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Stir-fry for LU qi xu w/ phlegm in LU

Categories: Lung Phlegm Cold, Lung Qi Vacuity

Love Your Lungs:
A Stir-fry for LU qi xu w/ phlegm in LU
By Katie Fritz

1 medium sized daikon radish, chopped to your liking
2-3 carrots, chopped to your liking
1 handful of shitake mushrooms, sliced
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1/4 c. raw almonds, chopped
2 c. mustard greens, chopped
2 c. cooked white rice
Peanut oil for stir-frying
Rice vinegar to taste
Salt to taste

In a rice cooker (or on the stovetop) place together 1 c. white rice, 2 c. water & a pinch of salt. If using a rice cooker, sit back & enjoy the ride. If cooking on the stove top: rice will take about 12-15 min to cook (bring to a boil & then simmer to prevent burning it to the bottom of your stainless steel pan).

In a pan, heat a few tablespoons of peanut oil. Add onion & sautee until translucent. Add carrots & daikon, sautee for about 5-10 min. Add shitake, mustard greens & almonds, sautee until greens are wilted about another 5 min.

Add your cooked rice to the pan & stir-fry until all ingredients are heated & nicely mixed. Add your desired amount of rice vinegar & salt to taste.

Servings: 2-4

TCM analysis:
Daikon — cool, acrid & sweet: removes food stagnation, moistens LU; loosens phlegm in LU
Carrots — cool, sweet & acrid: strengthen all the internal organs; supplements MJ
Shitake — neutral & sweet: strengthens ST
Onion — acrid & warm: promotes sweat, resolves phlegm
Almonds — neutral & sweet: ventilates LU, transforms phlegm
Mustard greens — warm & acrid: ventilates LU, dissolves mucus
White rice — sl. cool & sweet: clears heat, moistens yin
Peanut oil – moistens
Rice vinegar — warm & sour: invigorates, astringes, closes pours
Salt — cold, salty & sl. sweet: harmonizes & promotes digeston

The overall purpose of this recipe is to tonify Metal & clear phlegm. Most of the ingredients are acrid/moving substances that stimulate LU qi & transform phlegm. The rice vinegar is astringing LU qi & the shitake, carrots & rice are supplementing the mother (Earth) to tonify Metal. There are some moistening ingredients, which I don’t think will be too counterproductive since they are present in small amounts.

Chinese Duck and Shiitake Dumplings

Categories: Kidney Qi Vacuity, Lung Qi Vacuity, Lung Yin Vacuity, Wei Qi Vacuity

Chinese Duck and Shiitake Dumplings
Yields about thirty-six 3-inch dumplings.

For the dough:
6-3/4 oz. (1-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for kneading

For the filling:
Half a roast duck, preferably Beijing-style
8 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes
1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
6 oz. spinach, washed and trimmed
1/4 cup finely chopped water chestnuts
2 medium scallions, thinly sliced
1-1/2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. cornstarch
Freshly ground black pepper

To finish the dumplings:
Kosher salt, as needed (for boiled dumplings)
Vegetable oil, as needed (for pan-fried dumplings)
1 recipe Ginger Vinegar or Scallion-Soy Dipping Sauce

Make the dough:
Pour the flour into a mound on a clean work surface. Make a deep, wide well in the center and pour in 1/2 cup cold water. Stir with your fingers, staying in the center at first and being careful that the water doesn’t breach the wall. Little by little, using your hand and a bench knife, mix in flour from the sides until the dough starts to come together. (Alternatively, put the flour in a medium bowl. Make a well, add the water, and stir first with a spoon and then your hand.) If the dough remains in shreds, sprinkle in additional water, a teaspoon at a time, until it begins to stick together. Don’t add too much water or the dough will be difficult to work.

Knead the dough for 5 minutes to form a smooth, firm, elastic ball. (If you began the dough in a bowl, lightly dust a clean, dry surface with flour before kneading.) The dough should not be sticky and should bounce back when pressed with a fingertip. Divide in half with a bench knife and roll into two 6-inch logs. Sprinkle each log evenly with flour, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rest for at least 30 minutes at room temperature before rolling and filling.

Make the filling:
Separate the duck meat from the bones and skin; shred the meat finely by hand. Cut the stems from the mushrooms and discard. Squeeze excess moisture from the caps and chop finely. Transfer the duck and mushrooms to a medium bowl.

