Wood Ear & Red Dates Tea

Wood Ear & Red Dates Tea

Wood Ear & Red Dates Tea

Soup Name:

Wood Ear & Red Dates Tea

Chinese Name:

木耳红枣茶 (mu er hóng zǎo chá)

This tea is warming in nature and sweet to taste.

 

For more videos, visit us on YouTube.

This warming tea has so many amazing purposes!  It’s amazing for post partum areplenishing and nourishing blood and Qi.

 

 

For post partum:

This tea I drank as a confinement tea and within the first 0-5 days of confinement to help eliminate the lochia. 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’s involved?

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 90 mins

Total time: 1 hour 45 mins

Serves: 3 cups of tea

Ingredients
Cooking Instructions
  1. Soak your dates and wood ear for 10-15 minutes in cool water
  2. Boil your soup or tea 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

Some tips!

  • You can pre-soak the wood ear first thing in the morning.  This will soften until you need to boil them.
  • Be sure to buy and use pitted red dates as the seeds are quite fiery (not in a good way).  Some red dates come pre-seeded, but if not, you can use a sharp knife and remove them or halve them first and remove.

For videos, visit us on YouTube.

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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 

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

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Abalone in Chicken Soup

Abalone in Chicken Soup

Soup Name: Abalone in Chicken Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 鮑魚清雞湯 (bào yú qīng jī tāng)

Introduction:
This soup is a powered up version of the Chicken Herbal Soup. Packed with the natural sea-sweetness of the abalones and herbs, it’s a great soup for the cold winter months or confinement. You can eat the abalone as whole pieces (usually the smaller ones are cheaper, but it’s still an expensive soup), or sliced thinly and dipped in soy sauce.  Regardless, don’t waste the abalone!  In addition, I know it says Chicken soup, but the Chinese commonly also add a small pork shank or pork bone to their otherwise known as Chicken and even Fish soups.  You can’t get away from the staple pork.

What Ingredients are required?

1 fresh whole chicken, prepared and quartered
1 pound of fresh pork shank (or any other pork parts for soups is suitable)
6-7 fresh small abalones (or dried)
5-6 dried scallops (conpoys)
1 handful of wolfberries
20 g of dried peanuts (for soups)
20 g of euryale or fox nuts
5 sticks of dried Chinese yam
2 litres of water


How do I prepare it?

  1. Prepare chicken (in quarters) by rinsing and blanching in a pot of boiling water (let it boil for about 2-3 minutes)
  2. Remove chicken and set aside
  3. Boil your pork in the same pot of boiling water as the chicken (for 2-3 minutes)
  4. Drain water and set aside
  5. Wash and clean abalone (with a toothbrush to be sure to brush off all the black residue)
  6. Wash and soak for 10 minutes all the dried herbs
  7. Boil your soup water
  8. When your soup water is boiling, add all the ingredients together
  9. Boil on high heat for 30 minutes and reduce to low boil for another 2 hours.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Excellent warming soup for cold days
  • Good to increase blood circulation and blood flow
  • It is considered to be of the “healing” categories of soup
  • If used for confinement, you can make the soup more concentrated (less water or more ingredients)

Any precautions?

  • As the whole chicken can be oily, be sure to remove all oil before serving
  • Minimize herbs when used for children (above sampling suggested)
  • Peanuts are also introduced in this soup, so remove or avoid giving to children as suggested with potential peanut allergies

Similar soups:

 

Pig’s Feet with Ginger in Black Vinegar

Pig’s Feet with Ginger in Black Vinegar

Pig’s Feet with Ginger in Black Vinegar

Soup Name:

Pig’s Feet with Ginger in Black Vinegar, Ginger and Vinegar Trotter Soup, Pig’s Feet and Ginger Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:

猪脚姜 (zhū jiǎo jiāng)

 

This is the ultimate traditional confinement food (or soup) in the Cantonese cuisine repertoire.   This dish is so amazing that people eat it just for the taste and not for confinement. 

It is consumed by men and women alike because it is flavorful and delicious.  The ingredients aren’t the easiest to obtain and it is not a remotely easy dish to make, but during confinement (when the mother can eat a bowl a day), it’s worth it to make a large pot and give to friends.  Traditionally, families will make large pots of this dish and give it out to friends and family to let them know that there is a new baby. 

For more information on what confinement is and the Chinese ingredients associated with confinement, please see our Confinement Soups page.

Some things to note on the directions for this soup is that it’s more a guide, rather than a true recipe.

Since my mom is a pro at this, she doesn’t really follow measurements and simply makes it according to personal taste – so I’ve tried to adapt this recipe to that style.

Some prefer it more spicy (add more ginger), some prefer it more sour (add more black rice vinegar), some prefer it sweeter (add more sweet vinegar or brown sugar) or some prefer super hard boiled eggs (keep them boiling in the vinegar for at least 2 days).

Regardless of how your taste ventures, make sure you have a bit of spare ingredients to adjust the taste to your preference.

What’s involved?

