Wood Ear & Red Dates Tea

Wood Ear & Red Dates Tea

Wood Ear & Red Dates Tea

Soup Name:

Wood Ear & Red Dates Tea

Chinese Name:

木耳红枣茶 (mu er hóng zǎo chá)

This tea is warming in nature and sweet to taste.

 

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This warming tea has so many amazing purposes!  

The key highlight of this tea is the wood ear.  Wood ear in Traditional Chinese Medicine is known to reduce hypertension (lower blood pressure), support blood flow and circulation, tonifies and nourishes the blood and Qi, and alleviates coughs, moistening the lungs and removing phlegm.  

To make this super potent, after you boil the tea, remove the wood ear and slice into small pieces and serve as a snack (or with the tea).

I’ve also made wood ear salads, which allows you to still consume wood ears with more diversity in your diet!

 

For post partum:

This tea I drank as a confinement tea and within the first 0-5 days of confinement to help eliminate the lochia. It’s a simple tea with 3 ingredients (the meat is optional if you’re vegetarian) and very easy to make. It’s a sweet, slightly tart tea and must be drank hot/warm. It’s one of the better tasting teas I know available for confinement! You can boil a whole big batch for 5 days worth, refrigerate and then reheat when needed or boil fresh batches everyday. It is recommended to drink 1-2 glasses a day (depending if you’ve got other teas or soups already filling your tummy!). Do not add additives like sugar or salt. Keep it clean, light and natural.

What’s involved?

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 90 mins

Total time: 1 hour 45 mins

Serves: 3 cups of tea

Ingredients
Cooking Instructions
  1. Soak your dates and wood ear for 10-15 minutes in cool water
  2. Boil your soup or tea water
  3. When the water boils, add all the ingredients together and boil on a medium boil (covered) for 1.5 hours
  4. Serve hot/warm directly as is

Some tips!

  • You can pre-soak the wood ear first thing in the morning.  This will soften until you need to boil them.
  • Be sure to buy and use pitted red dates as the seeds are quite fiery (not in a good way).  Some red dates come pre-seeded, but if not, you can use a sharp knife and remove them or halve them first and remove.

For videos, visit us on YouTube.

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Wood Ear

Wood Ear

Wood Ear

Ingredient Name:

Wood ear, cloud ear, tree ear, black fungus

Traditional Chinese Name:

木耳 (mu er)

Nature:  Neutral

Taste:  Sweet

Benefits:

  • Lowers blood pressure and alleviates hypertension
  • Tonifies and nourishes blood and Qi
  • Moistens lungs and eliminates cough

Here’s how to build your “Basic Chinese Soup Pantry

This is one of those ingredients that is definitely an acquired taste and appreciation.  As a young girl, anything black and strange looking is something that I don’t touch or explore, but as I got older and tried the in soups, stews, dishes, and appetizers, I have grown into a beautiful fondness for this wood ear fungus!

The wood ear is an edible fungus that is used in Chinese and other Asian cuisines, but more western cuisines recently.  It’s often found in soups, stews, sitr-frys (with other vegetables), vegetarian dishes, and appetizers (taken cold and often soaked in a vinaigrette).  

It has a light, earthy flavor and a slightly crunchy, spongy texture and never seems to get completely soft (which makes it such a great ingredient because it doesn’t disappear!). When cooked with other ingredients, it is great at absorbing the flavors around it.

How do I prepare it?

      • Soak for at least 30 minutes in warm water (it will expand to many times it’s original size)
      • Trim any tough or gritty parts off
      • Rinse and it is ready for use
      • Here’s a video on preparing a wood ear appetizer and you can follow how to prepare wood ear

Where can I buy it and cost?

      • You normally buy wood ear fungus as dehydrated hard mushrooms, that come in a dark brown or black colour (with some some silver linings in some breeds)
      • Depending on the breed, it comes in all various sizes (some as small as quarters and as big as the size of your palm)
      • You can purchase these from most Asian supermarkets prepackaged
      • You can also purchase this in bulk from specialty stores (online herbal shops) – both loose and prepackaged
      • Be sure that you’re buying from a reputable source
      • The cost of wood ear fungus is not very expensive.  A 150g bag can cost around $11 HKD or around $3 CAD.

How to prepare it?

      • The most basic way to prepare wood ear mushroom is to rinse under cool water to rinse off any dirt, preservatives
      • Soak them fully in cool water (fully submerged)
      • You’ll know they’re fully hydrated and ready to use when they feel slightly squishy, but can fold and bounce back into its hydrated shape
      • And if you can slice with a knife through the wood ear, it’s fully hydrated

Any benefits?

      • Wood ear is one of the key ingredients from my herbalist and Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor to support lowering and managing blood pressure as well as alleviating hypertension
      • Helps tonify and nourish the blood and Qi
      • Targets, moistens, and supports the health of the lungs
      • Helps relieve cough (especially long-term cough)
      • Is also a good source of collagen and anti-aging

Any precautions?

      • Generally safe for consumption

      • They aren’t the easiest to digest

Looking to build your basic Chinese Soup Pantry?

Check it out in my video to learn more!

 

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