Your guide to COOLING and WARMING ingredients in Chinese Soups

Did your parents or grandparents ever tell you that you’re too “yeet hay” (heaty) and would make you a cooling soup or tea or drink, such as watercress soup or winter melon and then go on to explain that it was good for you and would help with your heaty body?  This was me!  And you grew up understanding this term called “yeet hay”, but it wasn’t easily translatable in English, but yet… you know.  And now it comes back in full circle, understanding the principles in Traditional Chinese medicine, why there’s this re-balance in our diets!

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.  

How to use this guide:

  • This is purely a reference guide on what to consider as your soup ingredients
  • Most Chinese soups have a combination of protein, vegetables or roots, and some simple herbs (such as dried longans or dried red dates)
  • It’s not as easy as a mix and match!  Although I wish it were.  I would really suggest doing some research on the combinations available, such as existing recipes out there or ask friends and family.
  • Do consult a physician if you’re unsure of your health and what to consume

 

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.

Tips and examples:

  • Consider the complimentary tastes of ingredients (it’s not really a mix and match at random!).  There are pairings that have worked for the TCM principles above such as balancing yin and yang.
  • For example, the Cantonese dessert of silky tofu pudding (tofu fa) is usually combined with a ginger brown syrup.  This is because the tofu is highly cooling and the ginger will offset that.
  • For example, winter melon is best combined with pork rather than chicken (although I have tried that) to maintain the cooling effects of the soup.  Winter melon is promoted as a summer soup for this very reason, so making it with warmer protein will reduce that effectiveness.
  •  The external environment also has an impact to your yin and yang balance.  In the winter, we nourish the yang more to stay warm and in the spring, we want to reduce the yin to dispel moisture from the body.
  • For example, chicken soups and especially double-boiled soups are recommended in the winter to keep us warm.  Ginger is a great add to soups, including dried longans, which are all warming.  The same applies to summer and hot weather where the Chinese lean towards watercress, gourds, and melon soups.
  • Our internal state is probably the most important in determining which soup to make and how this principle helps.
  • For example, postpartum is an important moment for women in recovering their balance for the long term.  In postpartum, the body is in need of yang nourishment due to blood and fluid loss of childbirth.  This is why all the foods, soups, and teas created for confinement are hot or warming and tend to be packed full of ginger.
  • For example, the scratchy, bumpy, and inflamed tongue is a great example of too much heat (or yang) in our bodies.  This is common when we have lack of sleep (remember how yang is active) or eat too much fried food (another source of heat into our bodies), so having cooling teas or soups will help relieve the excess yang.

 

EXPLORE MORE

Did you know rice water is amazing for your skin?

Did you know rice water is amazing for your skin? Integrate it into your skincare routine today! Rice is known to be antiaging, anti-inflammatory, whitening, photoprotective, and moisturizing!One guiding principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine is the yin yang...

Amazing soup making and kitchenware on Temu! Come unpack with me!

AMAZING SOUP MAKING AND KITCHENWARE FINDS on TEMU!I've recently discovered Temu and the shopping experience is AMAZING!  Their kitchenware, soup making, and cooking equipment is vast, affordable, and some innovation products!  Come explore haul #1 with me.  I've...

Post run wind expelling and lung healing Chinese tea

Tea Name: Post run wind expelling and lung healing Chinese tea Traditional Chinese Name: 红枣甘草羅漢果薑茶 (hóng zǎo gān cǎo luó hàn guǒ jiāng chá) Nature:  Warming Taste: Sweet and slightly bitter For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.The tea is warming!  It's got...

Is your fish too fishy for soups? How to use fish in Chinese soups

Is your FISH too fishy for your soup?  HERE's How to use Fish in CHINESe SOUPS Thank you for your questions!  These make great topics for me to explore further and share my love of making soups and the best way to do it!  So if you have any comments or questions, or...

Sweet and sour snow fungus and cucumber salad

Tea Name: Sweet and sour snow fungus and cucumber salad (with garlic and red dates and goji berries) in a tart delightful mirin vinegrette dressing Nature:  Slightly warming (due to the garlic, red dates, and vinegar) Taste: Sweet and sour For more videos, you can...

Post run wind expelling and lung healing Chinese tea

Tea Name: Post run wind expelling and lung healing Chinese tea Traditional Chinese Name: 红枣甘草羅漢果薑茶 (hóng zǎo gān cǎo luó hàn guǒ jiāng chá) Nature:  Warming Taste: Sweet and slightly bitter For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.The tea is warming!  It's got...

How to meal prep Chinese soups in batch (for rice cooker or stove top)

I have no time! I still want delicious Chinese soup! I want something easy! You got it!  When I did my initial "experiment" on testing the rice cooker to make Chinese soup, I honestly didn't know what to expect - BUT... it turned out amazing!   And then, it got me...

Warming Chinese Herbal Tea for Menstruation and Menopause

Tea Name: Warming Chinese Herbal Tea for Menstruation and Menopause Traditional Chinese Name: 女士茶 (nǚ shì chá) Nature:  Warming Taste: Sweet For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.This warming Chinese herbal tea is designed to heal, promote stagnant Qi in the...

Red Dates, Longan, and Wolfberries Warming Chinese Herbal Tea

Tea Name: Warming red dates, longans, and wolfberries Chinese herbal tea Traditional Chinese Name: 红枣茶 (hóng zǎo chá) Nature:  Warming Taste: Sweet For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.This is one of the most common warming Chinese herbal teas available. ...

A Chinese Herbal Tea to Nourish, Heal, and Strengthen the Lungs

Tea Name: Nourishing, Healing, and Strengthening Chinese Herbal tea for the lungs (and cooling) Traditional Chinese Name: 羅漢果雪梨茶 (luó hàn guǒ xuě lí chá) Nature:  Cooling Taste: Sweet and sour (You can read this article on the impact on your body of different food...

GIVE YOUR LOVE OF SOUP.

FOLLOW US AND SHARE.

ON YOUTUBE

ON INSTAGRAM

ON FACEBOOK