With the gluttony of Thanksgiving behind us and a just few weeks until the next-biggest eating holidays of the year, maybe it is time to give your body what it is yearning for: nourishment. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) nutrition principles, during the winter months our energy begins to move inward. It is a time of quietude and the best season to tonify and store essence internally. We asked two of our esteemed faculty members to share their favorite recipes for the season. We hope you enjoy!
Winter Tonic Oxtail Soup
Dr. Violet Song recommends this Winter Tonic Oxtail Soup. It is warm in nature and is a great kidney yang tonic. It’s a superb dish for the winter season! Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) calls for “Winter Daikon, Summer Ginger.” Winter cold can bring the coagulation of qi flow in the human body. The oxtail can be so much of a tonic that it can be too greasy, but the daikon can move qi and offset this consistency. The soup can be served 1-2 times per week all through the winter.
1 lb oxtail
1 tbsp cooking wine
1 lb daikon radish
Carrots, greens (optional)
Cilantro as garnish (optional)
1. Chop the oxtail into 1-inch cubes.
2. Put the oxtail cubes into pan with 1 tbsp of cooking wine and 1 cup of water. Boil for 5 minutes.
3. Strain the liquid and use warm water to wash the oxtail cubes.
4. Put the washed oxtail cubes in a crock pot with plenty of water (more water, more soup) and stew for 3 hours.
5. Cut the daikon radish into 1-inch cubes. Add the daikon radish to the crock pot with the oxtail and continue to stew for 1 more hour. You may add other vegetables, like carrots and greens, depending on how long they will take to cook.
6. Add salt to taste. You may garnish with cilantro.
Ginseng and Walnut Congee
Dr. Grace Tan recommends Ginseng and Walnut Congee for a healthy sweet treat in the wintertime. This rice porridge boosts the qi and warms the kidneys. It also calms the spirit and generates moisture in a typically very dry season. It is not suitable for patients with a cold or fever.
5g ginseng (approximately 1 inch of the root)
½ cup walnuts
2½ cups rice
¼ cup honey
1. Soak ginseng in water at room temperature until soft. Cut into small pieces. (5g is a good amount if you are just starting to take ginseng, you can gradually increase amount up to 10 or 15g)
2. Place first four ingredients in a clay pot and add more water. You can also do this in a crock pot, although if you do it overnight, make sure to add extra water.
3. Bring the pot to the boil on high heat, then reduce the heat and continue to simmer until the soup thickens.
4. Add honey and continue to simmer until the soup turns into a paste-like consistency.
Get more traditional Chinese medicine nutrition tips as well as a recipe for each seaon by downloading our TCM guide to nutrition.