6 Practical Applications of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Every Day Life

6 Practical Applications of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Every Day Life

6 PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE IN EVERY DAY LIFE

(A TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE PERSPECTIVE)

Practicing and living in Traditional Chinese Medicine concepts isn’t hard!  It’s actually all about what you consume, when you consume it, your lifestyle (which includes sleeping patterns, weather considerations, what you let in and out of your body), and ultimately paying close attention to your body through observations (we’ll talk about how you can stay sharply attuned to your own body, including some part that’s intuitive!).

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, they also exist in each other.  Our bodies, minds, and souls are designed the same way in that to be healthy, we need to be in harmony between these 2 bipolar states.  Yin is receptive and passive, calm and slow, embodying cold and damp qualities (when we are sleeping).  Yang is its exact opposite in aggressive and active, embodying heat, dryness, and movement (when we are awake).

One of our mission at The Chinese Soup Lady is to bring these principles into the foods and drinks we consume in order to support harmony.  

What about Traditional Chinese Medicine concepts help me?

In the end, TCM is about finding balance in the person as a whole.  While I know primarily it addresses more the physical construct of the body, it also does support the mental portion in some ways such as calming the spirit and calming the mind.

Paying attention to so many of the little things (that may seem obscure and external) are actually more important than you realize.  TCM is built on a holistic (and more natural) approach that is more general than specific.  For example, looking at yourself as a whole system that is interconnected in all its parts (like your family doctor) rather than having a heart doctor (cardiologist) only look at the heart.  This is because TCM will not look at the heart in isolation and say, oh the heart has a problem!  There usually are challenges and connections with other organs, blood and Qi flow, imbalance of yin or yang in various states.  

Drink warm water first thing in the morning

  • I want to cover temperature first (even though I know this article is about flavour).  As the stomach is the first place where food is received for true processing (in which it’s converted to a vital nutrient), cold foods will put a strain on the stomach as it will then need additional energy to heat it as the digestion process needs warmth.  This then means this energy is pulled from other organs and parts of the body that could have otherwise be used for something more useful.  And, we have control of what temperature the food goes into our body!  You can check out this video on why I drink warm water (all day long) and especially first thing in the morning when I wake!  Honestly, I even drink warm water on a run or ride… it’s weird, but did take some getting used to!

Use warm ingredients over cool

  • You can check out this post on the warm and cool ingredients of Chinese soups as a start
  • As the stomach is the first place where food is received for true processing (in which it’s converted to a vital nutrient), cold foods will put a strain on the stomach as it will then need additional energy to heat it as the digestion process needs warmth.  This then means this energy is pulled from other organs and parts of the body that could have otherwise be used for something more useful.  And, we have control of what temperature the food goes into our body!  You can check out this video on why I drink warm water (all day long) and especially first thing in the morning when I wake!  Honestly, I even drink warm water on a run or ride… it’s weird, but did take some getting used to!

Relax!  The flow of your Qi can is impacted by tension in the physical (and mental) domains

  • Qi is essentially the “energy” that flows within us.  It is also known as “life force” or “vital force”, but in modern day physics, it’s known as energy.  In modern day physics, there exists a continuum between matter and energy and flows throughout the universe.  TCM also similarly follows these concepts.
  • Qi for the body is what helps us move, transforms, transport, protect, warm up, and raise up things within the body.
  • For example, the liver is associated with Qi and when the Qi is good in the liver, it helps us move our blood and Qi around the body, creating good flow so that nutrients and blood can flow where it needs.
  • In contrast, if you are tense, you clench your fist, there is tension in your body (or mind), this affects the flow of Qi (and blood) and because we are preventing liver Qi from flowing, we may get headaches, foggy minds, tension headaches, stomachaches, digestive issues.

