I first learned about 粉葛/葛根(Thomson's kudzu/fen ge - as shown in picture below) from my mother-in-law. She used it to make soup for the family. At the first glance, it looked quite similar to 沙葛 (yam bean). 粉葛 has natural sweetness and brings many health benefits to women especially for the middle-aged group as mentioned in this link. There are many types of 粉葛 soup. The most common type of 粉葛 soup is made by adding pork loin and red dates/candied dates.
Usually my mother-in-law adds in some Chinese herbs to the fen ge soup. The combination of dang shen, red dates and wolfberries has a therapeutic effect of blood nourishment and energy booster especially for ladies after childbirth or surgery. You can even use this combi (without fen ge) as a tonic drink.
I am sharing with you a simple fen ge herbal soup made by my mother-in-law:
600g 粉葛 (Thomson's kudzu) - de-skinned and cut into big chunks
5 sticks 党参 dang shen (10cm long) - washed and cut into halves
15 red dates 红枣 - washed and removed seeds
3-4 tbsp wolfberries 枸子
250g pork loin
Salt to taste
1. Blanch pork loin with boiling water. Drain and set aside.
2. Bring water to boil and then add in all ingredients.
3. When the water is boiling, reduce heat and allow to simmer for another 2 hours.
4. Add in wolfberries 5 mins before turning off the heat.
5. Season with salt (optional).
Servings: 5-6 persons
Below are the pictures of 粉葛 and 党参
Other recommended Chinese soups:
White fungus and yu zhu soup (银耳玉竹清润汤)
Fresh huai shan (鲜淮山）soup
Liu wei soup (六味汤)