Basic Congee Recipe
Congee (Chinese rice porridge) is often served to those who are recovering from illness because of its notorious healing power. One of the most important properties of congee is that it is easily digestible. When a person is ill, the digestive system is usually weak, and the individual usually suffers from lack of appetite. Congee should help improve appetite and provide much-needed nutrients as well. It also acts as an anti-diarrhea food and replenishes lost fluids. Learn more about Healing Properties of Congee.
- 3/4 cup of plain long-grain or Haiga rice (you may also combine them in any proportion)
- 3 thin slices of fresh ginger root
- 9 cups of water
- 1 teaspoon of salt or 5 thick slices of preserved turnip
- Rinse the rice with water in a big bowl 3-4 times until the water becomes clear.
- Put the rice and 9 cups of water into a large pot and bring it to a boil.
- Add fresh ginger root to the pot and turn it down to low to medium-low heat (preserved turnip can be added at this point instead of salt at the end).
- Rest the lid on the pot so that it allows steam to escape (you may place a pair of chopsticks between the lid and the pot).
- Stir the rice occaisionally to prevent the congee from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the congee has a thick, creamy texture (like porridge).
- Season with salt (do not add salt if you added the preserved turnip in step 3).
- As mentioned above, preserved turnip can be used in place of salt for better taste.
- You may also add 1-2oz of pork or chicken (salt the meat lightly and let it sit in the refridgerator overnight) at the beginning of cooking. Please note that you may be instructed not to consume meat depending on the condition of your health.
- You can also add nappa cabbage, carrot, and potatoes for better nutrition and texture.
Mung Bean Soup Recipe
Mung bean soup is a very popular supper dessert because of its cooling and calming effect on the body. It is said to rid of edema and headache. More importantly, it is a very effective antidote for toxicity of arsenic, as well as poisons from plants or minerals.
- 1/2 cup of green mung beans
- Small piece of dried kelp, about 2x2 inches (optional)
- 6 cups of water
- 5 tablespoons of brown or rock sugar
- Soak the beans and kelp overnight (or, a minimum of 4 hours) in plenty of water.
- Discard the water and place the beans in a large pot and add 6 cups of fresh water. If you are adding the kelp, cut it into small pieces and add to the beans.
- Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and stir well.
- Simmer for 60-80 minutes until the beans have expanded out of their skins. They should be very soft and fluffy. Add more water if needed.
- Add sugar to taste.
- Serve hot or chilled.
Ching Bo Leung Recipe
This soup plays a critical part in the daily meal in Chinese culture as a source of nourishment, as well as for the maintenance of good health. It is mildly tonic and good for everyone regardless of condition. Though it is not meant to treat any specific illness or disease, it is believed to detoxify the body and nourish the kidney and lungs. Many of the ingredients in the soup are said to aid cardiovascular health and improve the overall condition of the body without stimulating any particular organ too much. This soup also helps balance the Qi and blood in the body.
- Pearl barley（薏米）
- Lotus seeds（蓮子）
- Chinese yam（淮山）
- Lily bulbs（百合）
- Clehnia root ( 沙参 )
- Dried longan (optional–used only in dessert)（元肉或龍眼肉）
Directions (for Ching Bo Leung package):
- Cook all of the ingredients except for the dried longan (in a separate bag) in 4-5 cups of boiling water to clean the herbs. Strain and discard the water after 1 minute.
- Boil 5 cups of fresh water and add the clean ingredients.
- Turn the heat down to medium to medium-low and simmer with a lid on the pot for about 1 hour.
- To make a savory soup, you may add 3-4 oz of lightly-salted pork. When using fattier meat, make sure to skim off the excess fat that floats to the surface. A dash of salt can be added as seasoning.
- If you are making a dessert without meat, dried longan can be added for extra flavor and sweetness after 40 minutes of cooking. Add sugar as necessary.