In a 12-inch skillet, bring 2 Tbs. of water and the sugar to a boil over high heat. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Squeeze the excess water from the spinach and transfer to a cutting board to cool. Chop finely.

Stir the spinach, water chestnuts, scallions, ginger, soy sauce, cornstarch, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper into the duck and mushrooms. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
Cut and roll the dough
Cut each log in half crosswise. Cut each half crosswise into thirds, and then slice each of those pieces into three even coins. You should have 36 pieces of equal size. Toss the pieces in flour to coat evenly and then cover with a clean towel so they don’t dry out.

Using a small rolling pin, roll a piece of dough into a thin 3-inch circle; with the dough in one hand and the pin in the other, roll from the edges toward the center as you rotate the dough. This rolling technique helps create a round with thin edges and a thicker center.

Fill and shape the dumplings:

Tip: If you have helpers, set up an assembly line and roll out each wrapper, then pass it along to the next person to fill. If you’re filling all the dumplings yourself, it’s best to roll out several wrappers, and keep them covered with a kitchen towel as you fill them, to prevent them from drying out.

Spoon 1 to 2 tsp. of the filling onto a dough circle, fold it in half, and then if you’re going to boil the dumplings, seal it by pinching along the curved edge. If you’re planning to pan-fry the dumplings for pot stickers, make your first pinch at the center of the curved edge and then pleat toward the center on both sides to create a rounded belly. This wider shape allows the dumplings to sit upright in the pan and form a flat surface for browning.

Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. As you work, arrange the filled dumplings in a single layer without touching on large plates, so they don’t stick together.

To cook: either boil the dumplings…
Bring a large (7- to 8-quart) pot of salted water to a boil. Working in 2 or 3 batches to avoid overcrowding, quickly add the dumplings one at a time, making sure they don’t stick to each other. Lower the heat to medium and continue to boil, gently stirring occasionally, until the dumplings float and are cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and serve immediately with your choice of dipping sauce.

…or pan-fry the dumplings:
Heat 2 Tbs. vegetable oil in a heavy-duty 10- or 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Working quickly and in batches if necessary (adding more oil for the second batch if needed), arrange the dumplings belly side down in concentric circles starting from the outer edge. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in about 1/2 cup water or enough to come about a third of the way up the sides of the dumplings, bring to a boil, cover, and cook until all of the water has been absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the lid, reduce the heat to medium, and continue cooking just until the dumplings are dry and crisp on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Loosen the dumplings from the pan with a spatula. Invert the pan over a plate to flip the dumplings, browned side up, onto the plate (or transfer with a spatula). Serve immediately with your choice of dipping sauce.

TCM Analysis- Overall, this recipe strongly tonifies the Lung Qi and Yin, boosts the Wei Qi, lowers cholesterol, and strengthens the Kidneys. The addition of Ginger with the duck helps to digest the recipe, because of their ability to strengthen the stomach, and prevent dampness.

Baby Spinach And Tangerines With Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Categories: Heart Qi Vacuity, Kidney Qi Vacuity, Liver Qi Stagnation, Lung Qi Vacuity, Spleen Qi Vacuity, Wind Cold Invading Lungs

Baby Spinach And Tangerines
With Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Serves 3-4


10 oz bag of prewashed spinach
½ pound mixed baby greens (salad mix)
3 tangerines, Satsuma or other seedless variety
¼ cup red wine vinegar (good quality)*
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup fresh or bottled pomegranate juice
1 ½ tsp cornstarch
1 tsp sugar
pinch of cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


Wash the greens and spinach well and dry in a lettuce spinner. Chill the greens until just before serving. Peel the tangerines and remove as much pith as possible. Cover and chill until ready to serve. In a small, shallow pan bring the vinegar up to a simmer. Dissolve the cornstarch in the juice with the sugar and other seasonings. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the vinegar and simmer until just starting to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir in the oil. Chill until ready to use. Use a fork to whisk the dressing before tossing the salad.
This dressing will become quite thick if you keep it longer than a day. Roast some vegetables and toss them with your leftover dressing for a wonderful salad. Serve cold or room temperature.

TCM Analysis-Spinach Strengthens all organs, tonifies Qi and Blood, and ventilates the chest. Tangerines opens the channels, stops coughing and opens the chest. The red wine vinegar and cinnamon both promote circulation throughout the entire body. Overall, this recipe vents the Lungs while strengthening and supporting the Qi during attacks of a wind-cold invasion.

