Ingredient Name: Lily Bulbs also known as lilium
Traditional Chinese Name: 百合 (Bai He)
What is this?
- The bulbous root of the lily plant which grows submerged in some depth in the soil
- It is an edible, starch-like bulb that is sweet to taste, although some species can be quite bitter
- Lily bulbs are most commonly cultivated and sold in the Chinese culture and used as a luxury or health food
- Lily bulbs are said to be cool and relieve heatiness
- Lily bulbs can be found in sweet soups, savory soups, and various Asian dishes
- If used in soups, it will thicken the soup is boiled too long since the bulb flakes will disintegrate and “melt” into the soup
How do I prepare it?
- Dried lily bulb flakes will need to be rinsed in warm water and can be directly used to soups
- Fresh lily bulbs need to be thoroughly washed as the bulbs contain a fair amount of dirt
- Ideally, remove each bulb leave and scrub under running warm water
Where can I buy this?
- You can purchase this in most Asian supermarkets dried or frozen
- At the wet mart, you can purchase this fresh from the vegetable vendors
- Chinese pharmacies will also carry this dried
What is the cost?
- A package of 3 fresh lily bulbs from the wet mart costs around $5-8 HKD/pack
- Lily bulbs are said to help nourish the lungs and relieve coughs
- They are high in protein, starch and plenty of vitamins
- Lily bulbs help reduce internal heat and is often consumed in the summer months
- Although lily bulbs are defined as “cool” and not “cold”, it is a precaution to consume too much if you are concerned with relieving too much heatiness (ie: for pregnant women under 3 months in term or if you are menstruating)
- Frozen lily bulbs are good to keep for up to 1 months in the freezer
- Dried lily bulb flakes can kept in the fridge for up to 6 months