Venison Yang Tonic Soup

Venison Yang Tonic Soup Recipe

This month, we are featuring a recipe to coincide with our newly reformulated Majestic Yang Teapills. According to TCM, venison (Lu rou 鹿肉) warms Kidney Yang, Benefits the Jing and Blood and enters the Spleen, Kidney and Liver channels. It is considered to be "pure Yang” because of its strong Yang tonification attributes. In Chinese tradition, venison is eaten by couples seeking to conceive children and by elderly persons with declining Kidney Qi. This recipe would be appropriate for restorative purposes or in colder weather to strengthen Yang Qi. Nutritionally, venison is lean and abundant in B vitamins and zinc.

There are three Yang tonics in this recipe. Ba ji tian 巴戟天 enters the Kidney meridian, and is spicy, sweet and slightly warm. A special attribute of Ba ji tian is that it has a moistening quality that tonifies Yang without being overly drying and benefits the marrow. Yin yang huo 淫羊藿 is spicy, sweet, and warm, entering the Liver and Kidney channels to dispel Wind Cold Damp and unblock the flow of Yang Qi. The English translation of Bu gu zhi 補骨脂 is “tonify bone resin” and it is often used alone in congee recipes to assist with strengthening the low back and knees or to benefit the urinary system in the elderly. Bu gu zhi also tonifies and warms Spleen Yang, and is spicy, bitter and very warm.

To balance the flavors and functions of the other herbs in the recipe, we have the sweet warmth of Hong zao 紅棗, which enters the Spleen and Stomach meridians, and the spicy warmth of fresh ginger. Hong zao and ginger are often used together to prevent tonic herbs from generating Damp stagnation in the middle Jiao.

Shaoxing wine is made from brown glutinous rice and aged for at least 10 years. To be authentic, it must originate in Shaoxing, which is in the Chinese province of Zhejiang. Adding the wine imparts a mild sweetness and additional depth, while also enhancing the Yang tonifying properties of the herbs. If you cannot locate Shaoxing wine, an acceptable substitute would be dry sherry.


  • 120 g/4 oz Lu Rou / Venison
  • 12 g Bu Gu Zhi / Psoralea corylifolia fruit
  • 8 g Ba Ji Tian / Morinda officinalis root
  • 8 g Yin Yang Huo / Epimedium koreanum herb
  • 6 pc Hong zao / Ziziphus jujube / Red dates (pitted)
  • 3 slices Sheng jiang / Zingiberis officinale / ​​Fresh Ginger (peeled)
  • 2 Tbsp Shao Xing wine
  • Salt to taste

Cooking Instructions

  1. Wash the venison and blanch in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Cube and set aside.
  2. Rinse herbs and put Bu Gu Zhi, Ba Ji Tian, and Yin Yang Huo into a mesh cooking bag.
  3. Fill a Dutch oven with 8 cups of water, add all ingredients except salt.
  4. Bring to boil, then cook on medium-low heat for 2 hours.
  5. Remove the herb bag.
  6. Salt to taste.

Serve & Enjoy!

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