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Skin Beauty in Winter and All Year
Soups and Congees
Winter Volume: 2018 Issue: 25(4) pages: 33 to 35
As winter approaches, and all year, consuming soup
every day can help skin shine. This radiance needs
to increase as wind settles in and temperatures drop
more than any other time of the year. Soup nourishes
the body, particularly the skin, and it eases the mind, as
well. Drinking or eating soup each and every day surely
makes one’s exterior glow. My TCM practitioner friend
assures me it is something I should try. I recommended it
to friends living as I do in this Life Care Community. Last
winter several of us tried his recommended behaviors for
assorted periods of time, several weeks or more. Most
were thrilled that they worked.
Many made their own stock, two recipes of his are
below. They did help us save money and improve our
looks. Furthermore, less expensive than canned or
boxed ones, and it was more tasty, too He provided a
vegetable stock and a chicken stock, that could also be
a ham stock or a shrimp, fish, or a seafood stock. He
said to add vegetables and or fruit to the first one, or,
poultry or meat, or fish or seafood to the second one.
The Chinese have known to do these for generations,
and they benefit when doing so.
Vegetable or Fruit Stock
Chop a pound of carrots coarsely, add another of soy
bean or mung bean sprouts, tails without their long
skinny ends, and minus their seed coats, too. Add a few
dried Chinese black mushrooms, their stems cutaway
and minced after they get soft, a piece of tangerine peel,
its pith scraped into the garbage. The caps minced fine,
a couple of quarts of tepid water, and a teaspoon of salt
simmered together for an hour or two. Then remove
and squeeze liquid out of the mushrooms and into the
stock as soon as they can be handled. Mince the caps
coarsely, the stems finely and put them into the stock.
Then use this vegetable-stock mixture, or store it in
the refrigerator. It can stay about two weeks, before
making your soup using one of the recipes below.
Chicken, Ham or Seafood Stock
Scald a chicken, or a pound or more of pork bones, or
two pounds of fish bones and/or seafood shells with a
piece of tangerine peels, the pith discarded, and a few
tablespoons of minced Jinhua or Smithfield ham, or a
Chinese sausage, all minced, then simmered for one
or two hours, then strained and discard the bones.
It can be used immediately, stored, for a week in the
refrigerate, or frozen for two or three months, then
used in one of the recipe below.
|Pumpkin Soup with White Fungus|
½ pound Chinese pumpkin, peel and seeds discarded,
1 Tablespoon white fungus, soaked for half an hour, then
1 or 2 Tablespoons Chinese or Smithfield ham, minced
6 cups chicken ham, or seafood stock
3 Tablespoons water chestnut flour
2 Tablespoons thin soy sauce
1 pumpkin shell steamed until almost soft (optional)
½ teaspoon coarse salt, (optional
1 Tablespoon minced coriander)
1. Steam the prepared pumpkin, then mash it and mix it
with the minced white fungus pieces.
2. Add the water chestnut flour and stir well, then
add the thin soy sauce, and the salt, if needed, and
simmer for fifteen minutes, then serve in the pumpkin
or in a pre-heated soup tureen with minced coriander
sprinkled on top.
|Walnuts in Pig's Tail Soup|
3 Tablespoon walnuts meats, peeled of their paper
skins, then chopped
3 dried figs, coarsely chopped
1 small pig’s tail, cut into single bone sections, then blanched for three minutes then drained
10 cups ham stock
3 Tablespoons canned chick peas, paper outsides discarded.
1. Soak walnuts, figs, and pork pieces, each in its own
bowl of tepid water, overnight, the pork tail refrigerated,
then strain the water each water into the soup stock.
2. Simmer the chick peas, stock and all drained items
together for two hours, then strain and discard any fat
or items not wanted in the soup, and remove meat from
the sections of the pig tails, and cut the meat smaller
if need be.
3. Add salt and serve in a pre-heated soup tureen.
|Fish Head and Fruit in Vegetable Soup|
1 large or 2 small fish heads
1 Tablespoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 Tablespoon Chinese rice wine
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 slices fresh ginger, slivered
1 chayote, peeled, its seed discarded
1 small papaya, peel and seeds discarded
1 cup firm vegetable, peeled and cubed (optional)
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 quarts strained seafood stock
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 sprig parsley coarsely chopped
1. Rub fish heads with salt, and set them aside for half
an hour, then rinse and dry them, and coat them with
ground pepper, rice wine, and the cornstarch and set
aside for fifteen minutes.
2. Heat vegetable oil, and stir-fry the slivered ginger
and stir fry for one minute, then add the chayote and
papaya pieces and stir fry for ten minutes.
3. Now add the stock and mash the fruit and vegetable
pieces and simmer for another fifteen minutes, add the
salt, and serve in a pre-heated soup tureen sprinkling
the minced parsley on top.
Bird’s nests can also make the skin more beautiful, so
add these recipes, too.
|Mango Pudding with Birds Nest|
3 bird’s nest molded pieces, soaked until soft, then drained
1 mango, peel discarded and diced into small pieces
2 boxed mango jelly pudding powder or two envelopes of or two teaspoons plain gelatin
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 egg yolks, beaten well
2 cups cold milk
1. Drain bird’s nests.
2. Mix jelly pudding, sugar, and two cups boiling watered
stir well, and let this cool, then add the egg yolks and
3. Mix gelatin powder with ½ cup of cool water, then
mix with the jelly mixture before stirring in the bird’s
nest pieces and the mango pieces, and pour this into
a mold and refrigerate for four hours, the when set or
ready, remove from the mold and serve.
|Stuffed Winter Melon with Seafood and Bird's Nest|
40 grams or two molded pieces of bird’s nest, soaked until soft, drained, and then minced
1/4 pound shelled cooked shrimp, veins discarded, shrimp chopped coarsely
1/8 pound crab meat, cartilage removed, then coarsely chopped
1½ cup stock, divided into one and ½ cup amounts
1 egg white
1 pound winter melon, cut into half-inch thick circles
1 slice fresh ginger, minced finely
1 teaspoon cornstarch
dash of sesame oil
1. Dry shrimp, crab meat, and winter melon pieces with
2. Steam the winter melon circles for six minutes.
3. Mix bird’s nest pieces with shrimp. crabmeat, egg
white, ginger pieces, and sesame oil and put some
on each melon slice, and then steam them for three
4. Mix cornstarch and half cup of cold stock, heat this
stirring well, and then pour over the melon circles and
|Fried Shrimps and Bird's Nests|
1/4 cup soaked bird’s nests, minced
½ pound shrimp, shells and veins discarded, minced
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
3 egg whites
½ teaspoon salt
dash sesame oil
dash of white pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon thin soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons stock or water
1. Dry the shrimp, then mince them and mix them with
the bird’s nests.
2. Oil ten Chinese porcelain spoons.
3. Add the egg whites to the shrimp/bird’s nest mixture,
and fill the ceramic spoons, then steam them over
boiling water for five minutes and then allow them to
4. Heat the salt, sesame oil, white pepper, soy sauce,
cornstarch, and the stock or water and stir until thick
5. Use a knife, slide the steamed mixture off the spoons,
pour this over the shrimp/bird’s nest set spoon mixture,