Pork and Conch Herbal Soup

Pork and Conch Herbal Soup

Pork and Conch Herbal Soup

Pork and Conch Herbal Soup

 

This soup is ideal for colds, flus and cough. If you’ve got a sore or scratchy throat, achy body, tiredness and/or headache – this soup is for you!  From an Eastern perspective, the Chinese don’t recommend drinking chicken soup when you’re sick, which to me, sounds off, but you can’t argue thousands years of tradition through Chinese medicine.  My herbalist recommended this relatively “neutral” soup for me and is considered 滋陰 (zī yīn), which means treating yin deficiency by reinforcing body fluid and nourishing the blood.  If you look at the herb base, it’s pretty basic and ideal for most soups – the kicker is to add sea whelk (or conch or sea snail). You don’t need to add fresh sea snail (they can get pretty expensive if you buy them live from the wet mart), but definitely add pork. This soup ended up tasting delicious and sets a great base for adding vegetables of your choice – like corn, onions, or chayotes – all neutral vegetables.

Update on Jan 8: Boy, do my readers really keep me on my toes! Someone asked why the Chinese don’t recommend chicken soup when you’re sick, so I ran to see my herbalist this morning who gave me an answer like this. Basically, the idea is that chicken bones / carcasses itself are way fatter than pork and normally people will put veggies such as carrots with chicken soup – which is a big no no. Carrots are a cough inducing and don’t help colds or coughs very much. As for the chicken, well, I could borderline say that if you’re using chicken breast or skinny (fatless) chickens, it should be OK? I’m still researching this, but will share more when I find something more concrete.

Soup Name: Pork and Conch Herbal Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:  清豬骨海螺湯 (Qīng zhū gǔ hǎiluó tāng)

 

Pork and Conch Herbal Soup
Recipe Type: Chinese Soup
Cuisine: Chinese
Author: LadyTong
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 pound of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/pork-shank/”]fresh pork shank[/url]
  • 2 fresh [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/sea-snail-fresh/”]sea snails[/url], shelled and halved
  • 5 pieces of dried [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/sea-snail-fresh/”]sea snail[/url]
  • 15 [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/longan-dried/”]dried longans[/url]
  • 3 [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/large-dried-dates/”]dried large dates[/url]
  • 10 [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/red-dates/”]dried red dates[/url]
  • 5 [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/chinese-yam-dried/”]dried Chinese yam[/url]
  • 10g of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/yuzhu/”]dried yuzhu[/url]
  • 10g of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/wolfberries-dried/”]dried wolfberries[/url]
  • 3 L of water
  • salt (for taste)
Instructions
  1. In a separate pot, blanch both the sea snails and pork in a pot of boiling hot water for at least 5 minute (to remove impurities, fat and scum), remove and set aside
  2. Soak all the herbs in warm water for at least 10 minutes and rinse in warm water
  3. Boil your soup water
  4. When you soup water boils, add all the ingredients together
  5. Boil on high for 30 minute and then reduce boil to a medium boil for another 1.5 hours
  6. Serve and enjoy!

 

One of the more affordable seafood you can use for soups is dried sea snail. They come in thin, hard slices and add a sweet, sea-salt taste to the soup (similar to dried conpoys). Plus, these things are storage friendly and can be stored in your freezer or fridge for up to 6 months.

Dried Sea Snail

Dried Sea Snail

A typical neutral soup base for Chinese soups. The dried sea snails are interchangeable with dried conpoys.

Pork and Conch Herbal Soup

Pork and Conch Herbal Soup

Fresh sea snails are an ideal addition to soups. Although VERY EXPENSIVE (you have to eat the meat given how much they can cost), they add a deliciously sweet flavour to the soup. Get the ladies at the wet mart to break the shell for you and they’ll give it to you like this – ready for washing and blanching in boiling hot water.

Fresh Sea Snail

Fresh Sea Snail

YUMMY soup! I literally had 4 bowls myself and the children also loved it. A great soup for the whole family.

Pork and Conch Herbal Soup

Pork and Conch Herbal Soup

 

Cistanche

Ingredient Name: Cistanche, Herba cistanche

Traditional Chinese Name: 肉苁蓉 (ròucōngróng)

What is this?
  • This ingredient is considered as part of the Chinese medicine repertoire (although more specifically, it is the Cistanche deserticola)
  • It is a desert plant (shrub like which grows from 2-6 feet tall) with an usual behavior in that it extracts nutrients and water from plants around it (in order to grow)
  • The plant is harvested in the Spring (before it is able to sprout) by slicing its stem and it is dried and processed for Chinese medicine
  • The plant that produces this ingredient is labeled as “endangered” and harvesting is being monitored
  • Cistanche is actually commonly found in many western sold health supplements (ie: search online and you’ll see bottled, ground or pilled Cistanche for sale)

How do I prepare it?

