05.02.2014

Chinese yam herbal soup singapore

Summer soups that help relieve heatiness, cool the body and provide additional internal moisture for those extra hot days. Soups designed to be consumed in the dry and cold winter months where the body needs replenishment of moisture and warmth. For this recipe, you’ll need: A bunch of Chinese herbs (in mine, I have dried dates, dried longans, dried conpoys or scallops, dried Chinese yam, and wolfberries), some pork, a whole chicken, fuji apples, and snow pears. Start boiling your double-boiler (inner pot) outside on the stove with half the volume of water that the container will hold. You’ll know your soup is progressing well when you see the pears and apples and colour of the soup turn into a rich golden liquid.
May I use pressure pot for this as well as the soups that require long simmering time or double pot methods as I do not have more than 45 mins to prepare in the day before work.
Hmm, without a double-boiler, it’s boiling it longer, and on a low, steady heat with the cover on to prevent as much evaporation of the water as possible.
Would it be the same to put the ingredients cold in a slow cooker and let it go for 8 hours on low?
So to make him feel better and taking medicine is not an option, we have to pay full attention to him.
When you visit China town or Chinese traditional medicine stores, you should ask them to pick up some medicinal ingredients for your soup. Out of this list, I’d say the first 8-9 herbs should be used with a bit more caution.
Astragalus root is purported to have Qi strengthening, anti-aging and immune boosting properties. There are many varieties of ginseng… Siberian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese and American ginseng.
Liquorice Root is neutral by nature and is often used to harmonise a formula by moderating the harsher effects the other herbs. Shiitake Mushroom ?? translates into flower mushroom because of the flower-like pattern on its surface. When buying, get the seeds without a brown skin coating, because they’re a bitch to peel away. Sugared Wintermelon is another way to sweeten soups whilst having some of the cooling and detoxifying properties of wintermelon.
Tangerine Peel isn’t a sweetener, but it imparts a pungent, citrus-rind fragrance to Chinese dessert dishes. I enjoy eating salted vegetable dishes and these are the three types I am currently familiar with.
Peranakans (Nyonyas) are very fond of using Preserved Soy Beans (Taucheo), it features in many of our dishes, including Chap Chye and Ayam Pongteh (stewed chicken). Sichuan Peppers and Dried Red Chillies entered my pantry when I began to like Sichuan food more and more.
On a final note, I hope you enjoyed this almost encyclopaedic post on Chinese herbs and Asian pantry basics!
Wow, your pantry is so much more well-stocked with traditional Chinese ingredients than mine is! Just interested to know if you have a preference with sourcing your dried herbs from Chinese Medicine Halls or from Asian Supermarkets and if you’ve found a difference in the quality?
Copyright WarningThis site actively monitors for unauthorised copying and republishing of its content. I particularly do love sour soups as an appetizer because they really bring out my appetite! I found a very simple, but delicious apple and pear Chinese soup with pork and chicken and Chinese herbs.
You can also scrub the Chinese Yam in running water before soaking to rinse off the sulphur that is sometimes used to process it. Do note that snow pears actually RELEASE more water as it boils, so the risk that it spills over is almost certain!
Once it cools sufficiently for you to put into its outer double-boiler, add the inner pot into the larger outer pot.
Most double-boiled soups some in this golden colour and you’ll know that the flavours are intense and rich. You can rinse the dried Chinese yams under running water and rub them to remove any sulphur from the drying process. Yah, the sweeter soups are probably an acquired taste when we expect a more saltier soup for our dinner palettes. It’s amazing how the dried ingredients that allow such flavour and aroma in the dish can help healing your internal injury, improving your eye sight or even wipe out the flu. I get quite lost walking into Chinese Medical Halls, with their quiet owners, bewildering small drawers of ancient herbs, bottles of tonics, jars of roots, and pivot weighing scales that don’t follow Western metrics.


