Cooling and Healing Chinese Herbal Tea for Coughs and Fevers

Cooling and Healing Chinese Herbal Tea for Coughs and Fevers

Cooling and Healing Chinese Herbal Tea for Coughs and Fevers

Soup Name:

Cooling and Healing Chinese Herbal Tea for (Dry) Coughs and Fevers

Traditional Chinese Name:

止咳茶 (zhǐké chá) – direct translation here is “anti-cough” tea.  There are many teas that have earned the right to this label, so it’s just easier to use it as such instead of labeling all the ingredients.

Nature:  Cooling

Taste: Sweet and slightly bitter

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

 

On the go tip:  Use a portable thermos if you want to enjoy Chinese herbal teas on the go.  I will put the ingredients in recyclable tea bags for easier consumption and disposal.

Have a dry cough?  (And / or a fever)?  Which can also include a dry, heaty nose?

This cooling tea is perfect for moisturizing the body and lungs and supporting a dry cough or fever.  It’s got the sweet, cool elements with the dried chrysanthemum flowers and cough support in the monk fruit, which helps moisten the lungs.  The apricot kernals and added honey also help relieve coughs.

This tea is super easy to make and delicious to drink!  You can consider using a tea bag to keep the ingredients together for easier disposal.

 

 

 

What’s involved?

Cook time: 2 mins 

Total time: 2 mins

Serves: 1 cup

Ingredients

Cooking Instructions

  1. In a disposable, recyclable tea bag, add in the dried chrysanthemum flower, apricot kernals, and dried monk fruit and seal
  2. Put this into a thermos bottle or a cup
  3. Fill with hot water and cover and steep for at least 2 minutes
  4. Add in honey, stir and mix
  5. Serve and enjoy! 

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Beetroot Vegetables in a Chinese Herbal Pork Broth

Beetroot Vegetables in a Chinese Herbal Pork Broth

Beetroot Vegetables in a Chinese Herbal Pork Broth

Soup Name:

Beetroot Vegetables in a Chinese Herbal Pork Broth

Traditional Chinese Name:

紅菜頭集菜湯 (hóng cài tóu jí cài tāng)

Nature:  Neutral in nature

Taste: Sweet and savory

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Beetroots turn the soup into this amazing bright red colour, which does reflect the bright taste of the soup!

I use simple vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes to keep it clean tasting with pork bones and minimal herbs.

This combination is slightly sweet, a bit tart, and deliciously savory.  It makes for a great meal and can be serve with rice.  I will also eat the pork bones dipped in soy sauce!

Overall, this soup is quite neutral as all the vegetables and even the herbs are neutral in nature.  You can use this with chicken bones if you’d like and change up the vegetable mix to consider adding:

  • carrots
  • celery
  • corn
  • chayotes (are also a nice touch) 

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 120 minutes 

Total time: 150 mins

Serves: 8 bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of fresh pork bones
  • 1 bunch of fresh beetroots 
  • 2 fresh potatoes
  • 3 fresh tomatoes
  • 10 dried scallops
  • 3 dried sugar dates
  • 5 dried Chinese yam
  • 1 handful of unsalted processed cashews (raw are also OK)
  • 2L of water

Cooking Instructions

  1. In a pot of cold water, add in your fresh pork bones and bring to a boil on high heat.  When the water boils and you see brown foam rise to the top, you can drain, rinse, and set aside for your soup later.
  2. Cut up your vegetables into edible sizes.  I tend to keep the potatoes a bit larger so that they have buffer to disintegrate a bit and still be large enough to scoop out.
  3. In your soup pot, add a bit of oil and fry the potatoes on medium heat until the edges are a lovely golden brown.  This will bring a beautiful fragrance to the soup and allow the potatoes to stay together better as the soup boils.
  4. Once the potatoes are nicely browned, add in your water and then drop in your herbs and bones.  Cover and let that come to a boil.
  5. Once the water boils, I will add in all the remaining vegetables (including optional cashews) and then cover and lower the heat to a low-med and all that to boil for another 1.5 hours.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

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What’s the best way to blanch meats for Chinese Soups?

What’s the best way to blanch meats for Chinese Soups?

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO BLANCH MEATS FOR CHINESE SOUPS?

(Do you use cold water?  Boiling water?  With ginger?  With instant coffee?  With salt?  What’s the best way for flavour and taste experience?)