User observations rather than “tests” 

  • There’s a balance between understanding and deciphering your own intuition about your body versus what tests can tell you about what’s happening in your body (for example, blood tests, MRIs, scans)
  • This is why a Chinese doctor will look at everything in totality, including pulse, skin color and texture, tongue size and color and moisture, the color of your eyes and brightness.
  • Sometimes, you just feel your tongue is rough and feels bumpy, well that’s a great initial indication of excess yang (or yin deficiency) and heaty conditions in the body

Protect the body from cold and wind (conditions)

  • These are known as external pathogens
  • Cold is what increases yin and also counters what the body is naturally – warm (in temperature)!  By introducing cold elements into the body and even exposure to cold wind and weather, the wind can enter through the skin and our pressure points (you’d be surprised how many we have on our bodies that are potential exposure points!), you’re utilizing your Qi and energy (in an inefficient way) to stay warm.  This is inefficient use of your energy, which is similar to how your stomach needs more energy to warm up cold drinks and food you put into it.
  • A great example of this is how cold and wet hair, if it sits too long, ultimately does penetrate into the body and that’s why you hear old Chinese ladies tell you to not go outside with wet hair, or to dry your hair in the roots (at a minimum).  With wet and cold hair, this introduces both yin and dampness into the body, both of which create imbalance.

User observations rather than “tests” 

  • There’s a balance between understanding and deciphering your own intuition about your body versus what tests can tell you about what’s happening in your body (for example, blood tests, MRIs, scans)
  • This is why a Chinese doctor will look at everything in totality, including pulse, skin color and texture, tongue size and color and moisture, the color of your eyes and brightness.
  • Sometimes, you just feel your tongue is rough and feels bumpy, well that’s a great initial indication of excess yang (or yin deficiency) and heaty conditions in the body

See the mind and body as connected and whole rather than separate.  See the organs as connected and shared, rather than as individual organs.  Think of yourself as one unit, one system.

You are whole.

 

The great thing about understanding how yin and yang is balanced is that this also pairs with the cooking styles of Chinese soups!

You can follow this post on “How Different Styles of Chinese Soups are Made“.

 

For more videos, visit us on YouTube.

For further reading, I’ve found some more scientific and published articles.  Here are some to read up on: 

EQUIPMENT USED

To answer your questions on what equipment I'm using, I've built a section here where you can find and explore what I'm using to make soups.  Ingredients are a little harder, but I will do my best as I source them around.  However, you can always message me on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or Facebook, and I will reply and try to point you in some direction!  

A great help for fish or small bones in soups, including small ingredients such as barley, fox nuts, spices just to keep everything together.

A MUST HAVE in the kitchen!  Energy saving, cost effective, and perfect for busy chefs!  Check out my article here that explains it.

Another MUST HAVE in the kitchen for soups!  It's so fine that it will scoop off the top oil and foam layer when using meats in your soup!

I use these types of stove top safe tea pots to make most of my herbal teas!

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Green radish with carrots & corn in a Chinese herbal pork broth

Green radish with carrots & corn in a Chinese herbal pork broth

Green radish with carrots & corn in a Chinese herbal pork broth

Soup Name:

Green radish with carrots & corn in a Chinese Herbal Pork Broth

Traditional Chinese Name:

紅青蘿蔔湯 (hóng qing luóbo tang)

Nature:  Cooling

Taste: Sweet and savory

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

My parents came home last night from a cruise from Italy and are jet lagging and there’s nothing more warming, homecoming, and beautiful than a familiar Chinese soup waiting for them!

I made an easy green radish, carrots, and corn pork herbal broth.  The trick to this soup is to really let it boil out.  I made it early morning and then pretty much let it sit in the thermal pot all day until dinner.  

TIP:  This soup actually tastes even better left overnight!  Don’t forget to boil it before you sleep and don’t open the lid or cover (this will ensure that everything is killed off and isn’t reintroduced, this is how they manufacture canned food and soups in large scale!).  Re-boil the next day and you can still drink it.

