Ladies’ Monthly Tea

Soup Name: Ladies’ Monthly Tea

Traditional Chinese Name: 女性恩物湯 (nǚ xìng ēn wù tāng)

Introduction:

My herbalist recommended this “special ladies’ drink” or tea because I complained about an irregular period and serious cramps (almost death like).  He’s suggested to make this drink in small portions, once a month and drink one cup a few days before my expected start days to help relieve the cramping, calm the body, and eliminate the wetness and then one more cup after the end of the period.  Drink this for about 3 months and then see what happens.  This is probably one of the more medicinal drinks I have posted and made and to be honest, it smells and tastes as bad as it looks.  It’s quite bitter (and he did say to absolutely not add sugar – as it’s not needed) and has a very unique aftertaste.  Did it work?  I can’t say because this is the second month I’ve drank it.  However, all the ingredients suggested are “warm” and individual ingredients do target areas in the stomach, spleen, and intestines.  I will save my mixed thoughts on Chinese medicine for a rainy day post, however, my herbalist did say that he has regular customers who do buy, make and drink this (women customers) and they have found it effective.  It’s not overly potent for an adult and doesn’t take too much effort to make.

What ingredients are required?

15g dried Chinese foxglove root
10g dried angelica root slices
15 g dried chuanxiong
20g dried fu ling or tuckahoe
15g dried atractylodes or bai zhu
10g fried dried licorice root
5g dried white peony root
10g dried blue dates
4 cups of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Soak all ingredients in warm water for ten minutes
  2. In a pot of 1.5 cups of boiling water, throw all the ingredients in together and cover
  3. Boil for an hour (while keeping it covered)
  4. This should make about 1 cups worth (for you and only you!)
  5. Serve warm and enjoy (as it is not recommended during menstruation cycles to drink cold things)

Any benefits?

  • This soup is meant and created for women to help relieve cramping, eliminate wetness and calm the body
  • It is a warming tea and should be drank warm (or hot)
  • Reduces the deficiency in qi and blood (similar to post partem symptoms)

Any precautions?

  • This drink is packed with Chinese medicine and herbs, so take with caution
  • Not recommended for children (as some of the herbs can be quite potent)
  • It is not the tastiest drink in the world
  • Be sure to purchase all Chinese medicine from a reputable source
  • These drinks are meant to be supplements and shouldn’t be taken as medical advice

Any other information?

  • I bought this prepackaged and 1 pack cost $22 HKD
  • Ask your local herbalist or vendor to “make” the pack for you rather than buy it separately (they usually know what to put in it, more or less, pending your body’s condition)

 

 

Vegetarian Vegetable Broth

Soup Name: Vegetarian Vegetable Broth

Traditional Chinese Name: 蔬菜湯 (shūcài tāng)

Introduction:

This is basically vegetables and water, but to think that a combination of the right vegetables can be so tasty!  You really don’t need to add any additives such as salt, sugar or meat because it really is delicious as it is.  Consider using a variety of vegetables as well, such as red beets (which I will try as a recommendation from a friend), potatoes, yams, Chinese yams and more.  This soup is ideal for any age group, condition and individual!

What ingredients are required?

3 fresh carrots, cut into large pieces
2 fresh corn, cut into large pieces
1 whole Japanese pumpkin, largely sliced with skin
3 whole red onions, sliced
2 fresh sweet potato, cut into large pieces
3 fresh tomatoes, cored and quartered
2 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Rinse and prepare all vegetables and set aside
  2. Begin to boil your soup water
  3. When soup water boils, add all the ingredients together
  4. Boil on high for an hour
  5. Serve and enjoy!  NO SALT NECESSARY!

Any benefits?

  • Oil free soup
  • Excellent source of protein and vitamins (especially beta-carotene)
  • Easy to make soup
  • Ingredients are readily accessible and available in most supermarkets

Any precautions?

  • Serve soup with tomatoes to children one year and older
  • No other known precautions, so enjoy!

Ginseng Fruit and Gobo in Vegetable Soup

Soup Name: Ginseng Fruit and Gobo in Vegetable Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 牛蒡人参果湯 (niúbàng rénshēn guǒ tāng)

Introduction:

A very clear and deep sweet soup that is extremely flavorful and rich in Vitamins.  Both the ginseng fruit and the gobo root give this soup all the flavor it needs, so no meat is required.  You can add a variety of vegetables to it like carrots, corn, chayotes, onions to make your soup creation.  The great thing about using ginseng fruit is that the soup actually smells and tastes like ginseng, but without the hole in your wallet!

What ingredients are required?

3 fresh carrots, cut into large pieces
2 fresh corn, cut into large pieces
2 fresh gobo root, cut into large pieces
5 fresh ginseng fruit, halved
1 tablespoon of apricot kernels
2 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Soak apricot kernals in water for 10 minutes
  2. Start boiling your soup water
  3. Wash and prepare ginseng fruit, gobo root, carrots and corn
  4. When soup water boils, add all the ingredients together
  5. Boil on high for 30 minutes
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Oil free soup
  • Naturally flavorful because of both the ginseng fruit and gobo root
  • Excellent source of protein and vitamins
  • High amount of natural minerals
  • Easy to make soup
  • Neutral soup for any soup consumer

Any precautions?

