Red Dates Tea

Red Dates Tea

Soup Name: Red Dates Tea

Traditional Chinese Name:  红枣茶 (Hóng zǎo chá)

Introduction:
My herbalist suggested I drink a simple tea made of red dates during my period. It’s super easy to make, as the dates are already sitting in the fridge and you just add hot water. Some people will boil it with a few other ingredients, such as wolfberries and fresh ginger slices. This is also an ideal confinement drink if you’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth – replace this in place of coffee or tea to avoid the caffeine, but get the benefits of the blood replenishment.

 

Amount serves: 1 cup for 1 person (you!)

What Ingredients are required?

6 dried red dates, sliced

1 cup of boiling water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Slice your red dates thinly
  2. Add to a mug and add boiling water
  3. Steep for 2 minutes. It will get sweeter over time as the tea steeps further.

Any benefits?

  • Helps rejuvenate the body after a period and restore blood loss
  • Excellent for maintaining healthy blood pressure
  • Excellent source of Vitamin C

Any precautions?

  • Make sure you remove the seeds of dried red dates as the seeds are known to create “fire” in the body
Chinese Yam with Apples and Corn in Chicken Broth

Chinese Yam with Apples and Corn in Chicken Broth

Soup Name: Chinese Yam with Apples and Corn in Chicken Broth (with Ginger)

Traditional Chinese Name:  蘋果玉米淮山雞湯 (píng guǒ yù mǐ huái shān jī tāng)

Introduction:
A simple, clean chicken broth with just a hint of sweetness and a tang of spice (from the ginger). Depending on who your consumer is, add less or more ginger. For confinement, don’t be scared to throw it all in! This soup is easy to make, it’s got basic neutral ingredients and is great for the whole family!

 

What Ingredients are required?

1 fresh whole chicken, quartered
4-5 whole apples, cored and quartered
2 fresh corn, quartered
2 fresh pieces of Chinese Yam about 1 foot in length, peeling is optional, quartered
150 g of sliced fresh ginger (for confinement purposes)
2 L of water
salt to taste

How do I prepare it?

  1. Clean, prepare and blanch chicken in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes
  2. Set aside to cool
  3. Wash, prepare apples, corn and Chinese Yam
  4. Slice ginger thinly
  5. Boil your soup water, when it boils, add all the ingredients together
  6. Boil on high for about 30 minutes and reduce to a simmer for 1 hour
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • With ginger, it’s a slightly warm soup, but without it, it’s neutral
  • Pregnancy, confinement and child friendly
  • Sweet and fresh to the taste
  • Excellent source of Vitamins and hearty to eat

Any precautions?

  • For children, go easy on the ginger because that can really spice up the soup!
  • Be sure to clean, peel Chinese Yam with gloves as the outer skin of the Chinese Yam can make your fingers itchy (if you opt to peel the skin)

Similar soups:

Green Papaya, Fish & Dried Octopus Soup

Green Papaya, Fish & Dried Octopus Soup

Soup Name: Green Papaya, Fish & Dried Octopus Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:  木瓜魚湯 (mù gua yú tāng)

Introduction:
A popular and very common soup for confinement, but not limited to this special group of ladies. For confinement, you must use GREEN papaya (ie: raw, raw, raw – smoking green). The dried octopus helps in milk production as well as adding some flavor to the soup. Use small fish where possible (to limit the exposure to mercury) and setting the soup overnight in a thermal pot really helps bring out the flavors. You can make a big pot and drink for about 2-3 days (while reheating it). This soup generates a very rich, milky broth that is super nutritious, delicious and suitable for the whole family. Another key ingredient for confinement is the ginger – don’t discount the power of ginger!

 

What Ingredients are required?

100 g of ginger, sliced thinly
2 fresh fish, halved (for this recipe, I used 2 fresh Bartail Flatheads)
2 large green papayas
1 dried octopus, quartered

1 tsp of oil (to fry the fish & ginger)
2 L of water
salt to taste


How do I prepare it?

