have you ever had this nagging feeling of what to cook whenever a festive season is around the corner? what mood do i want to create? i want it to be different but not too overwhelming for my guests....who am i inviting? what is the occasion? are they adults or children? big eaters or mousy eaters? well there is room for everyone... read on.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Herbal Wonders

Food is the natural lifeline for our physical bodies and the right choice can assist us in maintaining and strengthening our health. The importance of herbs has been highly acknowledged by people from all nations, rich and poor alike. This post is specially written in reply to a request from a dear friend currently living in Hong Kong and my fellow bloggers whom may find this brew useful. I will not be in the position to introduce something I have not tried since I am no doctor but as for 'strengthening the lungs', I bring to you the well trusted "Cordyceps". In the mandarin translation cordyceps means 'worm in the winter, grass in summer'. Many will not try it mainly because it is expensive but if bought from a trustworthy source the investments can be worthwhile. Beware of imitations. Cordyceps otherwise known as 'tung chung cho' in Cantonese is believed to be the best remedy for anaemia, fatigue and weak lungs. It has great medicinal properties to aid recovery from illnesses as it encourages appetite and builds up resistance against chills and common cold. One small box of Cordyceps can be divided into 6 portions for this brew.
Red dates otherwise known as 'hoong cho' in Cantonese is often used in soups, brews or even sweet desserts to increase blood circulation in the body. It also possess lung, heart, spleen and stomach strengthening properties.
Recipe 1 portion of cordyceps (rinsed under filtered water) 1 handful of red dates, with or without stones (seed) is fine. Heat up a small slow-cooker with 2 rice bowls of hot filtered water (hot water is used to quicken the cooking process). The slow-cooker method is preferred because slow cooking does not burn and the liquid does not evaporate.
Method Simmer the brew in the slow-cooker for approx. 2 - 2 1/2 hours. Pour out the brew, cool slightly and drink warm.
Since this brew is expensive, a thinner brew can be obtained by adding a rice bowl of hot filtered water into the herbal sediment (cordycep and red dates) and boil in the slow-cooker for 1 hour for the second time. This second time round brew will be less aromatic but still contains enough medicinal properties for our well being. I personally drank this brew for a period of 3 months before trying to conceive a child. Started off by having it twice a week and consecutively once a week. The second time brew was serve to my hubby and he too benefited from it. I did not catch a flu for a year after that, I suppose my lungs were pretty strong then.


  • i've heard so much about cordyceps but was never sure of its functions and thus never tried it. thanks for introducing the world of herbs to us!

  • glad to be of help, creme puff. Do try and check out at bookshops for more write ups on chinese herbs, they are very useful indeed.

  • Maybe I shld make this drink once in a while as I always catch flu. We have this enormous teapot which is excellent for brewing these home made remedies. Just chuck it in and let it brew and it will keep warm for you.

  • thanks, will certainly do so!

  • what to drk for fever or to lose heat frm body ?

  • he he he, I don't believe it but I am unconsciously turning into a amateur chinese sinseh. OMG! Anyway, mike, kinda missed your comments, welcome back. For fever, there is panadol, nurofen and voltaren. As for heat, I recommend highly Chorophyll from Enrich. Very good!

  • Sorry, typo error supposed to be Chlorophyll. It's a green powder which is diluted in normal temp. water. 1 - 2 tsp to 1 tupperware of water. Or 'yeong sum sow' with a little salt in a teapot of hot water.

  • hey Audrey, i always buy Essence of Chicken with Cordyceps mixed in it. Perks me up with an extra energy everytime. Went to the singseh 1day wanting to get some raw ones but the uncle donno Eng. Now i'll ask for 'tung chung cho'. Hopefully uncle understands Cantonese huh!

  • Yea Daylillies, hopefully he knows cantonese, he he he.Now u can imagine the first time I stepped into such a chinese medical shop! People say it's chicken and duck talk!


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I'm Audrey from Somewhere in my kitchen, Malaysia.

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