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Family Herbal Cookbook, The by Cecilia Tan

by: Cecilia Tan

Singapore : Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Limited 2004, Paperback
ISBN: 981-232-708-8

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Winter Volume: 2015 Issue: 22(4) page(s): 23

This book has one hundred ninety-nine recipes; almost all have ‘Tips’ to make them easier and/or more health-giving. The recipes are in standard style in chapters titled: Introduction; Babies and Toddles; The Growing Years; Adolescence to Adulthood; Motherhood; Full Moon fare; The Fifties and Beyond; Aids for Common Ills.

After a single-page of Acknowledgements (their spelling), and another titled: Foreword, four others are called: Introduction. They are about the author being raised in Penang, Malaysia and now residing in Sydney, Australia.

Her mouth-watering herbal recipes taste and are good. They include modern medical and nutritional information, use less salt and low-fat alternatives, include favorite ingredients, and are documented based upon more than five thousand years of Chinese traditional herbal practice.

Many Chinese subscribe to the theory of ‘organotherapy’ which is consuming foods such as tripe to nourish the stomach, which is where tripe comes from. If using this organ meat, do clean it thoroughly under running water. This author recommends rubbing it with tamarind pulp to remove any slime, rinsing it and rubbing it with sago, tapioca flour, or cornstarch, then rinsing it again with vinegar and salt. We do not do all of that, but after washing it well, we do put it into a hot dry wok and turn it side to side to singe it, and do so several times. Before we cook ours, we put it under running water once more to improve the flavor; and it does just that one hundred percent.
Savory tripe
1 pig tripe, pre-prepared, then cut into serving-size pieces
20 black mushrooms, soaked, stems discarded
10 peppercorns, crushed
20 shelled gingko nuts, shelled
12 water chestnuts, peeled and rinsed
salt to taste
4 dried bean curd sticks broken into one- to two-inch pieces
1 can abalone, rinsed and thinly sliced
1. Put tripe, mushrooms, peppercorns, gingko nuts, water chestnuts, and some salt in a pot and cover it with cold water, and simmer it for and hour and a quarter which is seventy-five minutes.
2. Then add the bean curd sticks and cook for another thirty minutes before adding the abalone which needs to be simmered for five minutes. Serve hot.

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