Clockwise: Dang Gui (Chinese Angelica), Hua Qi Sheng (American Ginseng), Gou Qi Zi (Wolfberry)
When you think of Chicken Soup, what comes to your mind? For me, I will have the image of a steaming hot bowl of soup with a fat plump chicken in the centre. Whatever ingredients you placed in them, be it in Chinese or Western traditions, the Chicken Soup is one of the best soups for your body.
Let's talk about the Chicken Soup in western recipes. They usually involve Carrots, Onions and Celery. In Croatia, Celeriac is used instead of Celery. And in the winter months, parsley roots are added as well. All these vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals that most of the time we may not include in our diets. But don't we all know that the Chicken Soup is the best cure for Colds?
In my mum's kitchen, we do it the traditional Chinese way. Chicken Soup is the foundation of introducing the good Chinese Medicine to our diets that we will not eat on its own. See the picture featured above? These are 3 of the herbs/medicine that I used in my Chicken Soup.
In this post, I would like to introduce you to Dang Gui which is the one of the most important medicine for women's health. It is also known as the Chinese Angelica(Wikipedia link right here). In the picture, the root has been sliced. We do not usually cook the whole root in our soups but few slices of a single root. Why is it valued in Chinese medicine? It is believed to regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce the symptoms of Pre-menstrual Syndrome. Although it is deemed a medicine for women, when paired with the right herbs/medicines, it can improve the one's overall health regardless of gender.
How does Dang Gui taste like? Well, the raw root has a stronger smell than most Chinese root medicines. And as with most Chinese medicines, it has a rather Bitter taste. We usually associate this taste with that of the Bitterness in Teas. We term is "Kum" (Chinese dialect: Teochew) or "Gan" (Mandarin). It is a very acquired taste for first-timers especially for my non-Asian friends.
If you have ventured beyond this post and has clicked on the Wikipedia link above, you will find that Dang Gui has been used in the flavouring of ice creams or desserts particularly in Asia. So are you adventurous enough to try it?