This nourishing and energising fish soup has been adapted from a wonderful cook book called Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen. It is especially good for anyone who wants to increase vitality including people who want to replenish their reproductive system, including women going through menopause, those recovering from an illness, as well as the elderly. This dish strengthens the kidney energy, which rules the reproductive system, supplements the lungs to help with dry skin or dry cough and the goji berries nourish the blood.
2 cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
30g goji berries
2 tbsp rice wine or white wine
5 cups water
500g white boneless deep sea fish cut into bite sized chunks
250g boc choy or other leafy green, chopped into 1cm pieces
2 spring onions, finely slice white part, more coarsely slice green part
2 tsp tamari or 1/2 tsp sea salt to taste
1 tsp dark sesame oil
- Combine the ginger, garlic, goji berries, wine and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered with the lid slightly ajar for 15 min
- Add the fish, bok choy, and the white part of the spring onions to the soup, stir and simmer for another 10 min
- Add the tamari, dark sesame oil, and green slices of spring onions, serve and enjoy!
Goji berries (also known as lycii fructus, lycium fruit, wolfberries, or Gou Qi Zi in Chinese) have been used in Chinese cooking and herbal medicine for thousands of years. The berries have recently been referred to as a superfood but as far as I am concerned most wholefoods are pretty super. They are rich in nutrients such as beta-carotene, thiamine (B1), riboflavin, Vitamin C as well as other vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids.
In herbal medicine they are classified as a blood tonic. They are sweet in taste and neither warming nor cooling in nature. They enrich the liver and kidney yin, moisten the lung yin, benefit the essence and brighten the eyes. Essence, or jing, is hard to translate directly into English but it is one of the 3 vital substances (jing, qi and shen) of the body and is a good thing to nourish. Perhaps I’ll write more on the topic in the future.
These dried berries are easy to find at supermarkets, health food shops or Asian markets.
They can be cooked – add them to savory dishes like the fish soup or to sweet deserts wherever you might use sultanas. I have used them in porridge, bread pudding, stewed fruits and smoothies (soak the berries first).
Brew them into a tea – simply add a small handful into a cup, pour on hot water and let them plump up. You can then drink the tea and eat the berries. Or add a few in your drink bottle to sweeten your water in summer.
Eat them raw, but watch out for the little seeds that get stuck between your teeth.
If you would like to find out more about using food as medicine have a look at these great workshops
Your feedback and questions are always welcome so please leave a comment below.
For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Tania Grasseschi (Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs and Wholefood counselling). Tania is an AHPRA registered practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine located in Botany and Katoomba, NSW and is a lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Sydney campus.