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Recipe of Chinese soups: SiShen, LiuWei, BaZhen

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I first learned how to cook these Chinese soups from a Chinese lady of TeoChew dialect.

Sometimes, I wonder what the SiShen / 四神汤 / Four Divinity Soup, LiuWei / 六味汤 / Six Flavor Soup, BaZhen are.

Contents of SiShen:
Dioscorea opposita (淮山 / 山藥) : an exception to the rule that yams must be cooked before consumption.
Lotus seed (Nelumbo nucifera)(蓮子)
Fu Ling (茯苓) : a wood decay fungus.
Euryale ferox seeds () : a fox nut of water lily family.

SiShen is almost a subset of LiuWei.

Contents of LiuWei:
Dioscorea opposita (淮山/山藥)
Lilium lancifolium bulb (百合)
Polygonatum odoratum
(玉竹)

Lotus seed (Nelumbo nucifera)(蓮子)
Euryale ferox seeds ()
either Dimocarpus longan fruit (龍眼) or Ziziphus zizyphus / red date / jujube.
Longan can give internal heat / 上火 & relax.
Red dates can alleviate stress, for antifungal, antibacterial, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory, sedative, antispastic, antifertility/contraception, hypotensive and antinephritic, cardiotonic, antioxidant, immunostimulant, and wound healing.

Contents of SiJunZi / 四君子湯 / Four Noble Soup:
Panax ginseng (人參)
Atractylodes macrocephala (白朮)
Fu Ling (茯苓)
Glycyrrhiza uralensis (甘草)

Contents of Siwu / 四物湯 / Four Substance soup :
Angelica sinensis (当归)
Paeonia lactiflora
(芍药)
Ligusticum wallichii (川芎)
Rehmannia glutinosa (地黄)

Contents of BaZhen = SiJunZi + Siwu.
Tips:
1. LiuWei can clear heat.
2. BaZhen is heaty, good for confinement.
3. Stir the SiShen, LiuWei soups before drinking as the nutritious substances tend to sediment at the bottom.

Here is the picture of some of the ingredients:

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Written by blueroselady

April 1, 2013 at 4:22 am

How to increase breast milk production? 10 recipe of Asian soup that also benefits lactating mothers

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Category A

1. LiuWei 六味汤 + pork rib (排骨).

2. BaZhen 八珍汤 + pork rib / chicken bones*

3. SiShen 四神汤 + pork rib.

4. double-boiled chicken bones* / pork rib soup with wolfberries, red dates, xigui.

Category B

5. pork rib + overnight soaked peanut (add the soaked water to the soup) + carrots.

6. pork rib + beet root + carrots / corn.

7. pork rib / pre-boiled chicken bone (for 1 hour) + 2 potatoes + 1 carrot + 1 tomato.

8. meat ball + caixin (must finish per meal). To make meat ball, you can mix minced meat, tapioca flour, sesame oil, pepper, soy sauce.

9. pork rib / chicken bones* / pork tenderloin (腰部嫩肉) + red yeast rice (红曲米 / ang-kak)

10. fish bone + fish maw (must soak, squeeze out oil for 3x).

* use the bones of village chicken, not meaty chicken.

If you have no access to chicken bones, you can use pork rib / pork tenderloin.

Do not drink soups in Category A on consecutive days, because they may be too heaty, especially BaZhen soup.

The soups in the Category A are often consumed during confinement.
The soups in the Category B are also good for pregnancy.

The soups are easy to cook.
When mothers take good care of their health, they can give their best to their babies / children.

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Written by blueroselady

March 16, 2013 at 8:47 pm

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The Rule of 5: Chicken Soup for the Soul

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So far I have learned 2 things from Jack Canfield, the co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul.
According to Wikipedia (Sep 2012), they are over 100 million copies in print and in 54 languages worldwide.

1. The law of attraction. He wrote 100,000 on a bill note, and put the note on the ceiling of his bedroom so that he could see the wealth everyday.
2. The Rule of 5: every day, Jack does 5 specific things to move his goal to completion, in this case to get Chicken Soup for the Soul to the top of the New York Times Best-Seller list.

Imagine this:
5 new customers a day,
equals 1,825 customers in a year
.

5 pages of writing a day,
equals 7 250-page books in a year
.

Written by blueroselady

September 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Pregnancy recipe: BCD soup with Beet root, Carrot, and Dates

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Very good for anemic pregnant mothers.

Ingredients:
1 beet root
1 carrot
8 red dates

Beet root contains iron and folic acid.

Red dates are beneficial to the blood.
Consume more red dates (e.g. red dates tea) during pregnancy to prevent jaundice to your newborn.
Should you opt for casearian section, consume more red dates before delivery.
Red dates can also neutralise the side effects of anesthetics.

Written by blueroselady

August 25, 2012 at 5:11 am

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Recipe: oriental mushroom soup

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minced meat (it will be better if pork ribs)
dried scallops
1 tbs oriental sesame oil
1 tbs minced garlic
1 tbs minced peeled ginger (I will not add this in the future as I do not like the spicy feeling)
red dates
wolfberries
peanut
sliced mushrooms: oyster, shitake, snow white, mushroom green head, Termitomyces (jicongjun).
add pepper to suit taste.