Prep time: 60 mins

Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins (for the soup)

Total time: 2 hours 30 mins

Serves: 10 bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 whole pig’s feet, halved and cut into edible sections
  • 10 large pieces of old fresh ginger (roughly 5000 grams)
  • 2 large bottles of sweet vinegar (1000 mL)
  • 1 large bottle of black rice vinegar (500 mL)
  • hard-boiled eggs

Preparing the Ginger

Ginger is the highlight of this dish.  That’s what makes it so potent, effective (to drive away the wind from the body), and gives it that little bit of spicy kick.

This part needs a good 1-2 days after you’ve purchased your ginger in bulk.  Usually, when I see people buying ginger at the wet marts in bulk, we all know what’s cooking!

For this soup, the ginger pieces are kept rather large in chunks with their skin off.  Once you peel the skin, don’t throw it out!  For confinement, it is the perfect foot soak (or bathe if you’d like) for post partum.  

Ginger preparation instructions:

  1. Wash ginger and then leave to air dry for at least 1 day
  2. Peel skin off ginger and dry both skin and peeled ginger (the skin is often used for bathing and soaking feet during confinement)
  3. Cut ginger into large pieces
  4. In a pan (or wok) on high heat with no oil, fry your ginger while stirring quickly for 5 minutes
  5. Take out of wok and set aside

Preparing the Vinegar Soup Base

    Be sure to use a clay or ceramic pot for these types of soups.  Traditionally, that’s all they had back then and it does keep the flavour of the soup quite pure and can be stored in the pot and re-boiled as often as needed.  In Hong Kong, the pre-made vinegar and even the soup itself are served, stored, and sold in clay pots.  It becomes quite the workout to lug these things around!
    1. In a large clay pot, add your sweet vinegar and turn on high heat until boiling
    2. Add in prepared ginger
    3. Reduce heat to low and boil (with cover) for an hour (until ginger is cooked)
    4. Set aside until ready to add pig’s feet.  I say this because during some confinements, people will have made the ginger-vinegar soup ahead of time in preparation for the birth of the baby.

    Preparing the Pig’s Feet

      There are also 2 parts to the preparation of raw pig’s feet.  The first is to ensure the protein itself is clean and suitable for consumption.  That means removing the hairs, the tougher parts of the skin, and the nails.  The second part is to blanch it in boiling water.  Interacting with the boiling water will immediately release all the insoluble protein, blood, bone bits, and fat, rendering it ready for soup production.
      1. To remove the hair from the pig’s feet, you can either burn it off over a gas grill (with a hot flame) or using a sharp knife, scrape it off
      2. Wash thoroughly in warm water
      3. Half and cut the pig’s feet into edible sizes
      4. Wash again in warm water (to remove the grits and bones)
      5. In a pot of boiling water, blanch your pig’s feet for 5-7 mins

      Preparing the Soup

          1. When ready to eat, scoop out as much ginger-vinegar soup as you’d like to prepare for your portion of pig’s feet (so that you can continue to use, add more or keep your soup base)
          2. Put into a smaller clay pot and apply medium heat until boiling.  Add in blanched pig’s feet and black rice vinegar (to taste).  The black rice vinegar will help soften the pig’s feet more.  Add hard boiled eggs if desired.
          3. Cover and boil on medium heat for 30 minutes (or until desired softness of feet).
          4. Serve and enjoy!

      FOLLOW OUR Confinement STORIES

      A selection of confinement Chinese Soups

      What is confinement and confinement stories

      Baby 5 & 6 Confinement story

      Some confinement foods for your tummy!

      The DO's and DON'T's of confinement

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      Turtle with Lean Pork Soup

      Soup Name: Turtle and Lean Pork Soup

      Traditional Chinese Name: 水魚瘦豬肉湯 (shuǐ yú shòu zhū ròu tāng)

      Introduction:

      A warm and healing soup, it’s often recommended for cold winter days or confinement.  The turtle meat is said to be a nourishing meat (similar to chicken) and should be avoided if you are sick.   From our experience, even when properly cleaned, soft-shelled turtle meat may have a taste of the “sea” and may require ginger to counter the taste.

      See a lighter variation of this soup here: Longan Meat in Turtle Soup

      What Ingredients are required?

      1 whole fresh soft shell turtle
      1 pound of fresh pork shank
      15 dried longans
      6 slices of dried Chinese yam
      3 slices of ginger
      8 dried dates (for sweetness.  Use red dates for confinement soups.)
      3 – 4L of water

      How do I prepare it?

      1. Pre-marinate the pork with salt and let sit for at least one hour (overnight is best)
      2. Wash turtle meat and shell
      3. In a pan, fry meat and shell with ginger on high heat until cooked
      4. Blanch the pork in a separate pot of boiling water
      5. Boil your soup water
      6. Soak and wash dried longans, Chinese yams, and dates
      7. When the water boils, add all the ingredients together
      8. Boil on high for 30 minutes and then simmer on medium heat for another 3 hours.
      9. Serve and enjoy!

      Any Benefits?

      • A nourishing soup ideal for confinement
      • Good for urinary infections and bladder
      • Helps with asthma and breathing complications (such as shortage of breath)
      • The shell is an excellent source of collagen

      Any precautions?

      • Thoroughly clean and wash turtle, including the shell
      • This soup is “heaty”
      • Do not drink turtle (or chicken) soup if you are sick

      (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.