Apple Chinese Herbal Tea (For Coughs)

Apple Chinese Herbal Tea (For Coughs)

Apple Chinese Herbal Tea (For Coughs)

Soup Name

Apple Chinese Herbal Tea (For Coughs)

Traditional Chinese Name:  

蘋果止咳茶 (píng guǒ zhǐ ké chá)

 

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When a virus, cold, or flu has you down, my go to hot drink is usually a Chinese Herbal tea that addresses my illness.  Lately, I have been tackling yet another virus strain that has left me with a cough and my Chinese Herbalist recommended this easy, smooth, vitamin C packed Chinese tea to address my cough and heal my lungs.

It’s a tea because I don’t use meats or bones, but I don’t actually put any tea leaves in it.  The key ingredient is the dried seabed coconut (which is a lung healer and addresses coughs).  Also throw in some dried snow pears, dried apricot kernals (north and south), dried lily bulbs, dried tangerine peel, sugared dates, and fresh apples.

What’s involved?

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 2 hours

Total time: 2 hours 30 mins

Serves: 2 cups

Ingredients

According to my Chinese doctor, apples are the only fruit I can consume while with a cough, cold, virus, or flu.  They are the most neutral of fruits.   In a ceramic pot, boil your water (4 cups worth, which will reduce to 2 cups).  When the water boils, add all the ingredients together and cover.  Boil on medium for 2 hours until it reduces and the apples become soft.

 

In the end, you’re left with a slightly tart, slightly sweet, but very smooth and rich tea.  You can even eat the apples!  For those who don’t like the stuff floating around, you can strain the tea through a thin strainer as bits of apples may be dissolved into the tea (also very yummy!).

Cooking Instructions

  1. Boil your water in a ceramic pot
  2. Half your apples, keeping the skin on (so they don’t completely disintegrate into the tea)
  3. When your water boils, add all the ingredients in together
  4. Boil on medium for 2 hours
  5. Let cool, serve and enjoy!
  6. Or follow along in the video

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Dried and Sugared Whole Kumquat

Dried and Sugared Whole Kumquat

Ingredient Name:  Dried and Sugared Whole Kumquat

Traditional Chinese Name: 桔餅(Jú bǐng)

What is this?

  • This is a pretty unique ingredient to soups, especially soups that are designed for the throat and lungs
  • The Chinese recommend eating preserved and salted kumquats (whole) to soothe and heal the throat, or address coughs and this is the dried variation to be used in soups or teas
  • This dried kumquat is slightly sweet and slightly tart
  • They usually come in sizes varying from around 2-3 inches in diameter and are bright orange in colour with a white coating on the outside (the sugar)
  • A majority of these are produced in China

How do I prepare it?

  • No preparation needed other than storing in a dry, cool place
  • Some people do store this in the fridge as well
  • For teas, I usually use only 1 dried kumquat for 2 cups worth of tea

Where can I buy this?

  • In Asia, especially in Hong Kong, you can buy these at the wet marts, herbalists, dried food stalls (the ones that also sell dried red dates and fish maw)
  • They also come in prepackaged soup packs

What is the cost?

  • Very affordable, only a few dollars HKD for one

Any benefits?

  • A super healing food for the throat and lungs and stomach
  • Especially recommended for teas and soups that help with coughs (especially those coughs that last long and can’t seem to shake away)
  • Extremely rich in vitamin C, dietary fibre, and pectin, which can help lower cholesterol
  • As it is also sugar coated, no additional sugar is usually needed when making teas

Any precautions?

  • Buy from a reputable source
  • Be sure to store in a dry, cool place as they can prone to spoiling in more humid weather
Winter Moisturizing Tea

Winter Moisturizing Tea

Winter Moisturizing Tea

Soup Name

Winter Moisturizing Tea

This soup or tea is completely designed for the dry, cold, dry, cold, super dry, or super cold winter conditions. It’s a vegetarian (meatless) moisturizing tea suitable for the whole family and tastes super yummy.

You can consider adding fresh snow pears or fresh apples to sweeten it further, just take caution with the amount of rock sugar you add. It’s a combination of the all the ingredients that help being moisture to the lungs, body, skin and internal organs. You can drink this to your heart’s delight!

Do note that snow pears are mildly cool ingredients, so not recommended if you’re in confinement or need to avoid cooling ingredients.

What’s involved?

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 15 mins
Serves: 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 dried snow fungus, soaked and cut into quarters (removing the center, see video below)
  • 4 pieces of dried snow pear
  • 20 g of apricot kernals
  • 1 pieces of dried tangerine peel
  • 2-3 large dried dates
  • 20 g of dried lily bulbs
  • 1-inch diameter wide rock sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 L of water

Cooking Instructions

  1. Soak the dried snow fungus in warm water until it is completely covered. Let it sit for about 15 minutes until it has become soft and large. Using a pair of scissors, cut it quarters while removing the hard yellow middle.
  2. In a separate bowl, soak in warm water the dried tangerine peel for 5 minutes.
  3. Once the tangerine peel softens, using the face of a knife, scrape off the darker side of the peel (this is the bitter part) just slightly.
  4. Start to boil your tea water
  5. When the water boils, add all the dried snow pear, apricot kernals, tangerine peel, dried dates, dried lily bulbs together.
  6. Boil on medium heat for 1 hour.
  7. In the last 5 minutes, drop in the rock sugar and mix.
  8. Serve and enjoy! Ideal to drink hot in the winter time!

The ingredients are pretty common in Hong Kong or your local Asian supermarket.  And you can buy them in bulk and store them in a dry, sealed container for many months – or in the fridge for even longer.

 

Preparing the Snow Fungus (video)

For snow fungus, you’ll need to soak them in warm water for some time – pretty much until they explode into giant balls.  Normally, people don’t eat the hard middles, but you can still cut it out and put it in with the soup. The tricky thing with snow fungus is that it dissolves into the soup. This means, the soup gets thicker and stickier the longer you boil it with snow fungus (scientifically speaking is that the viscosity of the liquid increases). You can remove the snow fungus halfway through if you don’t like it so thick.

 

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