How to make an Apple Cinnamon Chinese Herbal tea for Eliminating Damp-Wind and Damp-Heat

How to make an Apple Cinnamon Chinese Herbal tea for Eliminating Damp-Wind and Damp-Heat

How to make an Apple Cinnamon Chinese Herbal tea for Eliminating Damp-Wind and Damp-Heat

Tea Name: Apple Cinnamon Chinese Herbal Tea for Eliminating Damp-Wind and Damp-Heat

Traditional Chinese Name: 蘋果祛濕茶 (píng guǒ qū shī chá) – direct translation here is “apple remove damp” tea. There are many damp removal Chinese herbal teas and this one blends flavours of apples and cinnamon as a base with damp removal herbs. 

Nature:  Slightly warming

Taste: Sweet and slightly bitter

(You can read this article on the impact on your body of different food tastes!)

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

So what are my symptoms this time around?

 

  • Sore throat. It came fast and sharp and hurts pretty badly, so in a sense, this is an indication of heat in the body. 
  • The tongue is always a good indicator of where your yin and yang balance is. You can follow this starter article on identifying your own balance by making observations of your own tongue. Today’s tongue: Pale, with a pasty white coating.
  • Pulse. I like to check both my pulse and my elevated heart rates during a gentle run or walk. When my HR spikes at lower speeds, I know my body needs to go into recovery.
  • Cold limbs. My feet have been feeling so cold over the last few days!  I’m wearing my thick winter socks right now in 19C weather! I even sleep with them.
  • Runny nose. An indication of excess water in the body. And, lucky it wasn’t thick and just watery, which also means I’m not that heaty, yet!
What’s involved?

Prep time: 2 mins

Cook time: 5 mins

Total time: 7 mins

Serves: 2 cups

Ingredients
  • Half an apple
  • 1 teaspoon of cooked barley
  • 1 teaspoon of dried red rose buds
  • 1 small piece of dried cinnamon bark
  • 1 small slice of dried tangerine peel
  • honey to flavour
  • 2.5 cups of boiling water
    Cooking Instructions
    1. Slice or dice your apples. I will only use half as that’s enough and then eat the rest!
    2. In a stove safe tea pot, add in the apple, fried barley, red rose buds, cinnamon, tangerine peel
    3. Add in 2.5 cups of cold water
    4. Set on your stove top and start on high heat until it boils. Reduce to medium heat and let that simmer for 5 minutes.
    5. Set aside and cool.  I’ll pour out at this time into a glass cup.
    6. Add in honey for taste, although it is slightly sweet already from the apples and roses.
    7. Serve and enjoy!

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    How to make a delicious Cantonese-styled Tomato Fish Soup (with vegetables)

    How to make a delicious Cantonese-styled Tomato Fish Soup (with vegetables)

    How to make a delicious Cantonese-styled Tomato Fish Soup (with vegetables)

    Soup Name: Cantonese-styled Tomato Fish Soup (with vegetables)

    Traditional Chinese Name: 番茄魚湯 (fān qié yú tāng). The literal translation of this is Tomato Fish Soup. However, this is such a generic name for the soup base (consisting usually of fish and tomatoes), but the soup also usually has other vegetables such as potatoes, which are most common.

    Nature:  Slightly cooling (due to the seafood, but I’ve added both ginger and red dates to warm it slightly)

    Taste: Sweet and savory

    (You can read this article on the impact on your body of different food tastes!)

    For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

    This soup eats like a meal!  So you can serve it with rice or noodles for a complete, health, meal for the whole family!

    I did my first LIVE production (on YouTube instead of Instagram) and this is the condensed version of it with narration.

    You can watch the full soup production here.

    The soup design is simple. The soup base is basically ginger, fish (the freshest ones I could find at the supermarket), and tomatoes.  I then added vegetables that compliment this type of soup such as potatoes, celery, white onions, leeks.  You could add your choice of vegetables as well with the condition that it’s really designed as a quick-boil (and not a long boil).  A quick boil Chinese soup tends to be about an hour max on boil. 

     

    What’s involved?

