Walnuts and Cashews in Pork Broth

Soup Name: Walnuts and Cashews in Pork Broth

Traditional Chinese Name: 合桃素湯 (hé táo sù tāng)

Introduction:

This interesting soup is mainly composed of round stuff (little nibbles of things) like nuts and beans.  This soups excellent for “brain” and “memory” development (so says my herbalist) and great for kids.  This soup does need something to punch up the taste because without additional veggies, it really does taste a bit bland and nutty, so I threw in a pumpkin (which still didn’t make it sweet enough, so maybe throw in some carrots and corn too).  Next time.

What ingredients are required?

1 pound fresh pork shank
20g of peeled cashews
20g of peeled walnuts
2-3 large dried dates
1 fresh lily bulb (or dried)
10 pitted red dates
20 dried lotus seeds
1 whole Japanese pumpkin, largely sliced with skin
40 g red kidney beans
2 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Soak the cashews, walnuts, dates, lily bulb and beans in warm water
  2. Begin to boil your soup water
  3. In a separate pot of boiling water, blanch the pork shank for 5 minutes and drain
  4. Wash and chop pumpkin into slices (while keeping skin to prevent the pumpkin from disintegrating)
  5. When your soup water boils, throw all the ingredients together
  6. Boil on high heat for 30 minutes and reduce to a medium boil for another 1.5 hours
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Excellent soup for eyes and brain development (especially in children)
  • Ingredients are readily available
  • Soup is low in fat

Any precautions?

  • This soup has a strong nutty taste, so you can consider masking it with  more veggies (ie: corn, carrots, squash)
  • Caution for children under 2 (as walnuts & cashews may be a risk for nut allergy)

Cashews

Ingredient Name: Cashews

Traditional Chinese Name: 腰果 (Yāoguǒ)

What is this?
  • The edible seed of the cashew fruit (of the cashew tree)
  • The cashew nut is mildly sweet and crunchy in texture
  • The cashew nut is beige/white in color and usually looks like the shape of a boat (see picture above)
  • It is commonly found in Chinese cuisines (as a whole nut), soups and desserts

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse in warm water before usage
  • Avoid using cashews that are pre-salted or roasted in soups

Where can I buy this?

  • Cashews are available all year round in all supermarkets

What is the cost?

  • This is not an expensive ingredient and the price varies depending on preparation and packaging

Any benefits?

  • Cashews are an excellent source of antioxidants and minerals
  • They contain the “good” fatty acids that help lower bad cholesterol
  • Cashews are rich in Vitamin B’s

Any precautions?

  • Cashews are a high calorie food, so consume in moderation
  • The shell of the cashew nut is toxic (similar to that of the poison ivy) and is a skin irritant
  • Take caution when serving to children as it is a nut and may cause allergies in children

Additional Information

  • Store in a dry and cool place in a tightly sealed container
  • Cashews can store up to 6 months if properly stored

Walnuts

Ingredient Name: Walnuts

Traditional Chinese Name: 核桃 (Hétáo)

What is this?
  • The edible seed of any tree in the genus Julgans (tree nut family)
  • The edible portions are found inside a very hard, brown seed with a very hard external shell
  • The walnut is brownish-white in color and hard in texture with a white skin (that is often bitter)
  • This nut is commonly found in Chinese soups, dishes and desserts

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse in warm water before usage
  • Avoid using walnuts that are pre-salted or roasted

Where can I buy this?

  • Fresh walnuts can be purchased in supermarkets
  • Dried walnuts are also available in supermarkets or at herbalists
  • This is a readily available ingredient

What is the cost?

  • This is not an expensive ingredient and the price varies depending on preparation and packaging

Any benefits?

  • Walnuts are excellent source of protein, nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids
  • They have a healthy source of antioxidants which help reduce or slow aging
  • Walnuts are a good source of Calcium, Zinc and Iron
  • Excellent in the prevention of heart disease

Any precautions?