Bitter Melon Stir fry with Black Bean
- 2 Medium size Bitter melons (about 7 - 8 inch long)
- 2 - 3 oz side Pork (Salt it lightly)
- 2 Teaspoons full of dried fermented Black Beans
- 1 clove of Garlic (sliced)
- 1 thick slice of Ginger (julienned, about 1 inch long)
- 1 Tablespoon of Vegetable oil
- 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
- 1 Teaspoon of Soy Sauce
- Soak the fermented Black Beans in 1/4 cup of hot water.
- Slice the Pork 1.5 to 2 inch wide. Then lightly salt it.
- Cut the Bitter Melons in half (long way) and scoop out the seeds with spoon. Discard the seeds.
- Slice the Bitter Melon in 1/4 inch thick.
- Heat up a Wok and add Vegetable oil.
- Add Garlic and Ginger to the Wok when the oil is hot.
- Add the Pork when the Garlic turns golden brown, and cook it until well browned.
- Add the Bitter Melon and cook for a minute while stirring and tossing the Bitter Melon every 10 seconds or so.
- Add the Black Beans (soaked and softened in the hot water). Make sure to add the hot water used to soften the bean. It will help prevent the Bitter Melon from sticking to the wok.
- Cover the Bitter Melon with a lid that fits inside the wok, and steam cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Water will most likely evaporate after 3-4 minutes, so keep adding the water until desired softness of the Bitter Melon is achieved.
- Add Salt and Soy Sauce to season it. And cook for a minute while giving it a several turns to blend.
Bitter Melon can be consumed when it is still crispy (or even raw), but it tends to be very, very bitter. It is not as bitter when it is cooked very well and soaks with the all the good flavors. This particular brand of Fermented Black bean used in this recipe is called "Yang Jiang Preserved Black Beans." It's a semi-dried kind. It doesn't contain any preservatives. There are ones that are very moist or in a sauce. Do not get those kind. They tend to have preservative and other chemicals you don't want to put in your mouth.
Dashi (Japanese soup stock)
Dashi is a stock made from dried kelp (konbu), dried Shiitake mushroom, katsuobushi (fermented dried bonito flakes). Dashi is the heart of Japanese cuisine. It is used in most of the Japanese food, incuding Miso soup, Udon and many others.
- Konbu (dried kelp) about 3" x 6" in size.
- 4-5 dried Shiitake mushroom.
- 1 oz of Katsuobushi (about 1/3 of the bag. See the product info at the bottom.)
- Put a gallon of water, Konbu and Shiitake mushroom in a pot, and let it soak for about 30 mins.
- Set it on the stove at mid-low heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Add Katsuobushi and cook another 20 minutes.
- Strain it into another pot and squeeze all the liquid from Shiitake mushroom and katsuobushi and discard them.
- It is ready to be used as a base for miso soup, udon and many others.
*This recipe produce more than 10 servings. If you are making Dashi for just for yourself, it is best to freeze it in multiple Ziplock containers.
Katsuobushi comes in different sizes. For stock, you should use Hanakatsuo (finely shaved bigger flakes). It usually comes in 100g bag. You will be using 1/3 of the bag for this recipe. Katsuobushi, konbu (diried kelp) and dried Shiitake mushroom can be purchased at Japanese grocery stores. You can find Katsuobushi here.
Basic Miso Soup (1 serving)
Making miso soup is very easy as long as you have good quality Dashi (Traditional stock for Japanese cuisine) and miso. Miso is either made from fermented soy bean or fermented rice (or combination). The ones made from rice are light in color and the ones from soy bean are dark in color. Variety of miso can be found in the most of the asian grocery stores. You should always get highest quality miso available. Some of them contains artificial flavor as a ingredients. So remember to buy the one that is made from only rice, soy bean and salt. This recipe is very similar to the ones you can find in the typical Japanese restaurant.
- 1 cup of Dashi.
- 1 tbs of miso.
- 1 tbs of wakame (dried and cut).
- 8 - 10 Tofu in half inch cube.
- Pinch of green onion.
- Soak wakame in the water until fully rehydrated.
- Put one cup of Dashi and Tofu in the sauce pan and bring it to a boil.
- Dissolve miso into it.
- Add wakame immediately after dissolving the miso.
- Add pinch of green onion on top and it's ready to serve.