You are browsing the archive for Cold in the Middle Jiao Archives - Food from East.

Sweet Potato Pie

Categories: Cold in the Middle Jiao, Desserts, Qi Vacuity, Spleen Qi Vacuity, Vegetarian, Yin Vacuity

Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

2 sweet potatoes

1 cup frozen mango, thawed and chopped

½ cup honey or agave nectar

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 (8in) pie crust of your choice

Directions: Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, bake the sweet potatoes for 20 to 30 minutes or until soft. Let cool. Peel potatoes until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down work bowl. Pour the filling into the pie crust. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top starts to brown.

Serving Size: 8

TCM Patterns: Qi stagnation in LJ, Cold in MJ, SP xu

TCM Evaluation: Sweet potato is sweet, neutral, supplements SP, LU, KD; mango is sweet, sour, neutral, strengthens the ST, regenerates body fluids, stops cough and thirst; honey is sweet, neutral, nourishes and harmonizes MJ, moistens dryness; cinnamon is pungent, sweet, warm, promotes blood circulation and invigorates yang.


Five-Spice Powder Chicken

Categories: Chicken, Cold in the Middle Jiao, Liver Qi Stagnation, Qi Stagnation in Middle jiao, Spleen Qi Vacuity, Stomach Cold


Five-Spice Powder Chicken

6 servings

1 large piece (0.15 ounces or 4 grams) dried tangerine peel (chen pi), or 1 tablespoon of shredded pieces (optional if unavailable)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (wu xiang fen)
1/4 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns or other kind of pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sesame seeds
1 (4- to 5-pound) roasting chicken, giblets removed

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Soak the dried tangerine peel in warm water until soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from water. If necessary, scrape off the white pith and cut into small pieces. (Some herb shops sell tangerine peel already shredded and depithed, in which case you skip this step.)

In a food processor, whir together tangerine peel, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, five-spice powder, peppercorns, vegetable oil, sesame oil and salt until it is the consistency of a paste.

Stir the sesame seeds into the paste.

Wash the chicken, pat dry and evenly coat the exterior and interior of the chicken with the tangerine peel paste.

Place the chicken on a rack in a baking pan and roast for 20 minutes.

Lower heat to 375 degrees and roast for about another 50 minutes until the leg bone rotates easily in its socket and juices run clear rather than pink when you tip them out of the cavity of the bird.

Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before carving.



Especially good for people with a tendency toward stomach distress (such as bloating, gas or poor appetite), fatigue (perhaps due to chronic stress) and aches and pains or low pain tolerance due to cold and stagnation in the middle jiao.

Tangerine Peel-acrid, bitter, warm; SP/LU; regulate qi, harmonize, dry damp, transform phlegm
Garlic-hot, acrid; anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, detoxify meat and seafood, kill worms, remove stagnant food and blood, reduce abscesses, warm yang, dispel cold; CONTRAINDICATED in hot or dry eye DOs, mouth sores, tongue ulcers
Ginger-pungent, warm; LU/SP/ST; disperse exterior cold, stop nausea and vomiting, detoxify other herbs, reduce inflammation
Lemon-slightly cold, very sour; ST/LV/LU; clear heat, quench thirst, harmonize stomach and relive cough
Five Spice Powder-warming; contains each of the five flavors: sour, bitter, sweet, pungent and salty; mixture of star anise, Sichuan pepper, fennel, cloves and cinnamon (sometimes also star anise, licorice root, and/or ground ginger)
Sichuan Pepper-pungent, hot SP/ST; warm MJ, relieve pain and diarrhea from excess cold, descend ST qi, expel damp and cold, combat intestinal parasites
Vegetable Oil-moistening
Sesame Oil-cool, sweet; LI/LV/KD; down bearing, moisten intestines, laxative, detoxifies, raise unsaturated fatty acids, lecithin and vitamin E, treats dryness in intestines, constipation, digestive obstructions, blood and qi vacuity of LV and KD, weakness in muscles, skins and bones; CONTRAINDICATED in excess conditions, weakens SP pancreas network, can cause diarrhea
Salt-salty, cold; KD; clear heat, cool blood, ease bowel movements, nourish KD
Sesame Seeds-slightly warm, sweet; nourish LV & KD, lubricate intestines, blacken gray hair, tonify body overall, benefit skin; grinding recommended because tough cell wall makes it undigestable whole
Chicken-sweet, warm; SP/ST/KD; supplement qi, nourish blood, consolidate KD, boost wei qi



Categories: Bi Syndrome Cold, Cold in the Lower Jiao, Cold in the Middle Jiao, Large Intestine Qi Stagnation, Qi Stagnation, Side Dishes, Skin Problems, Spleen Damp Cold, Spleen Yang Vacuity, Stomach Cold, Vegetarian, Wei Qi Vacuity

Preparation time: 20 mins

Serves: 4


1 pound Brussels sprouts

1 carrot

1 leek

2 TBS butter

3 TBS creamed horseradish

1 TBS cider vinegar

1 tsp dill weed



Handful chopped walnuts


Roughly chop and steam the vegetables until tender.  The Brussels sprouts are best cooked whole with a cross-nicked into the base to help them cook all the way through.  While the vegetables are steaming, melt the butter in a pan and add all the other ingredients, cooking gently for a minute or two.  Serve the sauce poured over the vegetables and top with lightly toasted walnuts.


Brussels sprouts  warming, anti cancer, improve immune function, benefit skin, improve digestion and bowel movements

Carrot- clear heat, detoxifies, strengthens all organs, benefits eyes

Leek  promotes sweating, resolves phlegm, diuretic

Butter – warm, sweet

Horseradish  pungent, heating, moving

Cider vinegar  heating, moving

Dill weed  offsets the harsh warming aspect

Salt – cold, salty, slightly sweet, harmonize and promotes digestion, strengthens kidney, fortifies bones, tendons, and teeth, brightens eyes, detoxifies, used as a natural preservative

Pepper hot, pungent, pushes downward, warms the internal regions, affects the stomach and large intestines

Walnuts  slightly warm, Tonifies kidney, strengthens back, astringes lung, relieves asthma, lubricates intestines, aids with erratic or rebellious qi; reduces cholesterol


This is a good dish for yang deficiency and for stagnation.  Brussels sprouts and leeks are warming vegetables. The pungent horseradish and cider vinegar increases the dish’s heating and moving nature.  The dill offsets the warming.In serious conditions of dampness, olive oil can be substituted for the butter.