 

Traditionally in the Cantonese soup repertoire, this green radish and carrot soup is cooling and often recommended if you’re feeling heaty, want to cool the body, or it’s hot and humid in the summer and autumn months.

It is also commonly found as a dinner soup, where restaurants will serve it at the beginning of the meal known as “lai tong” (or aka, free soup).  You’ll find the bits of carrots and green radish chopped up and along with pork (or chicken).

What’s involved?

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 2-3 hours

Total time: 2 hours and 20 mins

Serves: 10 bowls

Ingredients
Cooking Instructions
  1. Boil both your soup water (3L) and another pot to blanch the pork bones in (enough to cover all the bones)
  2. Once your blanching water boils, gently drop in the pork bones and boil on high for 5-7 minutes, until the brown foam begins to form on top of the water.  You can turn off the stove at this time.
  3. Prepare your vegetables by peeling and chopping into large bite-sizes
  4. Once your soup water boils, transfer the pork bones to your soup pot.  You can either rinse them gently in the water, or do a water rinse under warm water to remove all the debris and foam stuck to the pork bones
  5. Drop in all the ingredients (herbs + vegetables) together
  6. Cover and boil on high for 30 minutes
  7. Transfer to a thermal pot for at least 2-3 hours
  8. Re-boil for 10 minutes prior to serving
If you’d like to quick boil this faster, I’d suggest cutting up the pieces smaller, almost cubed.

Be sure to also buy fresh, firm green radish.  You’ll know they’re fresh because they are super hard to touch and you can’t really squeeze them.  When they get soft, squishy (but not leaky), they’re already drying out and aging.

This combination of green radish and carrots are amazingly delicious!  Some people will also add white radishes, which makes the soup even more cooling, and corn is also a nice addition!  Enjoy!

 

Q&A

A huge thank you to my Instagram community for the questions as they also hugely benefit other readers who may be thinking the same thing!  

 

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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...

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GIVE YOUR LOVE OF SOUP.

FOLLOW US AND SHARE.

Hot and slightly spicy Korean Kimchi and Tofu Jjigae (soup)

Hot and slightly spicy Korean Kimchi and Tofu Jjigae (soup)

Hot and slightly spicy Korean Kimchi and Tofu Jjigae (soup)

Soup Name:

Korean  Kimchi and Tofu Jjigae (Soup)

Nature:  Cool (although could be warmer depending on how spicy you make it, but this is driven by the cooling white radish and tofu)

Taste:  Sweet, Salty

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

I know there’s a thought that this is a fusion (and not completely authentically Korean) of Chinese and Western elements, and you’re right! 

The Korean soup dashi base though, I can assure you is completely authentic!  You can find the full post and video available for you to start this amazing soup.

The great thing about this soup base is that you can make so many soups with this base!  And today, I really wanted a kimchi and tofu soup (usually served with rice!). 

Once you have the soup base, you can craft or create the soup you want.  I’ve gone with a simple combination that is less spicy and a bit untraditional in that it’s more like a Chinese fusion version with the Korean dashi soup base.

Some key ingredients in Korean spicy stews is the pepper flakes.  This is what makes it bright red and spicy!  

What’s involved?

Prep time: 5 mins (with 40 mins from dashi prep)

Cook time: 10 mins

Total time: 15 mins

Serves: 1 L individual pot of stew (or soup)

Ingredients

Optional:

  • 20 g of Korean pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  • 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil
  • 1 raw egg

 

Cooking Instructions

To make the Korean dashi (soup base), you can follow these instructions below (and also following this post):

 

  1. Remove the heads from your dried anchovies and put them into your soup pot.  No washing or cleaning is needed, just simply remove from the bag.
  2. Remove the dried seaweed sheet from the packaging and snap into pieces to fit into the pot and put into the pot
  3. Peel your white radish (enough to remove all the skin if you plan to eat it, as the skin can be quite tough and unpleasant to eat) and slice into 1 cm thick slices (or any thickness you’d like)
  4. Put everything into your soup pot
  5. Add in the water
  6. Boil on high for 10 minutes, covered
  7. Reduce boil to another 20 minutes
  8. Strain all the ingredients, separating the liquid from the soup goodies 
  9. This strained soup is your dashi!  You can use directly as is into your soup of choice or put into mason jars and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