Miscellaneous:
1. Fresh mushrooms taste better than dried mushrooms.
2. I do not like the taste of mushroom green head.
3. Inspiration was from mushroom feast (hot pot) in Kunming.
4. I think I put too many mushrooms in my cooking. Now, I am overdosed of them. But, I am still grateful to God for the abundance of food that we have.
5. Pine Mushroom / 松茸 song1rong2 / Matsutake Tricholoma is popular in Japan. It is said that the matsutake were the only “plants” that survived the atomic bombing on Hiroshima in 1945, and since then the Japanese have developed a strong belief in their health benefits. For grilling / pan-fried. I am curious on how it tastes.
6. truffle. I have brought Dad and Mom to Borough Market where we sampled some truffle and brought delicious mushroom pate (good to eat with bread or warm rice). I am so grateful.

To find out more about the nature that provides (delicious) food in China and some cookings, I recommend you to watch:
舌尖上的中国
A bite of China http://jishi.cntv.cn/program/sjsdzg/index.shtml

Written by blueroselady

May 27, 2012 at 9:32 am

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French Onion Soup

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On 18th Jan, I went to buy milk and was given a plastic of old veggies, there were 2 onion, some carrots, a parsnip, and some tomatoes inside. I kept only 1 of the 4 tomatoes, as they are damaged. Then, I got this idea why not make a French-styled onion soup on 19th Jan. We love the Winter Paris French Onion Soup very much.

My recipe is very simple.
~ Cut the onion, fry with olive oil until it softens.
~ Cut carrots.
~ Boil hot water, put 2 cubes of beef-flavor OXO
~ Put onion, carrot into the soup. Add some garlic pepper powder.
~ Heat wheat sliced bread with left-over olive oil on frying pan, put a bit of French Smiling Cow cheese on top of bread and let it melt.

It took me 1.5 hours to prepare and eat. The most time-consuming part is cutting the onion and carrots. Honestly, the taste is not as good as the one I had at Disneyland, but it’s not bad for first timer. Perhaps if I replace the water with red wine, it will taste better, and let it cook slowly to allow the aroma to get in. I also like the bread!

french_onion_soup1

Written by blueroselady

January 19, 2009 at 3:28 pm

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Gratitude exercise: Food that makes you happy

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Since food is one of our essential needs, I ask myself why not enjoy them more and let them make me happy.

On the last Thursday of August 2013, l squeeze a South African orange that tasted so sweet. A previous orange from the same batch tasted sour. In an analogy, l hope that sour relationships in our life turn sweet, when we are patient. Being patient is an art.

On the 2nd Monday of September 2013, I had a lunch with Thai friends. A guy who is returning to his home country praised my hard work, he often saw me also working in the weekends. During the lunch, I also tried stir fried fresh bamboo shoot, they taste crunchy, I like it!

In October 2013, I meet up with a mentor Keith Ferrazi, an Italian American. His surname sounds like Ferrari, the fast driving luxurious car to me. Keith’s main message of never eat alone is like a wake-up call for me. Up until 2011, I signed myself up for a challenging project with a deadline of 2011. I was struggling and stressing, I put extra efforts, energy, sweat, time, and even tears into my project. Since my time was limited, I often chose to eat during off-peak hours (I saved time on queuing and finding a seat), but that also means that I could not find someone to eat with (at weird hours). Gradually, I have learned to be comfortable with eating alone and be happy with myself. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because we have to be independent. However, I sacrificed opportunities to develop my inter-dependent skills by eating alone. Now, it is time to form new relationships, to revitalize old relationships, and to sustain harmonious ongoing relationships.

Free food served in association with conferences / talks. Actually, there is no free lunch, someone else is paying for our food, so I can only be grateful. It often makes me think how to increase the production of healthy food to sufficiently and sustainably feed the fast-growing world population.

Simple, relatively bland homemade / home-cooked food after a day of eating strongly-flavored, mass-produced food, to detox and re-balance our body. I am not totally anti-junk food. It is ok to have the indulgence of e.g. desserts, ice cream, curry, etc, but not for every meal!

Some nights, I cook soup overnight using the slow cooker. Having a (sometimes 2!) bowl(s) of hot soup in the morning really makes me more grateful than ever, especially to Mom & Dad who bought the ingredients for us. Thank you for loving us!

In December 2013, I packed snack to work. My snack includes different kinds of fruit (including Thailand longan, Korean Jeju Mandarin, nectarines from Australia), bread, and KitKat Hazelnut! Sometimes, I got free snacks. Life is awesome.

Written by blueroselady

February 17, 2014 at 9:08 am

Gratitude exercise: write a letter / post about a gadget / an appliance that benefits your life

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I am grateful for my blender.
Blender is a versatile small appliance that everyone who loves home made, healthy, and delicious food must have.

Herein, I write a post to describe how my blender has benefited and brought joy to our lives.

Dear blender

Thank you for being so efficient in providing my family with delicious and healthy food.

