Saturday, March 03, 2007

Tong Sum Chinese Herbal Soup

This is one delicious chicken herbal soup that's good for us. I have been drinking this soup for ages, my mom used to cook this soup for us when we were little. And now I took over the cooking of chicken herbal soups. This is also the soup that I drank during confinement because dang kwai was not allowed in the first two weeks.


2 chicken drumsticks
4 Rhozoma Dioscoreae (wai san)
2 Astragalus Root (pak kei), cut into half
4 Codonopsis Pilosula (tong sum), cut into half
1 Tbp. full Fructus Lycii (kei chi)
10 red dates
1 black date (optional)
5-6 dried longan
1000ml water (one quart)
Salt to taste


1. Put all the herbs in a colander and lightly rinse it under running tap water. Set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. When boiled, add chicken drumsticks and the rest of the ingredients except salt.

3. Turn it to low and simmer the herbal soup for 4 hours. Season to taste with salt before serving.


East Meets West Kitchen said...

Looks yummy and healthy!:)

Anonymous said...

Will try this soup this week. Did you know with these "Chinese Herbal" soup, one MUST cook it over direct heat for at least 3 hours?

We bought a steamer from KL when we went back last Nov. and I have been making soup using the steamer.

Since we got back from KL I have been loosing my hair ... thought it was from stress bcos my son had a seizure while in KL due to heat.

Just found out from a friend, it seems "Steaming Chinese Herbal Soup" isn't such a good idea ... causes hair lost!!!



Ching, your soup looks really inviting.

Tricia, I am relatively surprise by this finding.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Tricia, really? I never steam my herbal soup but I still lost a lot of hair leh... LOL!

Anonymous said...

Little corner of mine & Cupcake ... you and me both. I would think "Steaming Soup" is something like Double Boiling ... "Dun Tong" ... guess not.

Anonymous said...

This soup looks delicious!
Since this soup is served during confinement, I would suppose it's safe to consume when breastfeeding?

Just worried if the tong sum would have any effect on my supply!

Little Corner of Mine said...

Hi yellowfeline,
This soup is delicious. But I don't know whether the tong sum has any effect on the milk supply. I drank this soup during confinement and after and didn't seem to affect my supply. I still cook this soup every month along with the Dong Kwai and still breastfeeding my now 14 months old!

olive said...

hi i understand tong sum is good for chi(breadth)in order to save time,can i cut the roots into quarter n cook with my brown rice in a saucepan....olivia

Little Corner of Mine said...

Hi Olivia, I am not too sure since I am not an herbal expert. Just that your brown rice might be a bit bitter from the herb. But I think it should be fine, but probably not to eat this everyday.

Anonymous said...

Am about to have a baby and was looking for confinement recipes. But, I am in Taiwan. I don't know how to ask for the herbs. Can you write the Chinese names (using Chinese letters)?

Thanks so much for your recipes! I don't know any Chinese cooking but hope to learn. :)

Little Corner of Mine said...

Hi Anon,
I provided the English name of the herds, why don't you to go Translate or wikipedia and type in those names and get the result. I don't know how to type the Chinese name. In another herbal soup recipe, I provided the picture of the herbs, you can print it out and bring to the store. These are all very common easy to recognize herbs, you should be able to get it there easily. These herbals soup you only drink after two weeks, or when you stop bleeding. Before that only drink the red date tong sum longan tea and eat lots of ginger and sesame oil food. Lastly, congratulations!