Whilst doing the groundwork for this post, I got dizzy reading the properties of each ingredient and its Eastern philosophical standpoint. As in, please don’t throw them into your daily cooking willy nilly without consulting an actual recipe. It’s a very safe herb, slightly warming, with a mildly sweet taste and a gentle woody herbal fragrance. It has no taste but a lot of soup recipes uses it, presumably because of its Qi restoring properties. They all have similar benefits and properties, except that American Ginseng (??? hua qi shen) is cooling by nature rather than warming. I actually find liquorice roots quite nice to chew on, they have a pleasant sweet taste with faint hints of anise.
I’m growing to like this ingredient more, and enjoy using it in stews and stir fries. Snow fungus softens and gets gelatinous quickly when cooked, so you may want to add it last if you prefer it a little crunchy. When cooked properly and served in a clear sweet soup, they hold a firm bite with soft-starchy insides, and imparts a clean, slightly nutty, calming flavour with just the slightest medicinal hint. I think White Rock Sugar is probably the same as white granulated sugar, so you don’t really need to have this in your pantry.
Dried Longan imparts a nice sweet smoky flavour to dessert soups, while Dried Figs has a gentler, more woody sweetness that’s nice for savoury soups. From this point on, I just thought it might be fun to share with you some of the other ingredients that I’ve accrued in my Asian pantry that applies to Chinese cooking. I’ve used the small packet on the top left (salted chopped vegetables) to make stir frys with pork pieces and ginger strips. I like using Chinese Sausage when making Claypot Rice but it also features in many other Chinese dishes.
But for Chinese cooking, we’d use it in herbal bak kut teh and some of our braised meat dishes. Salted Fish is very strong and pungent, but I really like the umami lift it brings to dishes such as claypot rice, fried bean sprouts and salted fish fried rice. I will keep updating it when I gather more ingredients, it’s definitely not a complete list, but good enough to start with. I do remember somehwre that rock sugar gives the soup a more glossy texture, but thought its nonsense. I’m just currently looking into preparing myself a bunch of confinement soups for the birth of our dragon baby and have been checking out the Chinese Soup Lady website so this post was really timely too! I prefer to get the herbs from the Chinese Medical Hall because they actually looked fresher (eg.
Love your photos to go with each ingredient too, very informative, it makes my head spin as there’s really so much to learn…! You can add water later – but when you add water to the outer pot – add hot water! For a simple flu, I let my chicken soup simmering with a handful of Chinese herbs for 2 hours. But I really insist you visit your local Chinese medicine store and consult them about your health conditions before using. After the stomach full of warm soup, he went for a long nap, and surely he’d be better soon.
These ingredients are safe when used correctly, they nourish rather than treat, and they taste good!
Blue indicates Yin (? cooling), red indicates Yang (? heaty), green means neutral, and black means I haven’t got a clue! When purchasing, look for roots that are longer, pale yellow in colour (avoid white) with a stronger herbal smell.
This herb is often used medicinally for many female ailments but that does not mean men can’t consume it.
This root is neutral and it’s used to replenish Qi, strengthen the blood, boost immunity, increase appetite and lower blood pressue. Looking at the literature, it seems like ginseng is good for everything while remaining a very safe herb to use. With that knowledge, you can choose between Asian or American ginseng in your cooking depending on whether the person you’re nourishing is deficient in Yin or Yang.
This cooling herb will nourish the Yin, relieving sore throat, fever, thick phlegm, thirst and bleeding.
It’s high in antioxidants and vitamins, and has recently been embraced as a health food item by the West. Most Chinese prefer using dried over fresh shiitake because the sun-drying process brings out a wonderful flavour.


Although some of us argue that supermarket white sugars are harsher in taste while rock sugar gives more mellow, rounded tones.
I’d often add them to my stir-frys and marinades by intuition, without following recipes. The middle packet (pickled mustard greens) is what I use to make Itek Tim (salted vegetable duck soup).
But I slightly disagree about your take on rock sugar as I think the flavour is slightly more rounded than normal sugar. The purpose of double-boiling is really to maintain density of the flavours and lock in (better than regular boiling) all that goodness.
In a separate pot, blanch the meats in boiling hot water for 5 minutes to remove scum, oil, dirt, blood and any extras that like to make their way out of the bones and meat and into your soup. In a separate pot of boiling water, blanch all the meat in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Whatever we did, playing good cop, bad cop, we couldn’t seem to force the medicine down his throat.
I usually cook this soup in a really large batch (with 2-3 chicken) and freeze it for the entire week. You can buy these ingredients at most well-stocked Asian grocers, or if you’re lucky, a Chinese Medical Hall.
Angelica tonifies Qi, improves blood circulation and has many many other healing properties. Problem with this herb is it oxidises over time and turns into a darker yellow colour, developing an acrid taste.
It strongly replenishes Qi, reduces fatigue, boosts immunity, calms the spirit and promotes general well-being. The literature describes the berries as sweet, but I think they also have a hint of sourness. I think they impart a hint of earthy sweet-sourness to dishes, and have this fascinating stringy-resilient mushroomy texture when cooked.
Lily bulbs have a starchy texture similar to potato, but if simmered for too long, they can disintegrate and thicken soups.
You can also cook and blend lotus seeds into a sweet paste and use them as fillings for Mooncakes, a much-loved pastry that’s enjoyed during Chinese mid-autumn festival. The one on the bottom right (pickled mustard tuber) is used to make a very simple but delicious soup with slices of pork. Preserved Black Beans is widely used in stir fry dishes, and it goes well with pork and fish. Dried red chillies imparts a slow, creeping heat to dishes compared with fresh red chillies. I was still missing one snow pear and 1 apple and ended up removing the ends of the drumsticks to make it all squeeze in.
Also, if anything I’ve written here seems wrong and needs amendment, please let me know. Truth be told, the basic Asian ingredients that we use most widely (chillies, pepper, ginger) are even more heaty than any of the ingredients listed below. From a culinary viewpoint, my one quibble with ginseng is how it tends to impart a rather bitter-salty taste.
They are rich in vitamins, reduces cholesterol, and have immune boosting, cancer-protective properties.
I use that to make our much-loved yum cha favourite – Steamed Spare Ribs w Black Bean. You don’t have to go to the scary counter as the shelves have bags and boxes of most of the herbs mentioned here, so you can shop in that section. In my situation, I had leftover fruit, so I simply drank 2 bowls the size of rice bowls, threw in the rest of the fruit and added some more water and continued to double-boil it for another hour until dinner. Cut, core, remove seeds and cut the apples and pears into large bite-sizes, keeping on the skin. Asian shops will sell this root sliced or whole, it is better to buy the whole pieces and then slice them yourself when you need it.
When the water boils, add all the ingredients into it and top up with hot water (or boiling water from a kettle). Turn off heat and set to cool enough that you can move the pot into the outer double-boiler pot. Put inner pot into outer pot and fill with enough water to cover up to at least ¾ of the inner pot.



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