Fu Ling or Tuckahoe

Fu Ling or Tuckahoe

Ingredient Name: Fu Ling, Zhu Fu Ling, Tuckahoe, White Tuckahoe, Poria, Indian Bread, China Root

Traditional Chinese Name: 茯苓 (fuling) or 雲苓 (yún líng)

What is this?
  • The dried and unprepared wood decay fungus which develops a large deposit (or sclerotium) of fungi clumped together
  • It is most commonly known to be used in Chinese medicines
  • This herb is collected between July & September and is most commonly found in China
  • It has an outer layer of a brown skin and usually a white interior and is quite solid in density
  • Often used in teas and drinks (especially in the summer)
  • It is sweet and light in nature, but tasteless in flavor

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse in warm water before usage to ensure all dirt and soil is removed

Where can I buy this?

  • Most herbal shops will carry this
  • Wet marts in Hong Kong will also sometimes carry this

What is the cost?

  • Relatively affordable

Any benefits?

  • Helps in digestion
  • It is neutral in properties and benefits the heart, lungs and spleen
  • It is ideal for removing damp-heat (ideal for Spring and wet conditions)
  • Excellent for cough symptoms, removal of phlegm,  and dizziness

Any precautions?

  • Use in moderation

Any additional information?

  • Store in a cool, dry place
  • Good for use up to 6 months

Resources

Blue Dates

Blue Dates

Ingredient Name:

dried blue dates, blue jujubes, blue jujube dates, black dates

Traditional Chinese Name:

藍枣 (lán zǎo)

This ingredient is warming in nature and sweet to taste.

 

Looking to start your Chinese soup pantry?  Watch this video on “The 7 basic Chinese soup pantry ingredients“.

 

Look Ma!  They’re blue!  And yes they are.  Definitely more common in Asia, they are also sometimes called black dates.  Some black or blue dates are made by simply smoking their red counterparts.  And you can definitely taste that smokey-ness when you soak them in teas or use them more pure.  They taste slightly charred, bur fragrant, and are a more deep sweet versus the dried red dates.  Sometimes, blue and black dates are used together with the red dates in teas and soups, or you can use blue dates as they are.

How do I prepare it?

    You can use directly from its packaging and drop directly into soup or teas.  Be sure to remove the seeds of the dates, as the seeds are super fiery and heaty, creating excess yang in the body.  The dates themselves are already slightly warm, so we want to keep the heat in check.

Where can I buy it?

      • In most wet marts in Hong Kong

      • Available in your Chinese herbalist or Chinese medicine store
      • I’ve also seen this readily available in bulk packages as Chinese supermarkets

What is the cost?

      • A package of around 30 dates cost $40-$50 HKD
      • There are varying prices of blue dates depending on its rarity and quality
      • Blue and black dates are more expensive than their red counterparts

Any benefits?

      • Dates are known to assist in maintaining healthy blood pressure and assist the stomach and spleen in poor appetites
        It is also commonly used to address stress in drinks and teas
      • Due to its sweetness, it is soothing to the throat and used to treat sore throats
      • Dates are an excellent source of Vitamin C
      • Dates are slightly warming and ideal for soups and teas where you want to create more warmth
      • Dates help with blood circulation, tonify blood and Qi

Any precautions?

      • Be sure you are buying this ingredient from a reputable source

      • Store in a dry, cool place in a seal container to prevent mold or spoilage

Herbal teas is an amazing category of Chinese drinks that are more purposeful and intentional in its creation and consumption.  They aren’t always medicinal and have some more common ingredients that we always drink because they taste so good!

Explore all our herbal drinks here! 

 

 

Looking to start your Chinese soup pantry?  Watch this video on “The 7 basic Chinese soup pantry ingredients“.

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Garlic (Fresh)

Garlic (Fresh)

Garlic (Fresh)

Ingredient Name:

Fresh Garlic

Traditional Chinese Name:

蒜 (suàn)

Garlic is warm in nature and sweet to taste.

 

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I honestly think you really begin to appreciate garlic as you age.  I mean, that certainly is the case for me.   I mean, true garlic… yah sure, garlic bread itself is taste, but I mean garlic in it’s raw, true, and glorious form.

The Chinese don’t use garlic very often in soups actually.  It’s common in cooking and dishes and stews, but soups are almost non-existent.  I will, however, sometimes, use garlic in soups.  Part of it is a fusion blend, part of it is to yield the benefits garlic provide into the soup (for the kids, too), and part of it is because I love eating it regardless.  

 

Ingredient Name:  Fresh Garlic
Traditional Chinese Name: 蒜 (suàn)
What is this?
  • A pungent root that is often used for medicinal and culinary purposes
  • The edible bulb is made up of sections called cloves
  • Did you know that garlic is a part of the onion family?
  • Unbroken bulbs can be stored for up to 8 weeks in a cool, dry open container
  • Cloves can be stored for 3-10 days depending on weather and humidity, you can keep them in the fridge for endurance 

How do I prepare it?

  • If you are purchasing bulbs, you will need to extract the cloves from the bulb prior to usage
  • Some like to smash the cloves prior to cooking as it releases more flavour and is easier to disintegrate

Where can I buy this?

  • In any supermarket, they come prepackaged as bulbs or packaged in cloves (ready to serve style)

What is the cost?

  • You can purchase bulbs of garlic that are prepackaged for a few dollars CAD per package
  • Pre-packaged and disassembled bulbs (sold as packaged individual cloves) are more expensive

Any benefits?

  • Garlic is high in anti-oxidants, which help with kill free-raidcals in the body
  • It is also widely recognized in promoting the well-being of the heart and immune system and helps with blood circulation
  • It is also known to be a powerful and natural antibiotic

Any precautions?

  • Over consumption can lead irritation and damage to the digestive tract
  • Due to its pungent smell, garlic eaters often retain and even omit the smell of garlic when it is eaten in excess (this is due to garlic’s essential oils)

Garlic garlic yum yum yum.  It isn’t commonly used in Chinese soups, but I will sometimes put it in my stews for its health benefits and some zing.  I do use garlic like crazy in my baking and cooking.  The Chinese are a big fan of garlic for most of their dishes.