To make the rest of the kimchi tofu soup:

 

  1. In a separate individual pot, scoop the Korean dashi soup to start this dish.  For mine, I’m using ox tail and fresh white radish, so I’ve scooped healthy amounts as part of my meal.  Scoop in ONLY HALF the volume of the pot as you’ll want to save space for the additional ingredients
  2. Turn that on to a medium boil
  3. Add in the fresh kimchi, soft tofu (in the middle), fresh cabbage and any meats
  4. Cover and let that boil for 10 minutes to allow all the ingredients to soften together
  5. Once soft, you can garnish with green onions
  6. Serve while still bubbling and enjoy!

EQUIPMENT USED

To answer your questions on what equipment I'm using, I've built a section here where you can find and explore what I'm using to make soups.  Ingredients are a little harder, but I will do my best as I source them around.  However, you can always message me on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or Facebook, and I will reply and try to point you in some direction!  

A great help for fish or small bones in soups, including small ingredients such as barley, fox nuts, spices just to keep everything together.

A MUST HAVE in the kitchen!  Energy saving, cost effective, and perfect for busy chefs!  Check out my article here that explains it.

Another MUST HAVE in the kitchen for soups!  It's so fine that it will scoop off the top oil and foam layer when using meats in your soup!

I use these types of stove top safe tea pots to make most of my herbal teas!

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.

How food flavours affect your health from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective

How food flavours affect your health from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective

HOW FOOD FLAVOURS AFFECT YOUR HEALTH

(A TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE PERSPECTIVE)

There is a Chinese Medicine phrase that states “Food and Medicine come from the same source”.   If you think about it, it totally does!  All of the ingredients found within Traditional Chinese Medicine are from organic sources and you can literally “eat” any of them, whether it’s from an animal (or an animal by-product), plant source (including roots and beans), or anything from the ocean (even coral and seaweed)!

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, they also exist in each other.  Our bodies, minds, and souls are designed the same way in that to be healthy, we need to be in harmony between these 2 bipolar states.  Yin is receptive and passive, calm and slow, embodying cold and damp qualities (when we are sleeping).  Yang is its exact opposite in aggressive and active, embodying heat, dryness, and movement (when we are awake).

One of our mission at The Chinese Soup Lady is to bring these principles into the foods and drinks we consume in order to support harmony.  

Some principles of diet from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective:

  • Foods are also classified in physical temperature.  The literal measurement of temperature of the food in degrees Celcius of Fahrenheit.  
  • Foods also carry taste categories (they usually have two):  bitter, sweet, salty (or savory), pungent, or sour.  Spicy isn’t a taste category, but can be classified in nature.
  • Time of consumption based on our meridian cycle (or flow of energy depending on the time of day).  This can usually be classified as morning, noon, or night.

Why does taste matter (from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective)?

In the end, TCM is about finding balance in the person as a whole.  While I know primarily it addresses more the physical construct of the body, it also does support the mental portion in some ways such as calming the spirit and calming the mind.

Paying attention to temperature, nature, and flavour will help you on your journey to a healthy body and mind.  It just makes things easier and can help you make informed choices about what to eat, how to cook, and how much to eat, targeting specific opportunities or challenges in your well being. 

For example:

  • I want to cover temperature first (even though I know this article is about flavour).  As the stomach is the first place where food is received for true processing (in which it’s converted to a vital nutrient), cold foods will put a strain on the stomach as it will then need additional energy to heat it as the digestion process needs warmth.  This then means this energy is pulled from other organs and parts of the body that could have otherwise be used for something more useful.  And, we have control of what temperature the food goes into our body!  You can check out this video on why I drink warm water (all day long) and especially first thing in the morning when I wake!  Honestly, I even drink warm water on a run or ride… it’s weird, but did take some getting used to!