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.  

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Why I blanch my meats…

I will either blanch or panfry most of my fresh protein for a few reasons:

  • I don’t like the foam that accumulates at the top of the soup once the protein comes to a boil (usually bones will do that) – this is from the protein boiled out that coagulates, trapped inside the air bubbles of the soup and then create a foamy layer at the top.  This foam tastes rather unpleasant…
  • I want to remove any extra bone bits, blood, fats, or other protein that boil into the soup.  Admittedly, I’m not the cleanest chicken chopper and may take a few swipes at the back or legs of a chicken and want to be sure I don’t have any dangerous bone bits floating around.
  • Remove as much excess fat as possible.  This is particularly true for chicken or duck based soups.

What’s “blanch-able”?

  • I will blanch most of my meat or seafood proteins that I use for soups (except fish – see below)
  • All pork bones, this includes ribs, leg bones, feet, all organs, neck and back bones).  Pork bones that have marrow, blood portions, or cut bone parts tend to produce the most foam
  • While organ meats don’t produce foam, blanching them in fresh ginger will help remove the “fishy” taste and smell and produce a cleaner tasting soup
  • All chicken parts, including head, feet, back, and organs.  Chickens tend to be a fattier meat and the blanch will help remove some of the fat bits
  • All duck parts as well, for the same reason that duck is a fattier protein.  Using roast duck is actually super tasty, but does have high fat content
  • Most seafood to be blanched in water with ginger as well to remove any “fishy” taste and smell
  • Fish can flash boil, such as salmon, but I will often just panfry them with ginger, garlic, and green onions prior to using them in soups
  • Anything else you blanch?

Do you blanch your proteins for Chinese soups? 

If so, what’s your experience on method?

  1. Wolke, R. (2002) Stock Options, Washington Post. Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/food/2002/01/23/stock-options/910157e7-935a-4906-9d1e-ef3e395a4f5b/ (Accessed: 6 December 2023).
  2. Francis, A. (2022) What in the World Is That Foamy Scum on My Chicken Stock? Available at: https://www.bonappetit.com/story/soup-scum#:~:text=What%20is%20that%20scummy%20stuff,at%20Drexel%20University%20in%20Philadelphia. (Accessed: 5 December 2023).

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Hong Kong Styled Russian Borscht Soup

Hong Kong Styled Russian Borscht Soup

Hong Kong Styled Russian Borscht Soup

Soup Name:

Hong Kong Styled Russian Borscht (with oxtail)

Traditional Chinese Name:

羅宋湯 (luó sòng tāng)

Nature:  Warming

Taste: Savory, sweet, and slightly sour

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

 

Did you know the secret ingredient to an HK-styled Russian Borscht is Worcestershire sauce (and some lemon juice)?

Falling off the bone oxtail?

Soft delicious veggies?

Savory and a hint of tart delicious broth?

Yes, the Hong Kong Styled Russian Borscht is a classically adopted fusion soup that is very different and uniquely different to the traditional European borscht (no beetroots or cream).  Instead, it’s a tomato based beef broth and a range of choice vegetables diced small. 

I love the subtle tart flavours of the soup, but yet incredibly savory and hearty.  This soup indeed eats like a meal!

What’s involved?

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 120 minutes 

Total time: 150 mins

Serves: 8 bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 full oxtail
  • Optional pieces of beef flank
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and largely cubed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and largely cubed
  • 2 celery stalks, peeled and largely cubed2 tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, slicked thin
  • 3 dried dates
  • Fresh green onions

Flavouring

  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1 lemon
  • 5 dried bay leaves
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons or Worcestershire sauce
  • 11-12 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Cooking Instructions

  1. In your soup pot, with a bit of oil on med heat, pan fry the garlic cloves and oxtails until golden brown and fragrant (they smell so good!).  I don’t blanch and will do this instead.
  2. Add the cubed beef flanks and potatoes, allowing them to also brown nicely
  3. Add in your soup water, about 11-12 cups of water and turn on high heat
  4. I will then drop in my vegetables, tomatoes, celery, onion, carrots, and the dried dates
  5. Cover and let it come to a full boil, then reduce to med heat for another 1.5 hours
  6. Here you can now add in the flavouring of the soup (this is what really makes it distinct as a the HK-styled Russian Borscht)
  7. I will also throw in the cabbage
  8. Cover and let that simmer for another 30 minutes
  9. Garnish with fresh green onions, serve, and enjoy!

