Fen ge herbal soup (粉葛药材汤)

fen kuok soup

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
1100-1200ml water
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)


Bits said...

I love this soup too.. it is indeed sweet and appetizing.

Selba said...

Herbal soup is good for health. Some are tasty, some are not :)

Heard that usually women after childbirth eat chicken cooked with wine and herbs?

Anonymous said...

This soup is good for me now at this time of the year cos it's freezing cold here.... grrrr.

Pearl said...

hmmm.. i don't think i've ever had this type of soup, although i remember drinking different types of herbal soups when i was younger.

selba - i heard that, too! actually, i think my mom ate that - she had chicken cooked with rice wine (i think) and she said that it was sooo comforting after childbirth.

the only herbal soup i remember now is the one with the chicken in the claypot... where it's supposed to be bitter.

Food For Tots said...

Hi Bits of Life 'n' Taste,
Yes, it is also very nourishing. Good for us. Hehehe! ;)

Hi Selba,
Yes, u r right. Some r bitter. Besides chicken with rice wine, they also eat other herbal dishes during their confinement period.

Hi My Cooking Hut,
Yup, warm soup is indeed a very comforting dish for you in this cold season.

Hi Pearl,
Hahaha....r u afraid of the taste? Maybe you can try this apple and white fungus soup.

shavedicesundays said...

Looks so healthy and warm just from the photograph!

tigerfish said...

Fen ge? New to me!

Dora said...

Have not tried Fen Ge b4. How does it taste? Does it taste like Huai San?

Food For Tots said...

Hi Shavedicesundays,
Give it a try. ;)

Hi Tigerfish,
New to me too! My mother never use fen ge before.

Hi Dora,
It is diff than huai san in term of texture & taste. You can't eat fen ge bcos it is quite hard. But it can add flavour (natural sweetness) to the soup. The taste of soup is nice even with just a simple combi of fen ge with pork loin/ pork ribs & red dates/ candies dates. Give it a try if u can get fen ge in the market. ;)

Pearl said...

i love your new profile picture!

and yes.. i think it may be glutinous rice. i just called it sticky rice cause it sticks LOL

Pearl said...

and thank you for the apple & white fungus soup recommendation! :) i love reading your blog.

Food For Tots said...

Hi Pearl,
Tks for the info and your kind words. I luv your blog too! ;)

ICook4Fun said...

My mom used to made us this soup and it taste really good. We called the root vegetable 'fan kok' soup.

Pam said...

I've never had this soup before but it looks and sounds delicious.

Nate @ House of Annie said...

Very interesting. I don't think I've seen this in use before.

I do like the soup, though. Perfect for the bracingly cold weather we've been having.

Food For Tots said...

Hi ICook4Fun,
Tks for your sharing. Fan kok is a pronunciation in cantonese whereas fen ge is mandarin. ;)

Hi Pam,
Yes, it has natural sweetness. ;)

Hi Nate-n-Annie,
Maybe u can check it out when u r back to KL or Pg. ;)

The Biggest Sister said...

Love it