Almond Horchata

Categories: Lung Fluid Xu, Lung Phlegm Cold, Lung Phlegm Heat, Lung Qi Vacuity, Lung Yin Vacuity

Almond Horchata — Serves 8

2 quarts of Almond Milk
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 cup rice syrup

Combine ingredients in a large pot and let it come to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Almond milk – neutral, sweet – ventilates lungs, relieves cough and asthma, transforms phlegm
Cinnamon – hot, pungent, sweet – strengthens stomach, warms coldness, stops pain
Rice Syrup – moistens dryness, Nourishes lung yin and tonifies lung qi

Soul Food for Wind-Cold Invading Lungs: Grits and Greens

Categories: Lung Qi Vacuity, Spleen Qi Vacuity, Wind Cold Invading Lungs, Wind Invasion (External)

Soul Food for Wind-Cold Invading Lungs: Grits and Greens
By Sue Cook

3 inch piece fresh ginger
2 bunches fresh mustard greens
1 large purple onion
5 Chinese dates (complicated version) or 1 T raw brown sugar (easy version)
either 1 cup water plus 3 dried shiitakes (complicated version) or 2 T extra virgin olive oil plus 1 cup water
tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 c stone-ground yellow grits (polenta)
3 c water
1 tsp salt

PREPARATION: easy level
In a 2-4 quart saucepan with a lid, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Slowly pour in one cup of grits, stirring constantly to prevent clumps or a volcanic-type explosion. Lower heat to medium and stir for a few minutes, then turn off the flame and cover to finish cooking.
Rinse the greens thoroughly by completely submerging in a full sink of water and swishing to remove any grit. Remove from water and set in drainer.
First cut the root end off the onion, then cut in half lengthwise. Remove the skin. Trim off the top of the onion. Cut into pinky-finger thick slices.
Slice the ginger very thinly.
In a large pot that has a lid, heat the olive oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and stir occasionally until they begin to soften and brown slightly. Add the water and ginger and let boil for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, tear the greens into pieces, discarding the ends of the stems.
Add the greens to the onion mixture, stir a few times, and cover. Let the greens steam for about 3 minutes, then turn off the heat and remove the lid. Season with a small amount of brown sugar and tamari. Serve over grits.
Prepare grits as above. Wash greens and tear into pieces, discarding stems.
In a large pan, boil the thinly sliced ginger, the dates, and the shiitakes in a quart of water until it is reduced to approximately one cup. Strain and return to the pot.
Slice the onions and add to the ginger broth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until most of the liquid is evaporated. Add the greens to the pot , stir, and cover to steam for 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat and season to taste with tamari. Serve over grits.

ginger: acrid, warm. enters LU/SP/ST. releases exterior; warms lungs and stops cough
mustard greens: acrid, warm. enters LU/LI. expels wind/cold/damp; warms lung, opens chest, stops cough.
onion: acrid, neutral. enters LU/ST. Transforms phlegm and damp.
Chinese dates: sweet, warm. enter SP/ST. tonify Spleen qi; protect middle burner from acrid ingredients; with fresh ginger, harmonize nutritive and protective qi.
shiitakes: sweet, neutral. enter SP/LU. Boost protective qi.
tamari: salty, cold. Enters SP/ST/KD. Protects middle burner. tastes good.
corn: sweet, bland, neutral. enters SP/ST. Drains damp through diuresis. Supports spleen to support the lungs.

Overall Analysis of recipe: tonifies SP and LU, expel phlegm, promote urination, resolves cough. Slight release exterior quality. If more SP tonification is needed add Sweet potato (with cinnamon).

Red Curry Carrot Soup

Categories: Heart Qi Vacuity, Lung Qi Vacuity, Spleen Qi Vacuity

Red Curry Carrot Soup

1 tablespoon canola oil
6 large carrots, peeled-4 thickly sliced and 2 cut into fine matchsticks
2 thin slices peeled fresh ginger
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
4 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
2 cups water
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 teaspoon red curry paste
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 scallion, cut into matchsticks
1 tablespoon cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped basil


Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the sliced carrots and ginger and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the carrots are crisp-tender and lightly browned, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the onion and cook until softened but not browned, about 2 minutes.

