(Confinement) Black Bean, Rice and Ginger Water

Soup Name: (Confinement) Black Bean, Rice and Ginger Water – sometimes called Teas

Traditional Chinese Name: 黑豆姜水 (Hēi dòu jiāng shuǐ)

Introduction:

This is a traditional confinement drink that is said to help reduce “wind” in the body and “warm” it up to help with the healing process after giving birth.  These are common ingredients found in various confinement soups, teas and recipes (especially ginger).  Some people make a large batch of the black bean and ginger mixture and steep it like teas for drinking everyday throughout their confinement.  For more information on what confinement is and the Chinese ingredients associated with confinement, please see our Confinement Soups page.

Ingredients:

Prep:
1 teaspoon of oil
2 tablespoons of ginger juice, pulp optional
1 cup of black beans, rinsed
1 cup of white rice, rinsed
1/2 cup of water, to cook rice

Drink/Tea:
1 cup of boiling hot water

How do I prepare it

  1. In a frying pan, heat up oil on medium heat.
  2. When oil is hot, add black beans, white rice and ginger juice and cook for 2 minutes, constantly stirring
  3. Add 1/2 cup of water and continue to stir and mixture until all the water evaporates.  Be sure to adjust the heat accordingly to prevent burning.
  4. Once mixture is dry and golden brown (see picture below) and cooked, set aside and cool.
  5. In a cup, scoop 1 tablespoon of mixture and add hot water to it.  Steep for 10 minutes and drink hot.

Any benefits?

  • Effective drink in removing “wind” from the body
  • Helps warm the body
  • Assists in helping those in confinement get lots of fluid into the body and to help flush the system
  • Also helps to improve water levels in the body (especially for those mothers who are breastfeeding)

Any precautions?

  • The “heatiness” of this drink may be too much for some people (especially those with naturally “colder” bodies), so start slow with the ginger if you’re uncertain
  • The more ginger you add, the spicier this drink gets.  It is far subtler if you use just the ginger juice.

White Rice

Ingredient Name: rice

Traditional Chinese Name: 米 (Mǐ)

One of the most staple foods in the world can definitely be used in soups.  You’d be surprised how many different ways you can use rice in soups and stews and the very popular Chinese congee.  This is a definite ingredient to have at home at all times.  It’s my comfort food!

What is this?
  • Seed of the rice plant that is most important consumable grain source in the world
  • Most commonly consumed in Asia, Middle East, Latin America and India
  • Comes usually in a form of brown rice (with the husk) or white rice and can be ground into rice flour for usage in cakes, noodles, drinks or other uses
  • There are over thousands of rice varieties in the world

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse well in warm water before usage
  • Some rice may require soaking ahead of time

Where can I buy this?

  • Most supermarkets will carry rice

What is the cost?

  • Rice type, production, and breed will vary the price of rice greatly

Any benefits?

  • A good (but not complete) source of protein
  • Excellent source of energy and carbohydrates
  • Easy to cook and there are  a variety of ways to cook and prepare rice
  • A readily available ingredient

Any precautions?

  • The protein of rice isn’t sufficient as a diet and should be combined with nuts, meats and other protein supplements to ensure a balanced diet

Additional Information

  • White rice can keep longer than brown rice
  • White rice can kept in a dry, sealed container for up to 6 months

References:

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice

Wolfberry Leaf with Egg Drop in Chicken Broth

Soup Name: Wolfberry Leaf with Egg Drop in Chicken Broth

Traditional Chinese Name: 枸杞雞湯 (gǒu gǒu jī tāng)

Introduction:

A delicious soup that is rich in the unique flavors of the wolfberry leaves.  The very neat thing about this soup is that the base is an old fire soup, while when adding the final ingredients, it’s a quick boil soup.  This is a classic from my mother and she even grew her own wolfberry plants just for the sole purpose of making this soup!

