Pear & Bai Mu Er Soup
This is a delicately sweet herb soup. Pears are cool, slightly sweet and sour, and are well known to lubricate dryness and eliminate mucus. Bai mu er (also called Yin er, or “white wood ear”) is sweet, bland and neutral and nourishes the Yin of the Lung and Stomach. Bai he (Lily bulb) is also sweet, cooling and soothing to the Heart and Shen. Lian zi (White Lotus seeds) enters the Heart, Spleen and Kidney channels, tonifies the Kidney and strengthens Jing. Hong zao (Red dates) and Gou qi zi (Goji fruit) tonify Qi and Blood. This soup is helpful to nourish and strengthen the Lung function, calm the Spirit, and is good for dry cough, scratchy throat and itchy skin due to dryness from Yin deficiency Heat. Double boiling is the preferred method of cooking this type of soup in the Chinese kitchen, especially those with delicate or expensive ingredients. This method uses indirect heat to gently and slowly cook ingredients for the best flavor and nutrients. If you don’t have a double boiler, a small pot in a large steamer will work too.
- Half an Asian pear, cored and sliced into quarters
- 1 flower Bai mu er (Tremella fuciformis fungus)
- 30 g Lian zi (bai) (Nelumbo nucifera seed), rinsed
- 10 g Bai he (Lillium brownii bulb), rinsed
- 10 g Gou qi zi (Lycium chinensis fruit), rinsed
- 5 pieces Hong zao (Ziziphus jujuba fruit), rinsed and pitted
- Rock sugar or honey to taste
- Soak Bai mu er in water until reconstituted (about 20 minutes). Wash, then cut into flowerets.
- If you have a double boiler, fill up the pot with water (to the height that it won't touch the inner pot) and bring to a boil.
- Put all ingredients (except sugar/honey) into the inset of the double boiler. Add just enough water to cover the ingredients.
- Place the inset into the double boiler. Bring the water in the outer pot to a high boil, then lower the heat to a simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add water as needed to the outer pot to prevent evaporation.
- Remove inset and season with rock sugar or honey to taste.
Tai Zi Shen Soup
This soup is a gentle and supportive tonic for recovery after illness or chronic exertion. Tai zi shen, “Prince’s Ginseng” or also “Child’s Ginseng” tonifies Qi, Yin, and enters the Lung and Spleen channels. Although less strong than Ren shen, Tai zi shen stops Spleen deficient loose stools, tonifies the Lung Qi to stop chronic cough, and generates fluids, such as those lost during the course of a febrile disease. Dang shen promotes recovery by strengthening the functions of the Middle Jiao and nourishing blood and fluid production. Dan shen assists the Qi tonics by cooling and moving the Blood, calming the Shen and can also relieve pain in the chest and epigastric areas from Qi and Blood stagnation.
- 19 g Tai zi shen (Pseudostellaria heterophylla root)
- 15 g Dang shen (Codonopsis pilosula root)
- 12 g Dan shen (Salvia miltiorrhiza root)
- 150 g lean pork
- 10 c water
- Salt to taste
- Rinse all ingredients and put in pot with 10 c water
- Bring to boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer for 1.5 hours
- Remove from heat, salt to taste, serve hot