Oh how I love thee, my salted orange! Let me count the ways…

Tea Name:

The Salted Orange

Traditional Chinese Name:

鹽蒸橙子 (yán zhēng chéngzi)

Nature:  warm

Taste:  sweet, salty

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

What?  Salted oranges?

Let’s start by saying that if you see a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor (and even all the old ladies at the wet mart that I meet), that if you’ve got a cough, you SHOULD NOT be consuming oranges.  Especially, if they are cold and super sweet.  From a TCM perspective, this exasperates the cough even more because it’s sweet and the cold creates excess yin, which makes you cough even more.

However, there are ways to modify the nature of the orange!  Almost magic, but not quite.  You literally have to increase the temperature of the orange by simply steaming it!  It’s the same principle in how lettuce is a cooling ingredient, but once fried with ginger and garlic, it becomes neutral or even warming. 

Similarly, you expose the orange to some heat and shift its nature from cool to warm and then add salt to it.  Salt itself, is also a warming ingredient that is salty to taste and softens hardness, eliminates accumulations and dissolves abscesses.  It is amazing for reducing toxic heat, which is normally found with sore throats, and helps reduce swelling, which is also a symptom that sore throats often bring.

From a western perspective, fresh oranges have ample amounts of vitamin C, but does begin to denature and breakdown at temperatures of 86 degrees Celsius.  However, you can still benefit from these benefits if you soak it in warm water (below 86C) and add salt to it as well.  But the Chinese do love their warm healing tonics and teas!

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 2 mins

Cook time: 10 mins

Total time: 12 mins

Serves: 1 person

Ingredients

     

    Cooking Instructions
    1. Cut the orange with the flatter side of the orange down so it can sit properly in a shallow bowl
    2. I will use a chopstick to break up some of the orange so the juices can be released prior to steaming, this is optional
    3. Generously sprinkle the salt on top of the orange.  Again, optionally, you can poke the salt directly into the orange.
    4. Begin to boil your steamer or pot
    5. Once your steamer is ready, put your orange into the pot, ensuring it’s not submerged into the water
    6. Cover and steam on medium for 10 minutes
    7. Once done, remove from the steamer and allow it to cool slightly
    8. Using a spoon, break up the orange inside, mixing up the salt and juices and enjoy!

    Alternatively, you can use the microwave to do it, heating it at 2 minute intervals at a time, covered, until your desired internal temperature.  Be sure to mix it around at the end of every cycle to check.  The microwave is a just a bit more inconsistent in its cooking.

    The other option is that you can directly half the orange and share with someone!  My mom’s done this with me and my sisters and have made 4 halves and the whole family could enjoy this.

    The best thing about this is that it’s such a portable recipe!  You can bring it with you camping, you could take it with you on vacation, and the ingredients are so readily available!  It’s literally, a tonic on the go!!

    Try it and let me know how it goes!

    The Q&A (from TikTok)

    A huge thanks to my TikTok community for the engagement on this video.  I’m now answering some of these common questions and answers here.

    Can I also add honey?

    From a TCM perspective, honey is also sweet and may exasperate the cough further and the point of this particular recipe is to really add salt (see above benefits of salt) to neutralize the sweet and really work to soften the sore throat.  If you really want to add honey, do it in small amounts (orange itself is quite sweet already) and do it once it’s cooled to around 60C as any benefits of honey and the degradation of the product.  I don’t add this to boiling teas at all.

    Will it help relieve the sinuses?

    This is not a recipe to help clear sinuses or relieve phlegm and dispel moisture from the body.  Ingredients that will do this include dried tangerine peels, apricot kernals, or barley, to name a few.  A few like this Snow Pears and Chen Pi (Tangerine Peels) for Coughs and Congestion, will also do the trick.  This recipe is really for soothing and healing the sore throat and some cough relief, albeit quite topical.  

    Can I drink this every day?

    Yes, if you’re feeling the sore throat and cough for a few days, you can definitely consume this daily.  The key is that it’s not completely cooling and is warmed enough it doesn’t create excess yin or yang in the body.  The only thing I would caution is the sugar consumption because an orange still does contain sugar, except we’ve neutralized it with salt, but the calories are still there.

    How do I know if it’s working?

    This is the age old question of Traditional Chinese Medicine (and even for any holistic approach to wellness).  Trust.  LOL.  Western medicine is usually more symptom based whereas Traditional Chinese Medicine takes a Confucianism (source: Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine: encouraging the twain to meet).  So long as you keep to the understanding and practice of achieving and restoring balance in the body, mind, and spirit and that everything is connected, it’s working.  You can read up on “Getting Started with TCM in Soups“.

    What’s the best salt for this?

