Rice Beans

Ingredient Name: Rice beans, rice bean, vigna umbellata, ricebean,

Traditional Chinese Name: 飯豆 (fàn dòu) or 赤小豆 (Chì xiǎo dòu)

What is this?
  • The small edible beans of a warm season annual vine that has yellow flowers that is commonly grown in India and Nepal, but also now extending to China
  • Easily grown as they grow in most conditions and any soil, is pest resistant and often used to produce animal fodder and high quality grain
  • Rice bean is used in soups, sauces as whole or sometimes ground as flour to be fried or used in snacks
  • The beans are small and narrow in length and quite hard and usually dark red or brown in color

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse well in warm water
  • If used in soups, soaking is not needed

Where can I buy this?

  • Wet marts in Hong Kong will carry this
  • Also sometimes available in your local herbalist

What is the cost?

  • 20 g cost around $5 HKD

Any benefits?

  • Helps in conditions of the eyes (red eyes)
  • Good source of protein

Any precautions?

  • A cause of flatulence
  • There is not much scientific study in this type of bean, so there is not much information or impact of this product (as compared to azuki bean or other popular Asian beans)

Any additional information?

  • Store in a cool, dry place
  • Can store up to 6 months in a seal container

Resources

Preserved Chinese Ham

Ingredient Name: Preserved Chinese ham, Preserved ham, Preserved Chinese pork, Yunnan Ham

Traditional Chinese Name: 雲腿 (yún tuǐ) or 火腿 (huǒ tuǐ)

What is this?
  • A salty, preserved meat that is of pork (pig) composition
  • Commonly known as Yunnan Ham because of a specialty of Yunnan Province (in China) to produce this type of product
  • It is usually the dried & preserved thigh or leg of the pork (which is produced with only the marination of salt on a fresh thigh)
  • The ham is flaky, crispy, slightly sweet and quite salty
  • It is commonly used in soups, stews, dim sum and other Chinese or Asian dishes

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse in warm water before usage
  • Can cut up into smaller more edible pieces for soups (or use as a whole)

Where can I buy this?

  • Most supermarkets sell this pre-packaged

What is the cost?

  • Relatively affordable

Any benefits?

  • The ham brings a nice, salty flavor to any soup base
  • It is a slim cut of meat (so minimal fat)

Any precautions?

  • Use in moderation (due to the high amount of sodium)
  • Purchase your ham from a reputable source

Any additional information?

  • Store in a cool, dry place
  • Good for up to 6 months if stored in the refrigerator and less if not (they are usually marked with an expiry date)

Arrowroot and Water Chestnuts in Chicken Soup

Soup Name: Arrowroot and Water Chestnuts in Chicken Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 馬蹄粉葛雞湯 (mǎtí fěn gé jī tāng)

Introduction:
A great soup for nourishing the lungs, helping with coughs and reducing phlegm.  It is also ideal in the wet, stuffy spring season to remove excess moisture from the body.

1 fresh whole chicken
10 fresh chicken feet
1 peel of dried tangerine peel
1 pound of smilax root
1 arrowroot
10-15 fresh water chestnuts

How do I prepare it?

  1. Cut smilax root & arrowroot into edible cubes
  2. Boil a pot of water to blanch smilax root, chicken & chicken feet (don’t cut nails as it will release oils into the soup)
  3. Boil soup water
  4. Wash and peel water chestnuts
  5. When water boils, add all the ingredients together
  6. Boil on high for 30 minutes and reduce to continually boiling for another 2 hours
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Excellent soup for removing moisture from the body (especially during the Spring)
  • Ideal for relieving cough symptoms and removing phlegm
  • Helps remove some heatiness

Any precautions?

  • Considered a mildly cooling soup, so women who are less than 3 months pregnant should take caution
  • Smilax root must be blanched in boiling water thoroughly clean them

Loquat Soup (For The Lungs)

Soup Name: Loquat soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 川貝枇杷湯 (chuān bèi pípá tāng)

Introduction:
A great soup for nourishing the lungs, helping with coughs and reducing phlegm.  It is a great soup for the changing season of summer to autumn when it fluctuates between hot and cold.  The ingredients are very herbal focused and most often used in Chinese medicine to help with lung deficiencies and rejuvenation and healing.  For children, use less herbal and more natural ingredients (like vegetables).  I made this soup with fish, but you can make it with pork instead.

What Ingredients are required?

2 fresh Grass Carp fish tails
3 fresh corn

30 g of dried loquat leaves
20 g of fu ling
5 g of dried licorice root (or 7-8 slices)
15 g of
Creeping Liriope Root Tuber
8 g of
Bulbus Fritillariae Cirrhosae (or chuān bèi)
5 g of dried figwort root (or 5-6 small pieces)
5 g of dried lily bulb (or 5-6 pieces)
1 tablespoon of  apricot kernals
5-6 preserved sweet dates

2 slices of fresh ginger
2-3 litres of water
1 tsp of salt to marinate your fish
1 tsp of oil to fry your fish

How do I prepare it?

  1. After the fish is cleaned, wipe the fish with paper towels or a cloth to remove excess water
  2. Cover the fish with a small amount of salt (inside and out)
  3. Let it sit for an hour and then drain any water
  4. Peel and cut all the vegetables
  5. Start boiling your soup water
  6. In a pan, add oil and fry the ginger with the fish on low-medium heat (until the fish is completely cooked and the skin is a slightly browned)
  7. Put the fish into a soup bag and add to boiling soup water
  8. Add all Chinese herbs and remaining ingredients to the soup
  9. Boil on high for 30 minutes and reduce to continually boiling for another 1.5 hours
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Excellent soup for removing internal fire and heatiness
  • Ideal for relieving cough symptoms, rejuvenating the lungs and removing phlegm

Any precautions?

  • Considered a cooling soup, so women who are less than 3 months pregnant should take caution
  • Use a soup bag to avoid disintegration of fish and bones – which can be potentially dangerous to children
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