Add the chicken stock, water, coconut milk and curry paste to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the carrots are tender, about 25 minutes. Strain the cooking liquid into another saucepan, reserving the solids; discard the ginger. Transfer the carrots to a blender and puree with 1 cup of the cooking liquid until very smooth. Return the puree to the cooking liquid, add the carrot matchsticks and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with the scallion, cilantro and basil and serve.

Carrots: Benefit the Lung, nourish the Heart and Spleen, especially with skin inflammation.
Ginger, Onion, Curry, Basil: all warm the middle Jiao, harmonize the Stomach, and generally improve digestion of the soup. These spices also have an outward directionality, bringing the effects to the skin.

String Beans With Ginger and Garlic

Categories: Bi Syndrome Cold, Kidney Yang Vacuity, Lung Qi Vacuity, Spleen Qi Vacuity, Spleen Yang Vacuity, Wind Invasion (External)

String Beans With Ginger and Garlic


* Salt
* 2 1/2 pounds string beans (French-style slim haricots verts work especially well), trimmed
* 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1/4 cup minced fresh ginger (about 6 inches ginger root, peeled)
* 4 medium-size garlic cloves, minced


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and fill a large bowl with ice water. Working in two batches, boil beans until just tender but still crisp and bright green. Start testing after 4 minutes or so, being careful not to overcook. When done, plunge beans into ice water to stop cooking, lift out immediately when cool and drain on towels. (Recipe can be made to this point up to a day in advance and kept refrigerated, wrapped in towels.)
When ready to cook, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wide skillet over high heat. Add half the beans, half the ginger and half the garlic, and cook, stirring and tossing constantly, until beans are heated through and ginger and garlic are softened and aromatic. Sprinkle with salt, and remove to a serving dish. Repeat with remaining oil, beans, ginger and garlic. Serve.

10 servings

Editor’s note:  No information included with this recipe.  Green beans go to Liver, Kidney, Bladder and are neutral and sweet combined with the acridity and heat of the ginger and garlic.  The recipe still goes to the warm and acrid side since the green beans are neutral.  Releases the exterior, transforms fluids to tonify Taiyin Lung and Spleen, warms Spleen and Kidney yang.


Cellophane noodle soup

Categories: Asian, Dryness Invading the Lungs, Kidney Unable to Grasp Qi, Lung Fluid Xu, Lung Heat, Lung Qi Vacuity, Noodles, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

noodle soup


4 large dried shitake
15 g lily buds, dried
½ cucumber
2 garlic cloves, halved
90 g white cabbage,chopped
5 cups boiling water
4 oz cellophane noodles
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp palm sugar
3 ½ blocks silken tofu
Fresh cilantro

Soak shitake in warm water for 30 min. soak lily buds in a warm water soak for 30 min. Put cucumber, garlic, cabbage in a food processor and grind to a smooth paste. Scrape the mixture into a large pan and add the measured boiling water.
Bring to a boil, then reduce and cook for 2 min. Strain into another pan, return to a low heat, and bring to simmer.
Drain the lily buds, rinse cold, then drain. Add the lily buds with the stock to the noodles, soy sauce and sugar and cook for 5 minutes.
Strain the mushroom soaking water. Discard stems, slice caps. Divide them and tofu among four bowls. Pour the soup over, garnish, serve.

Shitake: neutral, sweet. Strengthens ST, builds immunity, lowers B.P., detoxifies, anti tumor, lowers cholesterol
Lily flower: sweet, sl. Cold. Moisten and cools the lung, stops cough.
Cucumber: cool, sweet, bland. Clears heat, quenches thirst, relieves irritability.
Garlic: hot, acrid. Anti-viral, anti-cancer.
White cabbage: sweet, neutral. ST, KD. Nourish KD jing.
Cellophane noodles (rice): sweet, neutral. SP/ST. supplements, generates and preserves fluids
Soy sauce: salty, cold. SP/ST/KD. Harmonize MJ, clears heat.
Tofu: cool, sweet. Clears heat, lubricates dryness, promotes fluids. Strengthen SP.ST
Cilantro: slightly cool and acrid. Promotes sweating, strengthens digestion, promote qi flow.

This recipe will be ideal for a patient with Lung qi vacuity, possible with Kidney not grasping the Qi. The lily plant will have affinity for the lung and help to cool and moisten the lung. The cabbage and tofu will help build kidney energy to strengthen the descent of Lung qi. The cilantro and garlic provide acrid flavor to benefit the lung qi flow. Shitake also enhances the wei qi to protect against colds.