    Prep time: 30 mins

    Cook time: 90 mins

    Total time: 120 mins

    Serves: 6 large bowls

    Ingredients
    • Your choice of fresh fish.  I like red snappers, small fish are also good. Fish heads like salmon or carp are also nice.  Experiment, try, taste!
    • 5 slices of fresh ginger
    • 1 fresh white onion, peeled and largely sliced
    • 4 potatoes, peeled and largely sliced
    • 4 stalks of celery, deveined and largely sliced
    • 4 fresh tomatoes, quartered
    • 10 dried baby scallops
    • 5 dried red dates
    • 10 cups of water

    Prep Instructions

    1. You can follow along in the YouTube video as well.
    2. I will first prep my fish.  This includes descaling (whatever remains from the fish butcher) and thoroughly cleaning the stomachs.  I’ll use a flat knife to remove any extra internals and wash the insides and outsides.  If I’m steaming, I will use a bit of salt to rub the stomach clean and do a full deep cleaning.  The stomach is the bitter part of the fish and if not cleaned properly, you can taste it! I won’t cut off the fins for soup as it’s all going in together.
    3. Half the fish for easier frying and so that it fits into the fish soup bag.
    4. In your soup pot on medium heat, add some oil and fresh ginger.  Once that is warm, pan fry your fish until it’s beautifully browned on both sides.
    5. Using a clean fish soup bag, add your whole fish into it and pull the strings and seal. Set that aside for later.
    6. In the same pot, add white onions and prepared potatoes.
    7. On medium heat still, you’ll want to brown both of these nicely, tossing as needed as not to burn any of them.
    8. I will also add in the leeks and dried scallops at this time to blend the flavors.
    9. Once the scallops, onions, potatoes, and leeks are browned, put your fish (in the soup bag) back into the bottom of the pot.
    10. Add you in dried red dates.
    11. Add your water to ensure everything is fully covered.
    12. Cover and allow that to come to a full boil.
    13. Once the soup fully boils, add in the tomatoes and celery.
    14. Cover again and let that boil for an hour.
    15. Salt, serve and enjoy!

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    How to make vegetarian green and white radish carrot Chinese herbal soup packs

    How to make vegetarian green and white radish carrot Chinese herbal soup packs

    How to make vegetarian green and white radish carrot Chinese herbal soup packs

    Tea Name: Vegetarian Green and White Radish and Carrots Chinese Herbal Soup Packs

    Traditional Chinese Name: 紅青蘿蔔湯 (hóng qing luóbo tang). Literal translation is “red pale radish soup”.  The red means the carrots (usually), the pale means the green radish (usually), but I’ve also added white radish into this vegetarian creation.

    Nature:  Slightly cooling

    Taste: Sweet and slightly bitter.  The bitter after tones are so slight and come from the dried tangerine peels, dried raw barley, and the radishes.  This is offset by the sweet herbs that include red date and dried longans and the carrots.

    (You can read this article on the impact on your body of different food tastes!)

    For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

    I did my first LIVE production (on Instagram).

    You can watch the full soup pack production here.

    The design of this soup is for the spring time, to eliminate toxins and liquid from the body.  This is aided by the dried raw barley (which is a diuretic) and the dried tangerine peel.

    The soup packs are designed for 3-4 bowls and are meant to fit into a small pot or a 5 cup rice cooker.  I am using a Zojirushi 1L rice cooker that has a host of functions and I just press “cook rice” and it does it thing for an hour and then I have a delicious, healthy, ready-to-serve Chinese soup for dinner! 

    The business case for making frozen soup packs in bulk!

    This use case continues to amaze me!  Literally, this morning, I was like “I feel like soup” and I took out another one of these soup packs (this one to be precise because I made extra for me and my pescatarian friend) and tossed it into the rice cooker, topped up with water, added a few red dates and an hour later, had soup ready for lunch and dinner.

    To start, I did a survey when I first initially created these for friends and the time saving is phenomenal.

