Ingredient Name: Night Blooming Cereus, Cereus
Traditional Chinese Name: 霸王花 (bà wáng huā)
What is this?
- The dried plant known to bloom at night
- There are many species that belong in this category, but specifically one that is used in Chinese medicine and soups
- It blooms with white flowers (roughly 7-8 inches in diameter) with many petals and blooms for a few hours before dying
- Extremely fragrant flower once bloomed
- The flower is grown both in homes and in batches for soup/medicinal consumption
- The dried plant is tasteless
How do I prepare it?
- Soak in water for at least an hour, rinsing several times to remove all the bugs (mainly ants)
Where can I buy this?
- Most Asian supermarkets and herbalists will carry this product dried in packages
What is the cost
- 1 pack will cost around $20 HKD (about 5-6 flowers)
- Excellent for nourishing and detoxifying the lungs
- Helps moisturize and lubricate the lungs
- Helps eliminate pathological heat and fire in the body and cool it down
- Soak in water for at least an hour – large cultivated batches of this plant will have many bugs, so be sure to wash thoroughly
- Mildly cooling ingredient (take with caution if in the first trimester of pregnancy or menstruating)
- Avoid this ingredient is you have hypertension
- You can store this ingredient in a tight sealed container in a dry place for up to 6 months
I have been trying to find this for a long time. They serve it in cafes but couldn’t find it in fresh markets. Thanks for this!
I am also curious to know if this is the same plant giving the dragon fruit ?
Dear humpty, no, it’s a different plant from dragon fruit plant. It’s actually really a “flower” plant and doesn’t produce fruit at all. How do they serve it in cafes? In dishes – fried? in soups? It’s more commonly found as “dried ingredients” from the herbalists – not in fresh markets. My mother also grows this at home, so it’s also a houseplant. If you really want to, you can try to grow it at home and then harvest it after the flower blooms and dry it for soups 🙂 Lisa
Thanks, I finally found them at the ‘dried veg’ shops. I love the texture. But if I simmer it for 3 hours, it is soggy. They serve it as soups in the cafes with just the right ‘bite’. I wonder how they do it?
btw, I got confused searching for it on the internet. There appears to be many species of ‘Night Blooming Cereus’ (Hylocereus undatus). And also found this;
It looks like that author found the fresh version, it looks more succulent, or maybe I’m wrong.