A traditional Chinese drink which helps cool the body, reduce heatiness, and clear phlegm and unwanted body fluids. It’s natural sweetness is perfect for hot summer days and this can be drank cold or hot. It is commonly found as a drink in most herbal dessert shops and is even bottled commercially.
The key to this heat clearing tea is the water chestnuts. I don’t use them often as this version also uses corn, carrots, or corn silk, but I’ve kept it simple for heat clearing only. The water chestnuts are a very cooling ingredient and combined with the imperatae (or mao gen) root, is extra potent to clear excess yang.
Fresh water chestnuts are crispy, firm, and high in water content. They don’t have the best storage life, so keep them in the fridge as much as you can. As the water chestnuts “age”, they’ll breakdown and become starchy, have a crumbly texture, and lose it’s moisture content. Which in turn, makes your soup or tea cloudy, which is still OK, as long as the water chestnuts still hold some of their firmness.
This soup is great for heated bodies and sore throats. It is mildly cooling, but extremely soothing with it’s sweet taste and smoothness.
Since it’s meat free, it’s completely oil free and by adding more carrots, you can sweeten it to the point where you can consider drinking it cold (definitely tasted amazing cold because it really helped cool my poor, fiery throat).
You can consider adding other ingredients as well, such as corn, onions, pumpkin or even meats (pork, chicken or fish are all good meats to “salty” up the soup).
Traditional Chinese Name: 祛濕清熱冬瓜湯 (qū shī qīngrè dōngguā tāng)
A must drink for the hot, stuffy summers. It helps cools the body, reduces heatiness and eliminates overheating. While mildly sweet and light to taste, this is a common and very popular soup in the Cantonese soup repertoire. There are a variety of ways to make this soup, but this is the most basic.