We have enjoyed so numerous healthy and delicious items.
Papaya milkshake
papaya banana milkshake
banana chocolate milkshake
strawberry banana milkshake
avocado chocolate milkshake
avocado coffee milkshake
honeydew milkshake
They taste so delicious, preservative-free, 100% natural, and healthy (I normally do not add additional sugar like commercially available juices).

Puree for baby (ideas for recipe here)

Next, I plan to try use blender to make soup (Oh! how I miss those hot / warm soup of 2007-2009).
The following recipes are designed on my mind (no testing done yet) as inspired by other recipes.

PUMPKIN SOUP
1. cook / the followings in a pan / pot / rice cooker / slow cooker:
# pumpkin
# meat / pork rib and/or dried scallop
# 1 clove garlic, minced
# 1 onion, chopped
# pepper to taste
# thyme, chopped / ginger / cinnamon / Rosemary
PS: I may also saute the garlic, onion, thyme / ginger with olive oil / sesame oil.
2. Then blend in small batches (e.g. 1 cup / time) / use hand blender.
3. To make the soup creamier, add milk.
4. Garnish with fresh parsley / coriander.

SWEET POTATO SOUP
Same as pumpkin soup, just replace the pumpkin with sweet potato

CREAMY BAYLEYS MUSHROOM SOUP
Use low heat to saute mushroom in little olive oil.
When the liquid is released from the mushroom, add Bayleys and cream / oat.
Transfer the mushroom into a pot of boiled meat / ribs.
Bring to boil. Add milk.
Add pepper to taste.

More ideas …
barley soup
pear soup
add carrot to sweeten to soup

Tips:
for your safety, use bottle brush to wash to prevent the blades from accidentally cutting any of your finger.

Written by blueroselady

October 10, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Where else besides restaurants and hawker centers can we eat in Singapore? Someone’s home through PlateCulture

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I used to be adventurous in my food consumption: gulping everything edible (though I am not highly carnivorous) until my pregnancy, confinement and breastfeeding restrict my choices of food. Please don’t get me wrong.

These experiences (that I am grateful of) have widen my horizons and allowed me to embrace a new passion in food, its benefits on health, and simple cooking. I even take a course on cooking for children from Coursera.

These days, I love home-cooked meals.
I also try to minimize eating MSG-infested food served in restaurants and (some) hawker centers.
Sometimes, I feel thirsty after dining in some restaurants / food courts / hawker centers. Have I become so sensitive to MSG and excess salt?

Now, I choose to savor (instead of hastily consume like in the past) my food and constantly learn creative ways related to food and health.

Recently, I learned about PlateCulture through Anh-Minh Do of Tech in Asia. PlateCulture, a Malalysian-based start-up (founded by Audra Pakalnyte and Reda Štarė of Lithuania), is like Homedine in US and Cookening in Europe.

So, I started browsing the hosts listed by PlateCulture.

I am particularly interested by Healthy Chinese Food with Herbs hosted by Sara K of Damansara, Kuala Lumpur. Like Sara, I love pandan leaves and ginger.

Here are 4 inspirations from her (mixed with my past experience):
(1) I plan to incorporate traditional Chinese medicine principles into my cooking.
For example,
On a hot day, have a bowl of green bean soup.
On a cold day, have a bowl of red / azuki bean soup.
(2) Freshly squeezed orange juice with no water or sugar added, is indeed a simple pleasure of life.

(3) I often cook steamed fish (salmon with sesame oil or white fish with ginger), perhaps I should also try cooking foil-wrapped steam herbal chicken.

(4) Sara wrote "Dinner at home is often accompanied with relaxing traditional/new-age music with aromatherapy". Sometimes I do listen to classical music while enjoying my simple home cooked dinner, perhaps I should try traditional / new-age music too.

For PlateCulture-listed kitchens in Singapore (as of October 2013), the cost ranges from SGD 30-70 per person, which is quite expensive for our standard.

Normally, we will only spend around $15-$20 per person on our once-a-week restaurant dining. Sometimes, we are pretty happy eating at shop houses without air conditioner, and it costs us only $5++ (less than $10) per person. Many times, my husband and I will share a cup of coffee.
I do not care if people say that I am cheapskate, we do so simply because I could not take too much caffeine (but I love coffee!);
it is more about one of my values of being frugal and sustainable (environmentally friendly and not wasteful).

Of course, I understand that home kitchens (like those promoted by PlateCulture) are not professionally run restaurants. It is the interactions with the hosts and the newly formed relationships that matters, which are absence from dining in restaurants.

I really look forward to more affordable home dining experience in Singapore offered by PlateCulture!

Written by blueroselady

October 9, 2013 at 6:37 am

Let us go for food hunt in the summer 2013

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Food that I crave in the summer 2012
Bun Mam, Vietnamese stinky aubergine soup.
Crab with spicy sauce.
Tiramisu.
Creme brule.
Salmon sashimi.
coffee with milk.
green tea latte.
oxtail soup.
satay beehoon.
coconut.

Written by blueroselady

July 1, 2013 at 10:31 am

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