Sunday, 28 April 2013

Job's Tear Drink (薏米水)

Many years ago, my neighbour from Hong Kong told me that drinking Chinese pearl barley 薏苡仁 (also known as Job's tear) is very good for the body.  In fact, she does it on a weekly basis for her two grand sons that she was looking after.

Do not mistaken Chinese pearl barley with the Pearl barley.  The easiest way to distinguish the two is Chinese pearl barley is bigger than pearl barley.

Chinese believes in dispelling the extra heat from the body.  Our body needed the yin and yang or else we will fall sick easily.  With the heat building up these past weeks and my kiddos are out in the sun, I think I better boil Job's Tear drink 薏米水 for them.

Don't want them falling sick due to the heat as looking after sick kids will pose a problem for me now.

This drink has properties of diuretic, anti-swelling, pus-expelling and cooling.  I was told that it is very good of lupus patients.  Also for people who are suffering from stiff and painful joints, rheumatism, warts and eczema.

I also added winter melon stick for extra cooling properties.

On a side note, talking about eczema, I noticed that there are many kids that are suffering from this and left bad scarring.  

My son is no exception.  What I had done for him was that I tried to keep him out of the sun as much as possible.  I feel that young skins are more vulnerable to problems.  Thus I discouraged him from doing soccer as CCA when he was in Primary School and he does swimming as the alternative choice. Only when he was in Secondary 1, he signed up for soccer.  I also applied QV cream for him after bath and before sleep and he sleeps with no air con as it it tends to dry the skin.  If you must, try putting a bowl of water next to him/her.

I am not sure whether I am right but thankfully, he grew up with no scarring at all from this skin problem.

So let's 干杯 on our 薏米水!

What you need:
Serve : 5

200g Chinese Pearl Barley
6 - 10 Winter Melon Strip (糖冬瓜)
2 litres of water (replenish water if it is low)
Sugar to taste


Bring Chinese Pearl Barley, winter meon strip to a brisk boil.  Lower to med heat and continue to boil for an hour.

Sweeten with sugar.


  1. I have seen this before but never bought it to cook! Always used the barley to boil! Must give this a try since it's so good!:D

    1. When I was a young mother, I too didn't know till my old neighbour explains the difference. These days I don't use pearl barley at all. Note that it is bigger in size.

  2. The fairprice near my house only have 1 type of barley. So how to know if is Chinese or pearl? Asked staff but they dont know too.

    1. Grace, Chinese pearl barley is bigger than pearl barley. If you can't find there in NTUC, go to medical hall.

  3. Mine says Chinese Barley printed but under ingredients it says Pearl Barley hahaha so how do i do without the wintermelon sticks?

    1. Baby QQ, it is also okay not to add wintermelon stick if you don't have. Normally we drink barley becoz I wanted to remove the heatiness, the added wintermelon stick is also to counter heatiness. So if you don't have it, omit it.

  4. Want this Job's Tear Drink right now. You make me thirsty. By the way thanks for this recipe. I will try this one when i am going to be free and start making new new food dishes for my holidays travel.


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