Pork soup with chinese herbs—lok mei or six combination soup
Hello soup again? This is another yummy soup to make when you feel tired or don’t have much appetite. I often make this with pork ribs but the price of ribs have taken off way beyond joke. It used to be a cheaper cut of meat but everyone has discovered or learnt how to cook with ribs. I discovered a less expensive cut of meat–the pork fore quarters.
In fact the soup tasted better.
This soup is called Lok Mei Soup because it consists of 6 types of herbs.
You can buy the prepacked herbs from the chinese grocers or chinese herbalist.
The 6 types of herbs are:
Dried longan flesh
Dried lotus seeds
Yok Chok/Yuju or Solomon’s Seal
Wai San/Chinese yam or Dioscorea
Lily bulb or ‘pak hup’
I buy them loose in big packs and make up as I go.
On this occasion I run out of yoke chok and dried lotus seeds and dried longan.
I used from top Left: Pak hup– chinese almonds— barley
bottom left: goji seeds —wai san —fox nuts
As usual, blanch the meat or bones first before you put them into a pot with the herbs. Bring to a rolling boil for 30 minutes before switching to a low simmer for at least 2 hours. Add salt when the soup is nearly ready.
It is believed that fox nuts are supposed to be good for strengthening kidneys, relieving leucorrhea (which happens to women) and strengthening the spleen, regulating blood pressure. It is even believed to help if you have numbness and aching near waist and knees.
Lily bulbs help by moisturising the lungs and hence, is good for coughs. Lotus seeds strengthen the spleen and kidney while Wai San is good for spleen and stomach (those with poor appetites) and helps with weak lungs. And it is supposed to be good for enhancing the kidneys.
Longan flesh is known as a good blood tonic due to its high iron content. Pregnant moms usually snack on this. It is good to treat dizziness and insomnia but do not overeat dried longans because it is a ‘warming’ herb. Usually, you can just boil a handful of longan flesh and dried red dates to make a nice dessert for strengthening one’s blood (usually women because we menstruate).
Yok Chok (Cantonese) helps to nourish the stomach (weak digestion) and lungs especially if you have a dry cough. It is also believed that it is also good for men as it helps with impotence–I am not sure of that fact.