    On average, it takes someone 2-3 hours of time to make a Chinese soup (beginning to end with checking). Compared to using frozen premade soup packs using a rice cooker, it takes 5 minutes of work (and then 60 mins of no supervision) with an upfront investment of 2-3 hours to make 6 soup packs.  So on average, you are saving 14 hours of time over 6 soups.  The math isn’t perfect, but this was my best estimate based on answers from friends.  That’s HUGE!

      What’s involved?

      Prep time: 45 mins

      Cook time: 0 mins

      Total time: 45 mins

      Serves: 3-4 bowls x 5 soup packs

      Ingredients

      This is for 5 x soup packs:

      • 2 medium sized fresh green radishes
      • 1 medium sized fresh white radish
      • 5 small carrots (1 each)
      • 4 x 5 dried red dates
      • 4 x 5 dried longans
      • 5 dried small tangerine peels (1 inch in length)
      • 2 x 5 teaspoons of dried raw barley (or fried barley works)
      • 3 x 5 tablespoons of roasted cashews (salted or unsalted is fine)

      You’ll also need:

      Prep Instructions

      1. You can follow along in the YouTube video as well.
      2. Peel and chop all your vegetables. I tend to peel my radishes deeper as the skin is quite tough and thick and unpleasant to eat. I’ll chop the pieces quite small, about 1-inch cubes so that they boil quick and can fit into my rice cooker or smaller soup pot. I’ve had friends who also have used instapots for this recipe!
      3. Count out your Chinese herbs.
      4. I’ll then pack each soup pack starting with the vegetables first, green radish and white radish on the bottom and then layer the carrots around then finally the Chinese herbs into vacant spaces.
      5. Be sure to leave at least 2-inches from the top of where you’d like to seal.  You can cut the bag as well to ensure it’s fit to size.
      6. Don’t forget to label the soup with the date of production.  I’ll normally do this with a permanent market.
      7. Insert into your soup bag into the vacuum sealer and seal!  TA-DA!
      8. Immediately put them into the freezer.
      9. When making this, simply take out of the freezer, cut open the soup pack, drop into a rice cooker, instapot, or small pot.  Fill waterline to max.  Press cook rice (usually 60 minutes) and wait until it’s finished.  Serve and enjoy.

      Tricks and tips on prepping frozen Chinese soup packs

      • You can follow this YouTube video on “How to make frozen Chinese soup packs”
      • Cut your ingredients smaller so that it will fit into a rice cooker (or small pot or instapot)
      • Fully wash, cut, and blanch all meats so that they can drop directly into the soup
      • Pack the largest ingredients on the bottom of the pack, working your way up to the smallest (I’ll typically put meats on the bottom)
      • Consider what ingredients are best for frozen conditions.  This is usually roots, melons, starchier vegetables (like broccoli, cauliflower).  I don’t use leafy vegetables that often in these types of soups, although now that I think about it, would love to try a watercress and see how that freezes!
      • Prepare these packs for 3-4 bowls worth (also depends on the size of the rice cooker)
      • Write the date of production with a permanent market so that you know when it was produced, especially if you have a selection in the freezer.
      • Always reserve at least 2-inches at the top of soup pack before you seal to allow for more room to make the seal
      • Use a wet + dry vacuum sealer if you intend to use some of the juice or water reserves (such as coconut water, which is delicious and sweet!)

      For videos, visit us on YouTube.

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      Strengthen spleen and remove dampness with this warming Chinese herbal tea

      Strengthen spleen and remove dampness with this warming Chinese herbal tea

      Strengthen spleen and remove dampness with this warming Chinese herbal tea

      Tea Name: Spleen strengthening damp removing herbal tea

      Traditional Chinese Name: 健脾祛濕茶 (jiàn pí qū shī chá) – direct translation here is “spleen strength remove damp” tea.  This is also quite a generic name in terms of the function of the tea rather than the ingredients and variations of this exist, it just depends on what herbs are being used.

      Nature:  Slightly warming

      Taste: Sweet and slightly bitter

      (You can read this article on the impact on your body of different food tastes!)

      For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

      It’s quite common to consume damp reducing teas and soups in the Spring in Traditional Chinese Medicine and in Asia.  

      What’s involved?