Examples:

  • Bitter foods are known to be cooling in TCM.  That means, they are more yin (instead of yang) and help with excess yang or yin deficiency.  Examples of bitter foods that have strong cooling effects include bitter melon, which is known as a super cooling good, especially if used in soups.  This also includes turnips, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, celery, radishes (you know the white radishes are also super cooling!).  You can taste the slight bitterness in these foods, especially when they are raw and reduce in bitterness once cooked, but they still do retain their cooling effect.
  • From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, bitter herbs mirror bitter foods in that they are cooling and can clear heat, while sour herbs and foods are astringent (in that they can shrink or tighten cells or skin, can remove oils, and are antibacterial.  

Sour, bitter, and salty ingredients and  Chinese herbs increase yin in the body, focusing on having more internal effect and having a downward movement.

Sweet, pungent, and neutral ingredients and Chinese herbs increase yang in the body, focusing on outward movement and having more external effects.

 

  • Pungent foods and herbs such as cinnamon, peppermint, garlic, ginger, chili, black or white pepper, help disperse and remove obstruction of the Qi and blood in our bodies.  They help push the Qi and blood through the body and are particularly good for clearing colds, flus, and infections our bodies by opening the pores and promoting sweat, which helps eliminate the unwanted pathogens from the body.  This is why if you eat a lot of ginger, you’ll definitely start feeling warm and sweating. 
  • This spicy sweet ginger tea can be quite pungent and punchy if you have enough ginger!  Depending on how spicy and strong you’d like it, add more ginger (either grated or sliced makes it even more potent!).  This tea is a combination of sweet and pungent in taste, but definitely gets the blood flowing and warm!  
  • Sweet foods from a Chinese medicine perspective is different from that of a Western view of sweet.  It’s not the same chocolate or white sugar sweet that you taste.  The taste of these “sweet” ingredients are more subtle, gentle, and lingering in the mouth and throat.   Sweet includes ingredients such as red dates, ginseng, carrots, lamb, licorice, sweet potatoes, fruits and meats also fall into this category.  And the key is that this sweet is consumed in small, controlled amounts and small quantities.  In moderation really!  Small amounts of sweetness in our diets and in Chinese medicine help tonify the body, but too much sweet will dampen the body
  • This red and blue dates tea is a great example if a tea that tonifies the blood and Qi and is slightly sweet (and a bit sour) to taste!
  • Salty foods from a Chinese medicine perspective provide a diuretic effect, eliminating water from the body, and reducing swelling and lumps in the body.  Salty ingredients can include meats (remember foods can have 2 flavours, so meats can be both sweet and salty), seaweed, all seafood, and even salt itself.
  • Sour ingredients are function opposite to pungent ingredients in their support to the body, which can include reducing excess sweating, slowing down flow of blood and Qi, especially if it comes to bleeding or diarrhoea.  Sour ingredients include lemons, vinegar (both black and white), unripe fruit, crab apples, or dried hawthorn are some examples. 

The great thing about understanding how yin and yang is balanced is that this also pairs with the cooking styles of Chinese soups!

You can follow this post on “How Different Styles of Chinese Soups are Made“.

 

For more videos, visit us on YouTube.

For further reading, I’ve found some more scientific and published articles.  Here are some to read up on: 

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Papaya and Snow Fungus in a Pork Herbal Soup

Papaya and Snow Fungus in a Pork Herbal Soup

Papaya and Snow Fungus in a Pork Herbal Soup

Tea Name:

Papaya and Snow Fungus in a Pork Herbal Soup

Chinese Name: 

木瓜雪耳豬骨湯 (mù gua xuě ěr zhū tāng)

Nature:  Warm and ideal for moisturizing the body and lungs, supporting digestion and soothing the stomach.