Ingredients:

1 fresh whole chicken, prepared
1 pound of fresh pork shank
4 fresh sea snails, prepared
5-6 dried scallops (conpoys)
10 dried longans
3 stems of wolfberry leaves, washed and picked off stems
3 eggs, scrambled
2-3 L of water

How do I prepare it

  1. Prepare snail by thoroughly cleaning and rubbing it in warm water
  2. In a pot of hot water, blanch chicken, pork shank and snail
  3. Begin to boil your soup water and add conpoys and longans
  4. When water boils, add both blanched chicken and pork shank (this is the base of your soup)
  5. Boil on high for 30 minutes and then reduce to a simmer for another 1 hour
  6. Wash wolfberry leaves and set aside
  7. When ready to serve, add wolfberry leaves and boil for 5 minutes on high heat (or until leaves are soft)
  8. Slowly pour in scrambled eggs while continuously mixing the soup, boil for another 5 minutes
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Has an effect to remove heatiness
  • It aids in reducing thirst and has a calming effect on the body (thereby eliminating anxiety)
  • Extremely high carotene content
  • Excellent source of Vitamin E

Any precautions?

  • Some species of wolfberries and leaves are known to contain a toxic ingredient called Atropine (naturally occurring)
  • Not many concrete studies are available on the benefits of wolfberries and their leaves
  • Said to be slightly cooling, so precaution to be taken with women who are pregnant in their first trimester (as cooling ingredients cause contractions)
  • Snails need thorough cleaning (see preparation for more details)

Vote for me on “Project Food Blog” – Challenge 2!

To my readers:  Project Food Blog is a competition hosted by foodbuzz to find the ultimate food blogger.  I am an active participant – here’s my profile and this is my second challenge.  I know that this is not a Chinese soup – but the challenge called for something out of my comfort zone so I have decided to venture away from anything Asian and yes, all the way to Africa.
So for my second challenge, I posted the “Moroccan Sweet Potato, Carrot and Chickpea Soup“.  You can read the post on why and how I made this soup.

There are 400 participants in this challenge and only 200 will advance!  I have already been hard at work racking my brain on what to do for the 3rd challenge in hopes and anticipation of advancing!

Click here to vote for me!

Click to search from Z-A, “TheChineseSoupLady”.


Wolfberry Leaves

Ingredient Name: Wolfberry leaves (also known as goji berry leaves, barbary matrimony vine leaves, bocksdorn leaves, Duke of Argyll’s tea tree leaves, red medlar leaves or matrimony vine leaves)

Traditional Chinese Name: 枸杞 (gǒu gǒu)

Yes, this picture is of the wolfberry plant!  It was grown in my mother’s backyard vegetable garden and for the sole purpose of soup production.  I used to drink this soup all the time as a child and it still brings back fond memories of my great soup past.  However, I never (and still don’t) enjoy eating the leaves, but they do make for a healthy and rich soup.  The taste is very distinct and it’s either you love it or hate it.  The Chinese say that the taste is very “golden”.

What is this?
  • Young shoots grow to be about 2-3 m in height with heart shaped light to dark green leaves
  • They grow in bundles with a very strong and firm bark or stem
  • A relatively easy plant to grow and are suitable for growth in most regions (they often grow wildly in fields)
  • They are slightly cold in nature and the leaves are slightly bitter to taste
  • Leaves are often used in Chinese herbal teas and soups (or as a leaf vegetable in dishes)

How do I prepare it?

  • Remove from stem and rinse in warm water

Where can I buy this?

  • Most Asian supermarkets will carry this produce fresh

What is the cost?

  • Wolfberry leaves are very affordable with a few dollars (CAD)  per large bunch

Any benefits?

  • Has an effective to remove heatiness
  • It aids in reducing thirst and has a calming effect on the body (thereby eliminating anxiety)
  • Extremely high carotene content
  • Excellent source of Vitamin E

Any precautions?

  • Some species of wolfberries and leaves are known to contain a toxic ingredient called Atropine (naturally occurring)
  • Not many concrete studies are available on the benefits of wolfberries and their leaves
  • Said to be slightly cooling, so precaution to be taken with women who are pregnant in their first trimester (as cooling ingredients cause contractions)

Additional Information

  • Fresh wolfberry leaves can keep for up to 3 days in the fridge

References:

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfberry#Leaves_and_flower