      Prep time: 2 mins

      Cook time: 5 mins

      Total time: 7 mins

      Serves: 1 cup

      Ingredients
        Cooking Instructions
        1. In a cup, add all the ingredients together. 
        2. You can use a disposable tea bag to keep all the ingredients together.  This is because the barley will float and sometimes get in the way! 
        3. Add in boiling water, cover, and steep for 5 minutes
        4. Serve and enjoy!
        Any benefits?
        • This tea is slightly warming and ideal to keep the body warm (which is ideal to support replenishing Qi) with the red dates, astragalus root, and tangerine peel
        • The astragalus root and red dates help replenish Qi in the body
        • This tea is diuretic, meaning it helps dispel water from the body, supported by the barley and the mulberry root (which helps with urination and reduced swelling from water)
        • You can drink this daily
        • It is ideal for the whole family

        For videos, visit us on YouTube.

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        How to make fragrant salted egg soup base with vermicelli, tofu, and napa cabbage

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        Soup Name: Fragrant salted egg soup base with vermicelli and napa cabbage (optional vegetarian-styled)

        Traditional Chinese Name: 鹹蛋集菜 (xián dàn jí cài tāng) – direct translation here is “salty egg vegetable soup”.

        Nature:  Neutral

        Taste: Salty and sweet

        (You can read this article on the impact on your body of different food tastes!)

        For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

        Salted duck eggs were for sale at the supermarket!

        And I haven’t had them for awhile, so what better way to use a whole bunch as a soup base?

        Part of the reason to mash up the salted duck eggs is so that it blends directly into the soup (so the kids can’t see it- lol).  The salted duck eggs create a flavorful, smooth, and milky broth (because they are pretty salty and the egg yolk dissolves).

        This makes for a great soup base so you can add other ingredients on top for a delicious quick boil soup for dinner!

         

        What’s involved?

        Prep time: 10 mins

        Cook time: 25 mins

        Total time: 35 mins

        Serves: 6 bowls

        Ingredients
        • 2 cooked salted duck eggs
        • 3 pieces of garlic, diced
        • 1 fresh whole onion, diced
        • 2 fresh napa cabbage
        • 1 block of soft tofu
        • 2 bunches of dried green bean vermicelli
        • fresh green onions
        • 2 medium sized fresh octopus (optional, I used this as a topping which I pan fried separately in the end.  This just helped keep the soup from tasting a bit fishy)
        • 2 L of water (or 10 cups)
          Cooking Instructions
          1. In your soup pot with a bit of oil, add in your diced onions and garlic and fry on medium heat until slightly browned.
          2. Peel your salted duck eggs and drop into your soup pot.  Using a heat resistant silicon spatula, break up the salted duck eggs into small pieces, especially the egg white.  The yolk itself will begin to melt and this is perfect!
          3. Once most of the eggs are broken up into small pieces, add in your soup water (10 cups).
          4. Cover and allow that to boil on medium heat for 10 minutes.
          5. Add in your chopped napa cabbage and vermicelli.  Be sure to push the vermicelli down into the soup to allow that to be fully covered.  Cover and allow that to boil for 10 minutes.
          6. I’ll then add in the fresh tofu directly on top.  Cover and boil for 5 minutes.  The tofu cooks really fast!
          7. Flavor as needed. I just added a bit of soy sauce and salt, but you can additional add in another 2 fresh duck eggs, halved, so that you can fish them out and eat them with rice!
          8. Serve and enjoy!
          9. I separately fried the fresh octopus because I didn’t want the fishy taste of the octopus in the soup and the family could eat it as a topping with the vermicelli soup dinner!

          Why I love this soup!

          • There are so many reasons that this is absolutely an amazing soup that I will continue to make more of going forward!  It’s quick, easy-to-make, and you don’t need a lot of ingredients.
          • You can’t even taste the salted duck eggs unless you really knew what you were looking for!  It’s smooth, even, and milky in texture and absolutely delicious!
          • LOL, yes, I love my fun salt star wand.  Now I am a fairy… I’ve been using this thing for all my cooking now!  You can also put garlic salt or pepper into these things.  So cute!  So fun!

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