I’m getting stressed out with the amount of work I have to deliver this week.   It’s not even funny.  Plus I got a final exam next week.  Back in my college days, we made Ginseng Chicken Soup all the time.  We were all foreign students. Our parents all gave us Ginseng and made sure that we had ingredients to make some Ginseng Chicken Soup once in a while.  Ginseng has the power of rejuveation and reduce fatigue.  So whenever our exams were approaching, we would make Ginseng Chicken soup to get the last minute energy boost.  One of my friend tried Ginseng Chinese Soup for the very first time, and he said he was wide awake the whole night, and he wasn’t tired. So he couldn’t fall asleep.  I’m totally the opposite now. I can fall asleep anytime. My brain is so tried.  I certainly can use a little bit of energy boost for this coming week.  I don’t even know if I would survive these few days.  I looked at the soup mix that mom gave me.  Besides Ginseng, she also put fish maws in it.  Fish maws are some funky stuff that Chinese cherish.  It’s basically gas bladder of large fish.  It sounds pretty crazy just thinking about it.  But it is one of those expensive delicacies.  It is high in collagen.  If you can afford making fish maw for daily consumption for two weeks or so, you can definitely tell the difference in your skin.   So combining the Ginseng and fish maw, this soup can boost your energy while keeping you pretty.  LOL.

Ginseng
Ginseng
Fish Maws
Fish Maws
Put all ingredients in a crock pot
Put all ingredients in a crock pot
Ginseng Chicken with Fish Maw Soup
Ginseng Chicken with Fish Maw Soup

 

Ingredients:

  • Ginseng, a handful
  • Fish maws, 3 or 4 pieces
  • Chicken, 1.5 pounds, I used about 6 chicken drumsticks.
  • Dioscorea Opposita, a big handful (Optional, these are japanese dried yam, white in color, you can get them from Chinese grocery stores at the soup mix aisle)
  • A lot of water
  • Salt

Steps:

  1. Pre-soak the dried fish maw over night first.
  2. Add ginseng, fish maws, chicken in a crock pot.  Add hot water in it.  Leave about 1 inch room on top. Don’t over fill the water.
  3. Turn the heat to be high. 
  4. Set your timer.  After 6 or 7 hours, the soup is done.  Note I put all the ingredients in the crock pot, and then went to bed, and the soup is done the next day when I woke up.
  5. Add a pinch of salt for taste.

It was good that I bought a bunch of stuff from a Chinese grocery store last week.  I got trapped at home for days because of the snow.  I had some leftover Chinese Lo Shui Chicken I made the other day.  So I just made a Stir-Fried Snow Pea Tips, a veggie dish, and that was easy enough to fix my dinner tonight.  I don’t really like snow peas, but I like snow pea tips.  Snow pea tips have the same kind of subtle sweatness like snow peas, but they are leafy.  I didn’t remember mom had ever made snow pea tips when I was a kid.  It could be the reason that snow pea tip is expensive.  I got a bag of snow pea tips slightly more than a pound and it costs like $6 from a Chinese grocery store.  It’s not cheap compare to other Chinese veggie.  So you can imagine it’s gonna cost you double the price in a restaurant for a dish of snow pea tips.  Besides the price, I don’t like the fact that most Chinese restaurant add too much oil in cooking the dish.  Ya, I’m bit cautious on the amount of oil used these days.  I really have to lose weight. 

Put garlic and ginger in the pan first
Put garlic and ginger in the pan first Snow pea tips
Snow pea tips
Snow pea tips
Stir-Fried Snow Pea Tips with Garlic Sauce
Stir-Fried Snow Pea Tips with Garlic Sauce

 

 Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • Snow pea tips, 1/2 pound
  • Garlic, 1 clove, chopped
  • Ginger, 2 slices
  • Chinese cooking wine, 1 tsp
  • Salt, a pinch
  • Oyster sauce, 1/2 tsp

 

Steps:

  1. Make sure you wash the snow pea tips.  You can use a big pot of water.  Soak the snow pea tips in it for a minute. Then disgard the water.  Repeat for one more time.  Drain well.
  2. Finely chopped the garlic.
  3. Spray oil to the frying pan. Use high heat.  Add ginger slices, garlic, and a pinch of salt.  Count 30 seconds.
  4. Add snow pea tips.  Keep stiring.
  5. Add Chinese cooking wine, and oyster sauce.  Mix it well for couple of minutes. 
February 14, 2010

There are so many Ginseng products out there.  I tried a few of those ready-made Ginseng drinks, they don’t do a thing IMHO.  If you really want to get the Ginseng benefits, use the real thing. Period!  Get the real Ginseng root.  You can get Ginseng root from some Chinese herb stores, some Chinese grocery stores, or online of course.  We can buy anything online these days!

There are different kinds of Ginseng roots.  My mom can tell you all the details about the benefit of all these.  She’s not a medical doctor, but she knows so much about all sorts of Chinese herbs and their healing power.  When I was really young, like in elementary school, she used to give me a couple of Ginseng root slices and asked me to chew them for a while like having a chewing gum in my mouth, and then swallow them.  She believes Ginseng can help to boost my energy and made sure I got enough energy to stay focus in school.  I guess that’s kind of working.  I did well in school, and I did finish college. LOL.  If you suffer from Chi deficiency, Ginseng is really good for you.  I had a lot of Ginseng in my life.  Mom made a lot of soup with Ginseng too, I’ll post some soup recipes later.

Anyway, here is a very easy Ginseng tea that you can make for a quick boost of energy. Give it a try.

 

Ginseng Root
Ginseng Root

 

Ginseng Tea
Ginseng Tea

Ingredients:

  • Ginseng root, 5 or 6 slices.
  • Honey, 1 Tbsp
  • Water

Step:

  1. Get a big cup, like 16 or 20 oz.  Put the Ginseng root slices in the cup.
  2. Boil enough water.  (No heating up water in the microwave please!  That’s not gonna work.)
  3. When water boils, pour it in the cup.
  4. Add a tablespoon of honey to the cup.  If you prefer sweeter in taste, you can add more honey.
  5. Give it a stir.
  6. Put a lid on the cup, cover it and let the Ginseng soak for 30 mins.  If you don’t have a lid, use a plate, or plastic wrap whatever.
  7. After 30 minutes, it’s ready to be served.  I usually make a second serving by adding boiled water and honey to the Ginseng again.  Of course, the second serving is not as strong taste as the first.  You can either eat the Ginseng like what I usually do (they are edible), or disgard it.  

Enjoy. Let me know if you like it.

OOPS, forgot to mention one thing that is very important.  DON’T DRINK ANY TEA IF YOU HAVE GINSENG IN THE SAME DAY.  Well, it’s not like the combo of tea and Ginseng will kill you, but tea will cancel out the benefits of Ginseng, according to Dr. Mom (my mom)

It’s all my coworker’s fault, he got me thinking about comfort food for two days now.  I really miss my mom’s cooking.  Besides Steamed Chinese Chicken, she also makes super expensive stuff like Shark Fin Soup, Fish Maw and Bird Nest Soup.  My mom has her funny philosophy. She could be feeding us cheap meals most of the time while we were kids, and yet once in a while (a very long while) we would have an expensive meal.  If you have ever been invited to a Chinese banquet, you probably have tried Shark Fin soup there.   If you order the soup at some fancy Chinese restaurant, it is very expensive.  I may have tried it less than a handful of times in some Chinese banquets when I was a kid.  I have never ordered it in a restaurant myself.  I know it would never be anything as good as or even close to mom’s.  Besides, I’m cheap, I’m not going to pay US$300 or so for a bowl of soup.  It’s expensive because it is rare, and the process of making the soup is complicated.  In mom’s version, she put Shark Fin, shredded Chicken and sometimes fish maw in it. It is high protein, and high collagen.  Last time I visited her, she fed me Shark Fin soup and Bird Nest Soup for breakfast. I couldn’t even tell you how expensive this two would be if you order them at a restaurant.  That was the most expensive breakfast I ever had in my whole life.  It was like a one time experience. 

 

Shark Fin Soup
Shark Fin Soup
Bird Nest Soup
Bird Nest Soup