    I’m using kosher salt here, but you can use table salt or Himalayan salt as well.  The point is to be using any type of natural salt to neutralize the sweet taste (and nature), but the calories as the same. 

     

    THANK YOU TO MY COMMUNIty (AS ALWAYS!)

    CHECK OUT OTHER SIMILAR HEALING HERBAL SOUPS

    Learn more about how these types of teas and soups can help improve your overall blood circulation and how you actually know that it's working?

    It's not a perfect science (still working to perfect it), but I'd say the methodology and thinking is sound 🙂

    Would love to hear your thoughts!

     

    0 Comments

    Submit a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    EXPLORE MORE

    How to make a warm healing apple and ginger Chinese herbal tea (post cold run or ride)

    Tea Name: Warm healing apple and ginger Chinese herbal tea (post cold exposure) Traditional Chinese Name: 保暖蘋果蕃茶 (bǎo nuǎn píng gān guǒ chá). The direct translation of this is "keep warm apple ginger tea". There are many variations of a "keep warm" tea with the...

    How to make a Spring bitter melon Chinese herbal soup to eliminate damp-heat

    Soup Name: Spring bitter melon Chinese herbal soup to eliminate damp-heat Traditional Chinese Name: 苦瓜祛濕豬骨湯 (Kǔ guā qū shī zhū gǔ tāng). This is directly translated as "bitter melon dispel damp pork bones soup".  As most soup names in Chinese are quite generic, this...

    5 Different Pots and Equipment Used For Making Chinese Soups

    5 different POTS & equipment I USE FOR making Chinese soups, MEDICINE, and HERBAL TEAS.One guiding principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine is the yin yang theory.  In the natural world, there exists a balance between 2 opposing and co-existing forces and yet,...

    How to make a Spring Lotus Root and Sweet Corn with Carrots Chinese Herbal Soup (for Dispelling Dampness and Heat)

    Soup Name: Spring Lotus Root and Sweet Corn with Carrots Chinese Herbal Soup Traditional Chinese Name: 蓮藕豬骨湯 (lián’ǒu zhū gǔ tāng). The direct translation is "Lotus Root Pork Bones Soup".  This is also a very generic name for this type of soup and you can add carrots...

    How to Make a Warming Healing Mandarin Chinese Herbal Tea

    Tea Name: Warming Healing Mandarin Chinese Herbal Tea Traditional Chinese Name: 保暖茶 (bǎo nuǎn chá) – direct translation here is “keep warm tea”. This is a very generic name for teas that keep you warm. Nature:  Warming Taste: Sweet and slightly bitter (You can read...

    How to make a warm healing apple and ginger Chinese herbal tea (post cold run or ride)

    Tea Name: Warm healing apple and ginger Chinese herbal tea (post cold exposure) Traditional Chinese Name: 保暖蘋果蕃茶 (bǎo nuǎn píng gān guǒ chá). The direct translation of this is "keep warm apple ginger tea". There are many variations of a "keep warm" tea with the...

    How to make a Spring bitter melon Chinese herbal soup to eliminate damp-heat

    Soup Name: Spring bitter melon Chinese herbal soup to eliminate damp-heat Traditional Chinese Name: 苦瓜祛濕豬骨湯 (Kǔ guā qū shī zhū gǔ tāng). This is directly translated as "bitter melon dispel damp pork bones soup".  As most soup names in Chinese are quite generic, this...

    5 Different Pots and Equipment Used For Making Chinese Soups

    5 different POTS & equipment I USE FOR making Chinese soups, MEDICINE, and HERBAL TEAS.One guiding principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine is the yin yang theory.  In the natural world, there exists a balance between 2 opposing and co-existing forces and yet,...

    How to Make a Warming Healing Mandarin Chinese Herbal Tea

    Tea Name: Warming Healing Mandarin Chinese Herbal Tea Traditional Chinese Name: 保暖茶 (bǎo nuǎn chá) – direct translation here is “keep warm tea”. This is a very generic name for teas that keep you warm. Nature:  Warming Taste: Sweet and slightly bitter (You can read...

    How to make an Apple Cinnamon Chinese Herbal tea for Eliminating Damp-Wind and Damp-Heat

    Tea Name: Apple Cinnamon Chinese Herbal Tea for Eliminating Damp-Wind and Damp-Heat Traditional Chinese Name: 蘋果祛濕茶 (píng guǒ qū shī chá) – direct translation here is “apple remove damp” tea. There are many damp removal Chinese herbal teas and this one blends flavours...

    GIVE YOUR LOVE OF SOUP.

    FOLLOW US AND SHARE.

    ON YOUTUBE

    ON INSTAGRAM

    ON FACEBOOK