Month: February 2016

Healing herbal soup ‘QinBuLiang’ (清補涼)

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Feeling stressed and tired?

In China there was a popular style of living, called YangShen (養生), meaning to nurture life for health and happiness. Alongside with the concept of  peace and harmony, YangShen also promotes a healthy lifestyle which interpreted by many food-loving Cantonese as eating well, fine tea drinking and to enjoy a variety of healing herbal soups.

This herbal soup is called QinBuLiang (清補涼), meaning refreshing, nurturing and cooling. It is often served when a family member is stressed, anxious or with dry coughs.

The QinBuLiang soup base contains  pearl barley (YiMi 薏米), lotus seeds (LianZi 蓮子),  goji berries (GouQi 枸杞), fox nuts (Qianshi 芡實 ), Chinese yam (HuaiSan 淮山) and Solomon’s seal rhizome (YuZu 玉竹), each has commonly recognized healing benefits. The soup is cooked with pork meat and bones to enhance its flavor. I often add a couple tablespoons of dried longan fruit to give it a hint of sweetness to what otherwise quite a bland soup.

Traditional Chinese healing herbal soup QinBuLiang

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Chilled spicy tripe with soy, sesame oil & vinegar (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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I often heard from my friends that they did not like tripe.  I then asked them if they had tried the Asian style spicy tripe – tastes so good that you would change your perspective.

I cook tripe in two styles – hot with oyster sauce & tomato sauce; or a chilled ‘liang ban’ version – lightly blanched tripe with soy, sesame oil,  vinegar and chilies.

Here is the chilled version for lunch today. It is one of my husband’s favorite dish.

Spicy tripe with soy, sesame oil, balsamic & chili, lightly chilled

Recipe is as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

Green bean noodles (粉皮) with Sichuan chili soybean pork

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A couple of years ago a school mun made a green bean sheet dish for the school food festival. It tasted really nice with a wonderful texture. So I said to myself that I would make it one day. It took me two years to get around it – well, better now than never.

Here is my spicy green bean sheet with pork. The pork is minced and stir fried with Sichuan chili soybean paste  (豆瓣酱) and sweet soybean paste. The style is ‘liang ban’ which means the dish is lightly chilled after the cooking is completed.

Green bean sheet 粉皮 with spicy soybean paste chili pork

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Simple green banana curry (low FODMAP, gluten free, vegan)

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I bought this big bunch of green bananas from the supermarket a week ago – the bananas didn’t fully ripe after all these hot weather!  Well, we shall not waste them…

This banana curry is quite simple once you have invested in a few spices. If you can find a low FODMAP curry power, great.  Otherwise the spice mix I adopted was a few spices laying in cupboard and a few thing from my freezer (tamarind paste, frozen ginger & frozen chili). If you don’t have some of these spices (except for turmeric), feel free to skip a few.

What does it taste like?  – give it a try.

Green banana curry with coconut milk fodmap friendly, gluten free, vegan, turmeric, tamarind, cumin, cardamon, cinnamon, curry leave

Method is as follows:

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Brown rice congee with salted pork & peanuts (low FODMAP, gluten free)

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For a Chinese southerner, what food can be more warm and comforting than a hot bowl of pork congee (粥)?  The humble congee is the sort of food kids get when they are sick.  It is also a popular street food and you will find it at ‘yum cha’. Coogee goes well with fried noodles, Chinese donuts and it is delicious by itself. You can eat it with the thick & bulky Chinese ceramic spoon, or raise the bowl to your lips and slurp it.

If you’d like to have a go at cooking your own congee, a pressure cooker is highly recommended, otherwise it takes hours.

Here is my lunch today, brown rice congee with salted pork and peanuts.


Brown rice congee with salted pork & peanuts

Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »

Celery salad with black fungus and peanuts (Liang Ban 涼拌) (vegan)

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Here is another cool Asian salad for a hot Sydney day – lightly blanched celery, cooked salted peanuts, crunchy black fungus and green bean vermicelli. Great for lunch, dinner, or as a side dish.

Asian celery salad with black fungus, green bean vermicelli and peanuts

Recipe is as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

Chop suey with chicken and Chinese vegetables

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I was really keen to make some fun-guo dumplings this week for Chinese New Year.  When I finally got around to made the filling for the dumplings, I ran out of time to make the dough. We had this chop suey for dinner with some rice, it was really yummy.

Five-spice chop suey with chicken & Chinese vegetables (Chinese mushrooms, preserved radish, onion, leek, bamboo shoot)

Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »