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I remember as a child eating some porridge-like concoction called "gwat fun" (or "goot foon", as my grandma used to say) and I have no idea what it is or where one could get it these days.

It starts out as a white, starch-like powder. I'm not sure if grandma added those bars of Chinese brown sugar but eventually a bowl of light-brown, viscous-looking porridge would emerge that looked a lot like mucus. I know. Sounds appetizing.

It didn't taste all that bad, but it wasn't a favorite dish of mine, either. My mother claims when she came to America she brought over a lot of the stuff in her luggage and we ate it in our childhood (I don't know how she managed to smuggle this stuff past airport security back then.)

Any thoughts as to what this childhood mystery food might be? And do they sell it in stores these days?

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Gaak!!! That is one "food" that I nearly succeeded in expunging from my memory, that is until you mentioned it. Thanks. I don't know the provenance nor the constituents of this dish. All I remember is that it felt, and tasted like a bowlful of snot. My mother made it savoury, not sweet. Horrible, horrible, horrible.

In our part of Toisan, we pronounced it "get foon."

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I believe you are talking about 'ge fen' 葛粉, a starch from a root called 葛根 (ge gen in Mandarin or goot gen in Cantonese).

The root looks like a large sweet potato (yam) but the fresh is full of fibres http://www.zjol.com.cn/pic/0/02/99/98/2999814_147390.jpg.

In English I think this is called kudzu vine root, popular in China as well as in Japan.

If I am not wrong the root or starch made from the root has medicinal properties such cleansing/ detoxing, curing hangover and inflammatory.

I love soup made with the root, haven't had it for ages. Think you may be able to find fresh root from Chinese grocery store.

The starch, ge fen or goot fen 葛粉, is usually made into porridge like this glue http://www.51766.com/img/1001/1218700743590.jpg. Some people use the powder to make face mask good for spots.

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  • 3 months later...

I've never had goot foon in the savory style. Mom taught me to make it with rock sugar. When it's ready, a fresh egg is beaten in a bowl then swirled into the mixture. I prefer to eat it when cooled - not chilled.

My Mom ate it often, especially when she has an upset stomach.

Whenever relatives went back to China for visits, they always brought us a supply. Now that my Mom has passed away, I seldom think to make it. Maybe it'll come back to me when I approach 100! :wink:

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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