Auntie' Simple Chinese Food Concept
Auntie’s Simple Chinese Food Theory
Auntie’s simple food theory of eating healthy and be strong is to minimize intake of cooling, damp or windy food. As Asian, her food theory is based on importance of harmonious balance of hot- cold food intake.
It is believed women are by nature colder during menstruation, early pregnancy and post delivery of babies and cold or yin food to be avoided. The older people are regarded to have to cooler body nature too and to avoid yin food intake.
There is a lot of importance placed in restoring a new mum’s energy within 40 days of delivery (the confinement period) and her recovery to healthy glow. During this period, intake of warn or yang food is vital to help a new mummy restore her energy. Drinking of plain water, especially cold drink during period of confinement is No, No. Plain water is regarded as cooling or Yin. Water intake is replaced with warn or yang drink like fried rice drink or dried longan boiled with red or black dates drink.
- Fried rice drink: Is simple to make, the rice is washed, drained dry and fried until golden in a wok or pan without oil. For a cup of drink, pour boiling water over one teaspoon of fried rice and let it stand for 5-10 minutes.
- Black dates Longan drink: Boil 10 dried black or red dates with 1 tablespoon of dried longan in 5-8 cups of water. Add 2-3 slices of ginger. When the dried longan open up, the drink is ready for serving.
Warm or Yang Food Preparation
- Auntie prepares “warm” dishes with generous use of ginger (preference is old ginger) and sesame oil to fry vegetables, meat and chicken and in soup dishes. One simple dish I love is fried eggs where a large amount of thin ginger strips are fried until crispy in sesame oil and generously spread over eggs fried with sesame oil.
- An authentic warm cuisine for dinner is the Tung Kwai chicken baked in bed of heated coarse salt. Few slices of Tung Kwai or Ginseng stuffed in the chicken enhance the aromatic chicken taste and the whole chicken is wrapped in baking paper followed by a layer if grease proof foil, then covered and baked in a bed of heated coarse salt for 1 to 11/2 hours. Tung Kwai is believed to improve blood circulation and ginseng improves the energy level.
- Nourishing Tonic soup cooked using herbal formula “Ba Zhen”, obtainable in Chinese TCM shops with chicken or pork.
- Tender chicken meat fried in homemade fermented Chinese rice wine and ginger, a Yang recipe comforting yet light to take during cold weather
- Auntie’s WOW breakfast dish is Egg in Pong Piah. Pong Piah is Chinese Hokkien round biscuit with flaky texture outside and soft melted sugar filling inside. To prepare, a small cavity is broken on top of the Pong Piah and an egg poured into it. It is then fried over low heat slowly in sesame oil until the egg is cooked
Cool or Yin Food
Auntie recommends cooling tea and soup to calm the inner heat in the body, when there are symptoms like sore throat, mild fever, after a stressful day or for children feeling heaty after spending time outdoors in the hot sun.
- Barley water drink in rock sugar - a soothing drink for sore throat. To prepare boil ½ cup of barley in a saucepan of water for 30 minutes and sweetened with rock sugar.
- Chrysanthemum tea served with honey – Dried chrysanthemum is obtainable in supermarket or traditional Chinese medical shops. To prepare, boil ¼ cup of dried chrysanthemum in a saucepan of water for 20 minutes and stir in honey or sugar before serving
- Winter Melon soup – soup is prepared with pork or chicken with cut pieces of winter melon
- Mung beans (green beans) soup - boil 1 cup of mung beans in saucepan of water until soft and add in sugar. Adjust amount of water if more liquid soup texture is preferred.
- Old cucumber soup in lentils and azuki beans
- Fresh water chestnut tea
Certain groups of vegetables and fruits are of cooling effects and recommended to avoid during postnatal confinement.
- Cooling vegetables: cabbage, tomatoes, cucumber, ladies fingers, sprouts, bamboo shoots, lettuce, lotus root, cauliflower, bitter gourd, water chestnut to be avoided
- Less cooling vegetables recommended for confinement menu are like kai lan, carrot, spinach, long beans.
- Citrus fruits (orange, lemon, lime, tangerine, grapes) pineapple, pears, bananas, star fruit, sugar cane, pear, watermelon are to be avoided.
- ·Crab, clam, oyster to be avoided
- For more Yin-Yang recipes go to www.a1recipesbook.com