  • Soak in warm water and rinse before using in soups
  • You can cut it up into small pieces (slices) for soups as well

Where can I buy this?

  • You can purchase this in most wet marts in Hong Kong who sell herbs
  • Chinese medicine shops will definitely have this in various forms a well (such as powdered, whole & dried, sliced, or little pieces)

What is the cost?

  • It will vary depending on size and condition of the Cistanche
  • In general, not overly cheap, but not extremely expensive

Any benefits?

  • It has clinically proven to slow aging, improves the memory, and enhance antibody production within the body
  • Cistanche helps dissipate wind and cold from the body
  • It helps with boosting appetite and the kidneys and large intestines and moistens the body
  • It is also said that this ingredient helps elderly who are always cold
  • Some say that this ingredient is a mild aphrodisiac

Any precautions?

  • Take caution when serving to children (use in moderation as with all Chinese medicine)
  • If you’ve got a naturally warm body, use with caution as sometimes “warm”  ingredients or soups will make you heated
  • Good quality Cistanch is dark, large and slightly moist (see enclosed picture)
  • Be sure to purchase from a reputable source

Additional Information

  • Store in a dry and cool place (up to 6 months)

Ginseng with Honey Tea

Soup Name: Ginseng with Honey Tea

Traditional Chinese Name: 人參茶 (Rénshēn Chá)

Introduction:
An extremely easy and common Chinese tea/drink that is one of the traditional cooling teas.  It relieves heatiness, expels heat from the body and is overall healthy for the body.  Although slightly bitter in after taste, adding some honey or rock sugar can help make this tea delicious.  There are a variety of recipes for ginseng tea with varying Chinese herbs, but this is the most basic.

What Ingredients are required?

1-2 pieces of dried ginseng (pending how bitter you’d like it)
1 tablespoon of honey
2-3 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Cut up long ginseng piece into slices (for releasing more ginseng flavor into the tea)
  2. Add ginseng to water and boil covered for 30 minutes
  3. Strain and add honey
  4. Can be served chilled

Another way to prepare this tea is without boiling.  You can simply steep the ginseng like normal tea leaves in a cup of hot/boiling water.  Stir to distribute flavor and then add honey or rock sugar.

Any benefits?

  • Excellent for removing heatiness from the body
  • Great anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties
  • Extremely easy to make
  • Can help reduce fatigue, lower cholesterol and prevent infections

Any precautions?

  • Ginseng is a cooling food and should be avoided in women who are in their first trimester or in postpartum (confinement)

Licorice Root or Chinese Licorice

Ingredient Name: Licorice root, Licorice (Liquorice), Sweet root, Chinese Licorice, Glycyrrhiza uralensis

Traditional Chinese Name:甘草 (gān cǎo)

What is this?

  • The root of the licorice plant which is extracted and dried
  • Common Chinese herbal ingredient and often found in Chinese medicines
  • Mainly grown in China (Eastern & Northern parts)
  • Slightly sweet in flavor

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse in warm water prior to use

Where can I buy this?

  • This is available in most Asian supermarkets
  • Also available in Chinese herbals stores

What is the cost

  • 10 g cost around $2-3 HKD
  • Extremely affordable

Any benefits?

  • Used to aid cough, sore throat, asthma and remove phlegm
  • Helps in detoxifying the body
  • Reduce heatiness in the body
  • Considered a cool food

Any precautions?

  • Not be consumed by women who are pregnant – especially in first trimester as it’s a cooling food
  • People with heart disease or high blood pressure should be cautious about using licorice

References:

Japanese Honeysuckle

Ingredient Name: Japanese Honeysuckle, Lonicera Japonica, Suikazura, Er hu, Shuang hua

Traditional Chinese Name: (Jīnyín huā) literal translation of “gold silver flower”

What is this?

  • A species of invasive vine native to Eastern Asia (Japan, Korea, China)
  • The raw flower is between white and yellow in color and the vines can grow up to 10m tall
  • Extremely common in Chinese medicinal uses
  • Considered cold (helps cool the body and detoxify)
  • It is an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredient
  • Used as a dried ingredient in drinks and Chinese medicine
  • Western countries see this plant as a pest or weed

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse in warm water prior to use

Where can I buy this?

  • This is available in most Asian supermarkets
  • Also available in Chinese herbals stores

What is the cost

  • 10 g cost around $2-3 HKD
  • Extremely affordable

Any benefits?

  • Is a cooling food
  • Excellent in dispelling heat and toxins in the body
  • Used to treat conditions such as fevers, skin rash, sore throat and other heaty conditions

Any precautions?

  • Not be consumed by women who are pregnant – especially in first trimester as it’s a cooling food
  • Consume with caution for people with pre-existing cold conditions

References: