Huang Jing and Quail Soup Recipe

Originally published May 25, 2021.

We share two recipes that feature Huang Jing (Polygonatum sibiricum rhizome, common English name Siberian Solomon Seal rhizome) which is usually found within the category of Qi Tonification, and is a very important herb for nourishing both the Jing / Essence and the Yin. There are studies outlining the pharmacological properties of Polygonatum sibiricum that may be of interest when considering this herb.*

Quail Soup

Huang Jing is sweet and neutral, lending itself easily as an addition to soups and stews, and, because it has gradual, moderate tonifying properties, it can be used long term. Huang Jing enters the Lung, Kidney and Spleen meridians and functions to moisten Lung Yin, tonify Kidney Yin and strengthen Jing / Essence.

Quail is one of the ancient edible birds in traditional Asian recipes, and is now a bred delicacy. Some sources say that it is comparable to ginseng, in terms of its’ nourishment value, and is sometimes called “animal ginseng” because of the strong benefit to Qi and blood. Entering the Large Intestine, Stomach and Spleen channels according to TCM, quail is cooling and sweet, and easily digested.

Dang Shen and Huang Qi, both being sweet and entering the Lung and Spleen channels, complement the recipe’s Qi tonification properties. Chen Pi is aromatic and warm, entering the Lung, Spleen and Stomach channels to assist the Middle Jiao by promoting normal flow of Qi and will also prevent any stagnation from the slightly cloying nature of Huang Jing. Da Zao tonifies the Spleen and Stomach, harmonizes the effects of the other herbs, and rounds out the flavor in this delicious soup.

In addition to the other benefits noted, this tonic recipe is appropriate during recovery from a long illness, or a period of stress that has impacted the body’s Zheng Qi.



  • 2 Quail (organs removed)
  • 19 g Polygonatum sibiricum rhizome (Huang jing)
  • 8 g Codonopsis pilosula root (Dang shen)
  • 8 g Astragalus membranaceus root (Huang qi)
  • 2 g Dried Tangerine Peel / Citrus reticulata peel (Chen pi)
  • 2-3 Red dates / Ziziphus jujuba fruit (Da Zao)
  • Salt to taste


  1. Wash and scald quails in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain, set aside
  2. Put all ingredients (except salt) into cooking pot
  3. Add 6 cups/appropriate amount of water to cover ingredients
  4. Bring water to boil, boil for 5 minutes
  5. Lower heat and simmer for 2 hours
  6. Add salt to taste and serve

*A Review: The Bioactivities and Pharmacological Applications of Polygonatum sibiricum polysaccharides
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