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What are good replacement ingredients for peanut allergies in Chinese Soups?

What are good replacement ingredients for peanut allergies in Chinese Soups?

Here are suggestions for replacement ingredients for peanuts in Chinese soups

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.  

You can explore more about some Traditional Chinese Medicine theories in these posts.

Principles for soup making for peanut replacements…

My selection of replacement ingredients are primarily based on a few factors:

  • Maintaining the same flavour profiles that peanuts would otherwise provide (that rich, earthy, dark tone)
  • Staying with ingredients that are still vegetarian (or vegan)
  • Pantry friendly ingredients make replacing easy.  Peanuts are an easy ingredient to use (especially prepared peanuts), so to mirror the same effort, it is important that I’m not creating more work in soup making! 

Research suggests that avoiding all nuts is overkill…

According to a 2017 article published in Forbes, “most people with a peanut allergy aren’t allergic to tree nuts—almonds, cashews, walnuts and the like—while most people who are allergic to a particular tree nut can safely eat others, scientists have found.” [Reference 1]

And from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, “Fewer than 5-10% of peanut allergic people have an allergy to other legumes. The majority of individuals with peanut allergy are also able to tolerate tree nuts (almond, Brazil nut, cashew, hazelnut, pecan, pistachio, walnut).” [Reference 2]

    What other ingredients have worked for you to replace peanuts (for allergies) in Chinese soups?

    Why I like using other tree nuts (in replacements of peanuts) in Chinese soups…

    I particularly like using chestnuts and walnuts, although chestnuts more.  Chestnuts are super tasty in their own right and even more so when roasted!  There are 2 options with chestnuts:

    • You can buy them fresh from the supermarkets.  I’ve tried both pre-roasting and non-roasted for soups.  Equally delicious, but also equally quite a bit of work!
    • You can buy prepared chestnuts (pre-roasted or pre-peeled).  They are usually sold as snacks and come in the perfect portion. I will also keep a stash of this in my pantry.  (LOL, the more I post, the more I realize I have so many things in my pantry on a regular basis… I may as well become a supermarket).

    TIPs for extracting chestnuts:

    • Use a heavy knife (or hammer) to hit the chestnuts directly to split them open.  You may need a few entry points, but once you feel the chestnut can split from its shell, that’s perfect.
    • I don’t mind keeping the outer skin of the chestnuts.  It will eventually come out during cooking as it shrinks differently from the chestnut flesh itself.  You can remove this after roasting or boiling in soups.
    • Fresh chestnuts are firm and completely filled in its shell.  As the chestnut dries out, you’ll be able to feel air pockets in it as you squeeze on them.  When the chestnuts aren’t fresh, they aren’t as flavourful, but can still be used.  Just use more!  So long as they haven’t gone bad.

    Why I also like dried mushrooms…

    Some dried mushrooms carry that same rich, earthy tones that peanuts can also produce.  This allows the peanut replacement to hold the same flavour profile as the soup was originally designed for.  For examples:

    • If I’m using lotus roots (or arrow roots), adding mushrooms is quite complimentary and eliminating peanuts doesn’t change the taste of the soups.

    Thank you for the additions!

    My community definitely delivers and you guys are so full of great ideas and suggestions.

    The other amazing peanut substitutes include:

    • lotus seeds – YES!  I completely forgot about this ingredient which is actually a seed and not a nut!  It does carry the same nutty, earthy tones and are often used in Chinese soups, desserts, and stews.
    • gingko nuts – ALSO A YES!  I am a huge fan of gingko biloba nuts.  These starchy and rich nuts are said to be amazing for your brain and memory!  They are often used in desserts, soups, and stews.  

     

       

      1. Ritalrubin@gmail.com (2017) Avoiding all nuts simply because you’re allergic to one might be, well, Nutty, Forbes. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ritarubin/2017/03/28/avoiding-all-nuts-simply-because-youre-allergic-to-one-might-be-well-nutty/?sh=71cfab0d4a1b (Accessed: 27 November 2023).
      2. Everything you need to know about peanut allergy (no date) American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. Available at: https://www.aaaai.org/tools-for-the-public/conditions-library/allergies/peanut-allergy (Accessed: 27 November 2023).

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