Licorice Root or Chinese Licorice

Ingredient Name: Licorice root, Licorice (Liquorice), Sweet root, Chinese Licorice, Glycyrrhiza uralensis

Traditional Chinese Name:甘草 (gān cǎo)

What is this?

  • The root of the licorice plant which is extracted and dried
  • Common Chinese herbal ingredient and often found in Chinese medicines
  • Mainly grown in China (Eastern & Northern parts)
  • Slightly sweet in flavor

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse in warm water prior to use

Where can I buy this?

  • This is available in most Asian supermarkets
  • Also available in Chinese herbals stores

What is the cost

  • 10 g cost around $2-3 HKD
  • Extremely affordable

Any benefits?

  • Used to aid cough, sore throat, asthma and remove phlegm
  • Helps in detoxifying the body
  • Reduce heatiness in the body
  • Considered a cool food

Any precautions?

  • Not be consumed by women who are pregnant – especially in first trimester as it’s a cooling food
  • People with heart disease or high blood pressure should be cautious about using licorice

References:

Japanese Honeysuckle

Ingredient Name: Japanese Honeysuckle, Lonicera Japonica, Suikazura, Er hu, Shuang hua

Traditional Chinese Name: (Jīnyín huā) literal translation of “gold silver flower”

What is this?

  • A species of invasive vine native to Eastern Asia (Japan, Korea, China)
  • The raw flower is between white and yellow in color and the vines can grow up to 10m tall
  • Extremely common in Chinese medicinal uses
  • Considered cold (helps cool the body and detoxify)
  • It is an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredient
  • Used as a dried ingredient in drinks and Chinese medicine
  • Western countries see this plant as a pest or weed

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse in warm water prior to use

Where can I buy this?

  • This is available in most Asian supermarkets
  • Also available in Chinese herbals stores

What is the cost

  • 10 g cost around $2-3 HKD
  • Extremely affordable

Any benefits?

  • Is a cooling food
  • Excellent in dispelling heat and toxins in the body
  • Used to treat conditions such as fevers, skin rash, sore throat and other heaty conditions

Any precautions?

  • Not be consumed by women who are pregnant – especially in first trimester as it’s a cooling food
  • Consume with caution for people with pre-existing cold conditions

References:

Spica Prunellae Healing Drink

Soup Name: Spica Prunellae Healing Drink

Traditional Chinese Name: 夏枯草 (xià kūcǎo liáng chá)

Introduction:
An extremely cooling drink that is ideal in the hot summer, for cooling the body, clearing heatiness and helping conditions such as acne, eye infections, and cold sores.  It can be served cold or hot (although tastes much better cold in my opinion) and is very refreshing.  Although slightly bitter in taste, adding rock sugar to it makes it quite delicious.  It’s definitely an acquired taste to enjoy, but the Chinese love it and it’s pretty commonplace.  I usually keep a jug of this in my fridge!

What Ingredients are required?

40g of yellow beans
50g of dried spica prunellae
50g of dried chrysanthemum flower
rock sugar (to taste)
2-3 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Boil water
  2. Rinse ingredients in warm water (except rock sugar)
  3. When water boils, add all ingredients together
  4. Boil for an hour on medium heat
  5. Strain ingredients from liquid
  6. Add rock sugar and let dissolve
  7. Cool in fridge or with ice (optional)
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Excellent soup for relieving heatiness
  • Helps relieve symptoms of sunstroke and heatstroke

Any precautions?

  • People with sensitive stomachs (otherwise known as cold stomachs) should avoid overly cooling herbs
  • Pregnant woman in their first trimester take caution as cooling soups can cause contractions

Mustard Greens with Salty Egg Soup

Soup Name: Mustard Greens with Salty Egg Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 芥菜鹹蛋湯 (jiècài xián dàn tāng)

Introduction:
A quick boil soup that is easy to make while stimulating the senses.  The salted egg really brings lots of flavor to this otherwise slightly bitter soup.  It’s distinct taste is refreshing and this soup is great in removing heatiness and cooling the body.

What Ingredients are required?

1 pound of fresh pork bones (optional)
1 pound of fresh mustard greens
2 slices of fresh ginger
2 salted duck eggs
2-3 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Wash mustard greens
  2. When your soup water boils, add in fresh ginger and mustard greens
  3. Crack salted egg into a bowl and release slowly into soup (keeping the egg yolk whole) – some people will remove the egg yolk and just use the egg whites
  4. Boil on high heat for 30 minutes
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Excellent soup for relieving heatiness
  • Flavorful vegetarian soup (meatless)
  • A non-old-fire soup that can be made in approximately half an hour

Any precautions?

  • Mustard greens have a slightly bitter taste, so don’t overuse
  • Pregnant woman in their first trimester take caution as cooling soups can cause contractions
  • Salted duck eggs are super salty and high in cholesterol

Mustard Greens

Ingredient Name: Mustard greens, mustard, leaf mustard, white mustard, Chinese mustard, Indian mustard, Bassica juncea, green mustard cabbage

Traditional Chinese Name: 芥菜 (jiècài)

What is this?

  • A species of the mustard plant in which looks like a headless cabbage
  • Long pale green leaves that are secured at the base
  • The taste is slightly bitter with horseradish mustard flavor
  • There are many variations and types of mustard greens
  • Found commonly in Indian, Japanese and Chinese cuisine

How do I prepare it?

  • Separate the leaves as necessary and wash under warm water
  • For soups, you can cut into smaller edible pieces of leave as whole pieces

Where can I buy this?

  • Available in wet marts in Hong Kong
  • Sometimes available in western supermarkets
  • Often available as prepacked preserved mustard greens (with a sour taste)

What is the cost?

  • A medium sized bunch (with approximately 6-7 large leaves – as pictured) cost around $10 HKD

Any benefits?

  • Excellent source of Iron and Zinc
  • High in Vitamin A and Vitamin C
  • Is low in saturated fat and cholesterol

Additional Information:

  • It is considered a cooling vegetable so pregnant women (earlier than 3 months) take caution as cooling foods tend to cause contractions

References: