock sugars at home from plain white sugar – as a how we do rock candy, or are the chinese rock sugars different is some ways?
    Just found the site, but looks neat so far 🙂

    • Maggie Zhu says:

      I’m actually not super familiar with rock candy. But after some quick research, I realize that they are the same thing.
      You can definitely make them at home but I wouldn’t, because it’s so much work!

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