  • If a walnut has molded, this mold will release dangerous aflatoxins and should not be used for consumption
  • Be sure to purchase walnuts from a reputable source

Additional Information

  • Store in a dry and cold place as walnuts can spoil easily

Ladies’ Monthly Tea

Soup Name: Ladies’ Monthly Tea

Traditional Chinese Name: 女性恩物湯 (nǚ xìng ēn wù tāng)

Introduction:

My herbalist recommended this “special ladies’ drink” or tea because I complained about an irregular period and serious cramps (almost death like).  He’s suggested to make this drink in small portions, once a month and drink one cup a few days before my expected start days to help relieve the cramping, calm the body, and eliminate the wetness and then one more cup after the end of the period.  Drink this for about 3 months and then see what happens.  This is probably one of the more medicinal drinks I have posted and made and to be honest, it smells and tastes as bad as it looks.  It’s quite bitter (and he did say to absolutely not add sugar – as it’s not needed) and has a very unique aftertaste.  Did it work?  I can’t say because this is the second month I’ve drank it.  However, all the ingredients suggested are “warm” and individual ingredients do target areas in the stomach, spleen, and intestines.  I will save my mixed thoughts on Chinese medicine for a rainy day post, however, my herbalist did say that he has regular customers who do buy, make and drink this (women customers) and they have found it effective.  It’s not overly potent for an adult and doesn’t take too much effort to make.

What ingredients are required?

15g dried Chinese foxglove root
10g dried angelica root slices
15 g dried chuanxiong
20g dried fu ling or tuckahoe
15g dried atractylodes or bai zhu
10g fried dried licorice root
5g dried white peony root
10g dried blue dates
4 cups of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Soak all ingredients in warm water for ten minutes
  2. In a pot of 1.5 cups of boiling water, throw all the ingredients in together and cover
  3. Boil for an hour (while keeping it covered)
  4. This should make about 1 cups worth (for you and only you!)
  5. Serve warm and enjoy (as it is not recommended during menstruation cycles to drink cold things)

Any benefits?

  • This soup is meant and created for women to help relieve cramping, eliminate wetness and calm the body
  • It is a warming tea and should be drank warm (or hot)
  • Reduces the deficiency in qi and blood (similar to post partem symptoms)

Any precautions?

  • This drink is packed with Chinese medicine and herbs, so take with caution
  • Not recommended for children (as some of the herbs can be quite potent)
  • It is not the tastiest drink in the world
  • Be sure to purchase all Chinese medicine from a reputable source
  • These drinks are meant to be supplements and shouldn’t be taken as medical advice

Any other information?

  • I bought this prepackaged and 1 pack cost $22 HKD
  • Ask your local herbalist or vendor to “make” the pack for you rather than buy it separately (they usually know what to put in it, more or less, pending your body’s condition)

 

 

Chuanxiong

Ingredient Name: Chuanxiong, Szechuan lovage, lovage

Traditional Chinese Name: 川芎 (Chuānxiōng)

What is this?
  • A fundamental herb in Chinese medicine
  • This herb belongs to the carrot family, is native to East Asia and is a perennial herb with massive fist-like rhizomes
  • The rhizome itself is irregular shaped and brown in color
  • You can find this root available as dried, powdered, sliced, tablets, capsules and even root oil

How do I prepare it?

  • Soak in warm water for 10 minutes and rinse before usage

Where can I buy this?

  • Some wet marts will have this in the herbal shops
  • Chinese medicine shops will definitely have this as well (and it does come in various sizes, shapes and forms)

What is the cost?

  • This is not an expensive herb
  • It is commonly sold together with other ingredients (for the tea, drink or Chinese medicine you want to make)

Any benefits?

  • Chuanxiong helps with the circulation of the qi
  • It aids in expelling wind from the body
  • It is antibacterial, antiviral and can act as an anti-inflammatory agent
  • One of the valuable properties of this plant is it pain killing ability
  • It is commonly used to improve blood circulation (such as irregular menstruation or amenorrhea)
  • Chuanxiong is also good for reducing abdominal pain, head pains, head aches, pain due to injuries

Any precautions?

  • Take caution when serving to children (use in moderation as with all Chinese medicine)
  • It is recommended that pregnant women also avoid this herb (but conversely is used in postpartum treatment to eliminate excess blood)
  • If you’ve got a naturally warm body, use with caution as sometimes “warm”  ingredients or soups will make you heated
  • Be sure to purchase from a reputable source

Additional Information

  • Store in a dry and cool place (up to 6 months)