  • Be sure to use ripen ginseng fruit as unripe ones contain an ingredient called saponin, which dries out your mouth

Chayotes, Chestnuts and Longan Vegetable Soup

Soup Name: Chayotes, Chestnuts and Longan Vegetable Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 合掌瓜栗子素湯 (hup jeung gwa lì zi sù tāng)

Introduction:

This naturally sweet soup is rich in flavors and oil free.  It’s a refreshing soup to drink in the summer and can be served chilled as it’s really quick and easy to make.  I really like that it’s meat free because you can taste the chestnuts, the longans and all the vegetables.  You can add various vegetables such as onions, green radish or tomatoes.

What ingredients are required?

3 fresh chayotes, quartered
3 fresh carrots, peeled and quartered
2 fresh corn, quartered
20 fresh chestnuts, peeled
20 dried longans
2 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Soak the longans in warm water for 10 minutes
  2. Start boiling your soup water
  3. In a separate pot of boiling water, boil the chestnuts on high for 5 minutes
  4. Drain chestnuts of boiling water and with gloves or a towel, peel the chestnuts of both the outer and inner skin
  5. Wash and prepare chayotes, carrots and corn
  6. When soup water boils, add all the ingredients together
  7. Boil on high for 30 minutes
  8. Salt as necessary (taste it first!)

Any benefits?

  • Oil free soup
  • Can be served hot, warm or chilled
  • All natural ingredients
  • Naturally sweet soup, so no sugar is required
  • Excellent source of Vitamin C
  • The soup is overall rich in dietary fiber and antioxidants

Any precautions?

  • Beware to purchase the dried longans from a reputable source

 

Vegetarian Pumpkin and Bean Soup

Soup Name: Vegetarian Pumpkin and Bean Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 七色素湯 (Qīsè sù tāng)

Introduction:

A bean-filled vegetarian soup that packs a punch in proteins.  With seven different types of “beans”, it is a hearty meal that is easy to make and light to drink.  By adding a Japanese pumpkin, it makes it slightly sweet and refreshing.  The soup itself is very clear and slightly sweet.  You can also add other vegetables such as corn, carrots, and onions to make it an even heartier broth.

What ingredients are required?

1 whole Japanese pumpkin, largely sliced with skin
20 g white kidney beans
30 g red/white multi-colored kidney beans
40 g red kidney beans
40 g black-eyed beans
40 g dried chickpeas
40 g black beans

40 g yellow beans
5-6 dried Chinese mushrooms
2-3 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Soak all the beans, chickpeas and Chinese mushrooms in water for at least 5 hours
  2. Pour out the water in which the beans soak and rinse with fresh water
  3. Boil your soup water
  4. Wash and half Japanese pumpkin, removing seeds and inner membrane
  5. Slice into large pieces while keeping the skin (it keeps the pumpkin meat intact while the soup boils and prevents it from disintegrating)
  6. When you soup water boils, add all the ingredients together
  7. Boil on high for 30 minutes and reduce to a simmer boil for another 1 hour
  8. Serve and enjoy!  Be sure to also eat the contents as its very healthy!

Any benefits?

  • This soup is naturally sweet and high in beta-carotene
  • Soup is low in fat and high in proteins
  • Excellent source of dietary fibers
  • The beans are great for absorbing moisture and are perfect for the wet spring season

Any precautions?

  • Soak the beans in water for at least 5 hours before usage (and discard soaked water) – rinse beans with fresh water before usage
  • Boil in water at least 100 °C for at least 10 minutes before consumption as raw/uncooked red kidney beans are toxic

Dried Beans

Hot and Sour Soup

Soup Name: Hot and Sour Soup

Chinese Name: 酸辣湯 (suān là tāng)

Introduction:

This American-style Chinese hot and sour soup is a very popular thick soup that contains strong flavors not typically found in traditional Chinese soups (namely spicy and sour flavors).   It can commonly be found in many Chinese restaurants in Western countries.   There are numerous different ways to make this soup, including a vegetarian option (remove the meat-based ingredients).   As variations of this soup vary widely as do preferences over levels of sweetness, sourness and spiciness, many ingredients can be added “to taste”.

What Ingredients are required?

  • 1 pound fresh pork tenderloin (optional)
  • 1 block  fresh tofu
  • 1 handful dried lily flowers
  • 1 handful cut wood ear
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbls soy sauce
  • 2 tbls rice vinegar (can substitute regular vinegar)
  • 1 tsp cornstarch (thickener)
  • 1 tsp sugar (to taste)
  • 1 tsp white pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 stalks green onion
  • Chili oil to taste
  • Sesame oil to taste
  • 2 L of water or chicken broth

How do I prepare it?

  1. Wash and soak the wood ear for 1 hour.  Trim any hard parts and then cut into 3 cm slices
  2. Wash and soak the lily flower in room temperature water for 30 minutes and trim and remove hard pieces
  3. Wash and cube the tofu
  4. Wash and slice the pork tenderloin into short, thin strips
  5. Boil your soup water / broth
  6. Add in the above ingredients and boil until the pork is cooked
  7. Add soy sauce, vinegar, white pepper and sugar
  8. Beat the eggs in a bowl.   While the water is at full boil, slowly dribble the egg into the soup in a circular pattern to create thin ribbons of cooked egg in the soup
  9. Mix the cornstarch in 1/2 cup of hot water until fully dissolved.   Pour mixture into the soup and boil to thicken.
  10. Finally, add sesame oil, chili oil and sprinkle the top with green onions
  11. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Lily flower is said to moisten lungs and alleviate coughs
  • Wood ear is said to increase fluidity of the blood and improve circulation
  • Once you have the ingredients, this soup is easy to make and the flavors can easily be adjusted during the cooking process to suit your personal preferences

Any precautions?

  • Spicy food is considered “heaty” and should be eaten in moderation