Tong shui literally translated as "sugar water", also known as tim tong, is a collective term for any sweet, warm soup or custard served as a dessert at the end of a meal in Cantonese cuisine. Tong shui are a Cantonese specialty and are rarely found in other regional cuisines of China. Outside of Cantonese-speaking communities, soupy desserts generally are not recognized as a distinct category, and the term tong shui is not used.
There is a wide variety of tong shui, and in Hong Kong and Malaysia, there are often stalls which devote themselves just to selling different types of desserts. These dessert stalls have also gained prominence in overseas Chinese communities, and can be found in various parts of Canada, Australia and the United States.
Ground black sesame seeds are traditionally cooked with water and rock sugar. Chinese herbs are sometimes added to enhance the flavour and aroma. The instant black sesame powder sold in Asian supermarkets is usually sweetened. It requires the addition of hot water and mixing in the serving bowl, after which it should be left for 15 minutes before serving.
Cooked and served exactly like mung bean soup & paste. Red bean soup is normally pre-boiled to soften the skin by leaving in hot water for one hour. Then cook in water for 20-30 minutes until the beans rupture. The adding of sugar or rock sugar is lastly added to cook for another 20-30 minutes until the bean texture becomes sandy. As for red bean paste, the skin is removed before cooking. Chinese herbs may be added to enhance the flavour and taste.
Like black sesame paste, peanut paste is a ground peanut powder cooked with syrup and water. Instant peanut paste powder sold in Asian supermarket are usually sweetened roasted peanut powder or flour, that only required to be served with hot water.
Ground almond powder that cooked with sugar and water. Instant almond powder sold in Asian supermarket are usually sweetened raw almond flour or powder, requires minimal cooking with boiling water or to be served after mixing with hot water for 15 minutes.