  1. Cut and soak the octopus in a bowl of warm water
  2. Thoroughly wash and clean the fish
  3. In a shallow pan on medium heat, add oil and ginger and when the oil is hot, add fish
  4. Fry the fish with the ginger on both sides until golden brown
  5. Remove from stove to let cool
  6. Boil your soup water
  7. Wash and peel papaya skin, cut into large edible portions
  8. When the water boils, add in fish, fried ginger, octopus and papaya
  9. Boil on medium heat for 1.5 hours
  10. Put into a thermal pot to keep warm or for reboil later

Any benefits?

  • This soup is rich vitamin C, carotenes and antioxidants
  • It is said to aid in milk production for breastfeeding women (use green papayas in this case)

Any precautions?

  • Be sure to use smaller fish (not the tiny fish, but a foot in length is OK) as the larger the fish, the more mercury content
  • You can consider using a soup bag for the fish, although the little fish tend to stick together if you just halve it

Similar soups:

The soup is a very rich, milky broth

Chinese Confinement: The Early Days

 

 

The journey for Chinese Confinement #7 started about 4 days ago.

This page is about Chinese Confinement in the early days. True “body-recovering” doesn’t actually happen until past days 10-12. That’s when you take out the heavy artillery. For now, the first 10-12 days (some say 8-10) should be light, mild and “taking it easy”. This doesn’t mean you can eat “cooling foods” or take showers and let your hair to air dry, it means your diet is light. From various sources at the wet mart and Chinese herbalists, the advice is to drink these light teas and lay off the power herbs.

I will continue to add as I learn more here, but here’s a start.

You can also read forward to prepare for Chinese Confinement: The Final Days (Day 13-30).

 

Chinese Confinement drinks, teas & soups (for the early days):

 

Chinese Confinement foods and snacks (for the early days):

Wood Ear & Red Dates Tea

Wood Ear & Red Dates Tea

Soup Name: Wood Ear & Red Dates Tea

Traditional Chinese Name:  木耳红枣茶 (mu er hóng zǎo chá)

Introduction:
This tea is posted as a post natal/confinement tea and is drank only within the first 0-5 days of confinement to help eliminate the lochia (not going to go into detail what lochia is, but please google it if you’re not sure). 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 Ingredients are required?

This portion yields only 1 cup of the tea.

100 g of pork shank
50 g of pitted red dates
50 g of dried wood ear
3 cups of water


How do I prepare it?

  1. Soak your dates and wood ear for 10-15 minutes in cool water
  2. Boil your 3 glasses of 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

Any benefits?

  • This tea helps in discharging and eliminating the lochia
  • It helps the body regenerate and replace lost blood

Any precautions?

  • Be sure to pit the dates. The pits are said to be “CHO” – which is very heaty, but not in a good way
Boiled wood ear and red dates

Chinese Confinement #7: The Beginning

It’s a girl! 

My parents were graced with grand child #7 two days ago and this story is the journey of confinement #7 for sister #2. We welcome baby Ashley to the family and because she was early, our personal “Pu Yuet” – who is grandma, is still stuck in Toronto waiting eagerly to board a flight to Hong Kong to help. So both myself and sister #3 have taken over with my mom’s guidance to provide the ultimate confinement diet for my sister #2.

 

This journey is an inclusive “diary” of the discoveries of food, drinks, soups, teas, traditions and little knick knacks that normal people don’t follow.

For more information, you can read the story of Chinese Confinement #6 as a start and a base.

I will continue to add to this post as part of the whole story with subsequent posts. Stay tuned and thanks for your continued support. I also welcome any advice or guidance as well. It’s incredible how vendor A will tell you to do A and vendor B will tell you to do B. The knowledge of wealth comprised within that tiny wet mart near my house is incredible and part of my interest now is document it and share it with you.

The whole story 

Yummy Mummy’s Confinement Diet

Chinese Confinement: The Early Days (Day 0-12)

Chinese Confinement: The Final Days (Day 13-30) 

Thanks,

Lisa & Tracy Tong (your soup ladies)