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Hai Ji Tang (Black-Boned Chicken Soup)

Categories: Kidney & Urinary Bladder Qi Vacuity, Kidney Jing Vacuity, Kidney Unable to Grasp Qi, Liver Blood Vacuity, Spleen Qi Vacuity

Hai Ji Tang (Black-Boned Chicken Soup)
via China

Serves 4 (about 2 quarts)

1 1-lb silkie chicken (wu gu ji: black-boned chicken) head and feet discarded, cleaned and rinsed
20 pieces long yan rou (Longan Arillus)
1/4 cup yi mi (Coicis Semen)
2 large, thick, solid, heavy rhizomes huang jing (Polygonati Rhizoma)
1/4 cup gou qi zi (Lycii Fructus)
3-4 very large slices he shou wu (Polygoni multiflori Radix preparata)
4 pieces dang shen (Codonopsis Radix)
40 pieces lian zi (Nelumbinis Semen)
light Chinese soy sauce

Rinse all the dried herbs and set aside. Soak the lian zi in hot water for a few minutes or until soft, then remove all the pits in them to prevent the soup from becoming bitter.

Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Boil the chicken for 2 minutes, then remove and set aside. Put the chicken in a double boiler with enough water to barely cover it. Place the double boiler over high heat and add the herbs. Bring to a boil and skim off the scum. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 2 hours, occasionally skimming fat from the surface.

When done, remove and discard the herbs with a slotted spoon. Remove and set aside the chicken. Line a colander with cheesecloth and place over a serving bowl. Pour the broth through the colander, add salt to taste, and serve. The chicken is sliced and served separately, each diner dipping it in a light soy sauce before eating.

Wu gu ji (Silkie chicken): sweet neutral LV KI
Actions: nourishes LV and KI, nourishes yin, reduces fever
Indications: consumptive disease, xiao ke, chronic xie xie

Long yan rou (Longan Arillus): sweet warm HT SP
Actions: nourishes blood, tonifies qi, calms the spirit.
Indications: insomnia, palpitations, forgetfulness, dizziness.

Yi mi (Coicis Semen): sweet bland sl. cold LU SP ST KI
Actions: tonifies the SP, augments the LU, leaches damp from bones, sinews, muscles, cools heat, expels pus.
Indications: edema, diarrhea, damp heat disorder.

Huang jing (Polygonati Rhizoma): sweet neutral KI LU SP
Actions: tonifies SP qi, nourishes SP and LU yin, augments KI jing.
Indications: dry cough, lower back pain, wasting and thirsting disorder.

Gou qi zi (Lycii Fructus): sweet neutral LV LU KI
Actions: enriches LV, KI and LU yin, nourishes LV blood, mildly tonifies KI yang, benefits the jing, brightens the eyes, lowers BP and cholesterol.
Indications: sore back and legs, wasting and thirsting disorder, consumption, dizziness, blurred vision, diminished visual acuity.

He shou wu (Polygoni multiflori Radix preparata): bitter sweet astringent sl. warm LV KI
Actions: tonifies LV and KI, nourishes blood and yin, preserves the jing.
Indications: dizziness, blurred vision, premature greying, weakness in the lower back and knees, insomnia.

Dang shen (Codonopsis Radix): sweet neutral LU SP
Actions: tonifies the middle jiao, augments the SP and LU qi.
Indications: SP qi deficiency, prolapse due to collapsed SP qi, chronic cough, shortness of breath.

Lian zi (Nelumbinis Semen): sweet astringent neutral HT KI SP
Actions: tonifies and stabilizes SP, HT, and KI, calms the spirit.
Indications: chronic diarrhea, premature ejaculation and spermatorrhea, palpitations, irritability, insomnia.

Salt: salty neutral KI
Actions: moistens dryness, softens hardness, benefits digestion, and promotes bowel movements.

Soy Sauce: salty cold SP ST KI
Actions: harmonizes middle jiao, clears Heat, antidote to food poisoning.
Indications: interior heat toxin, fullness secondary to febrile diseases.

Hai ji tang (composite): bitter sweet salty astringent neutral LV KI HT SP ST LU
Actions: tonifies qi, tonifies and harmonizes middle jiao, nourishes HT, LV, LU, and KI, nourishes blood and yin, augments KI jing, calms the spirit, moistens dryness.
Indications: KI, LV, HT, SP, ST, LU, blood and yin deficiency.

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.

Making Tamales with Black Beans and Hoja Santo in Banana Leaf

Categories: Cooking tips, Kidney Unable to Grasp Qi

Tamales made with black beans and Hoja Santo are very traditional in southern Mexico. Hoja Santo (Piper auritum) is a plant with large, heart-shaped leaves that is used as a flavoring and medicinal. In Mayan, it is known as X’mak’ulan, and local healers use the plant for bronchitis and asthma. As this tamale combines black beans, which are nourishing for the Kidney and Hoja Santo, it would be the perfect dish for someone with Kidney qi insufficiency contributing to asthma or bronchitis.

First the banana leaves are cut into squares and blanched, then left out to cool. Frozen banana leaves can be found in Mexican groceries.

Leaves of Hoja Santo are washed and the center vein removed.

The tamale batter is made with masa corn flour, a touch of lard, and enough water to make a sticky dough a little softer than play-doh.

Each tamale is made by layering a banana leaf square with dough, some cooked black beans, and a leaf of Hoja Santo.

Making tamales is a family activity, otherwise they would never get finished.

Once all of the ingredients are on the banana leaf, it is folded in thirds lengthwise, then again in thirds crosswise.

The constructed tamales are layered in a steamer pot, or ‘tamalera’ or ‘vaporera’, and cook for about an hour.

Que Sabroso!

Walnut-Mushroom Pate

Categories: Appetizers, Gluten-free, Kidney Unable to Grasp Qi, Shen Calming, Vegan, Vegetarian

mushroom pate

My husband and I made this recipe for our family(s) at Thanksgiving.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
3/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 cup lightly toasted walnuts
3/4 cup cooked cannellini beans
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Up to 1/4 cup cold vegetable broth

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the onions and sautee for 3 to 5 minutes until translucent, then add the garlic, thyme, tarragon, salt and pepper, and cook for another minute.
Next, add the mushrooms and cook for 7 to 10 minutes until they are very soft, lowering the heat if necessary to prevent them from burning.

While the mushrooms are cooking, place the walnuts in a food processor or blender and process until very fine.

Add the cooked mushroom mixture to the walnuts, in the food processor, along with the balsamic vinegar, beans, and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Process until smooth, adding the vegetable broth one tablespoon at a time as needed.
Continue to puree the ingredients until the pate resembles a smooth, thick, and spreadable paste.
Scrape mixture into an airtight container and chill for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

This recipe comes from:
Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook
Authors: Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Terry Hope Romero
Marlowe & Company, New York, 2007.