Taste:  Sweet

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

I simply love snow fungus!  And this combination is a beautiful one in that at times, you’ll find this a dessert and other times, a soup!  I know, super strange.  But the combination of papaya + snow fungus can swing both sweet and savory! Which makes it so amazingly diverse!

What makes this combination so amazing?  It’s a combination of nourishing and lubricating the lung, stomach, and spleen with the papaya and the snow fungus.  This soup can soothe and aid in digestion, heal the stomach and stomachaches, and support lung treatment in coughs and dryness.  And of course, the added benefits of the plant collagen that is found in snow fungus (which, by the way can hold 500 times its weight in water!).  Reference this interesting article in the National Library of Medicine regarding snow fungus and its composition of collagen.

This is an easy to make, nutritious soup that is packed full of Vitamin C and beta-carotene. It is deliciously sweet and refreshing and ideal for autumn or winter days. You can use chicken to make it more warm and also add a variety of other ingredients to make it a meal.

Regardless of weather, this soup is designed to be moisturizing (from the inside) and perfect if you’ve got dry skin, dry lips, dry tongue (this is one key indicator from a TCM perspective).  In fact, some Chinese people claim that it’s part of their skin care regime to be consuming foods of this nature.  Bird’s nest is another one of those delicacies that call into this category of “self care”.  And you will often here Chinese ladies (and mothers) tell you how great this recipe is to stay looking “young”!

 

What’s involved?
Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins

Total time: 1 hour 45 mins

Serves: 8 bowls of soup

Ingredients
Cooking Instructions
  1. Rinse and soak dried snow fungus in a bowl of enough water to immerse it in for about an hour (or until soft)
  2. In a separate pot of boiling water, blanch pork bones for 5 minutes, set aside and cool
  3. Boil your soup water
  4. Wash and cut papaya into large edible cubes
  5. Using scissors, cut out the middle of the snow fungus (the hardest part) and cut the other portions into edibles pieces
  6. When your soup water boils, add in the pork bones, papaya and Chinese herbs.  I made this soup in the morning and set it into the thermal pot for the whole day, coming back to the soup in the afternoon and then dropping in the snow fungus to cook for another 2 hours.  Depending on how soft you want the snow fungus, I’d say at least an hour.
  7. Boil on high for 30 minutes and reduce to medium heat for another hour
  8. Serve and enjoy!
Tips and tricks:

  • Here’s a quick video on how to prepare snow fungus for Chinese soups
  • Be sure to cut out the hard middle, or buy snow fungus that doesn’t have the middle and is broken up
  • I like to use red papaya instead of green papaya for this version (green is more traditionally known to support milk production in post partum Chinese soups)
  • You can opt to keep the skin on the papaya during soup boil so it doesn’t disintegrate and break down into the soup
  • Snow fungus cooks and softens quite quickly.  Depending on how soft you’d like it, you can drop it in about 30 minutes before you serve, although I like it super soft and some of it dissolved into the soup (for that collagen benefit), so I drop it along with all the other ingredients.

 

EQUIPMENT USED

To answer your questions on what equipment I'm using, I've built a section here where you can find and explore what I'm using to make soups.  Ingredients are a little harder, but I will do my best as I source them around.  However, you can always message me on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or Facebook, and I will reply and try to point you in some direction!  

A great help for fish or small bones in soups, including small ingredients such as barley, fox nuts, spices just to keep everything together.

A MUST HAVE in the kitchen!  Energy saving, cost effective, and perfect for busy chefs!  Check out my article here that explains it.

Another MUST HAVE in the kitchen for soups!  It's so fine that it will scoop off the top oil and foam layer when using meats in your soup!

I use these types of stove top safe tea pots to make most of my herbal teas!

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GIVE YOUR LOVE OF SOUP.

FOLLOW US AND SHARE.