I have written about the benefits of congee before – easy to digest, healing to the gut, versatile – but I just cannot control my love affair. A recent article on Xin Hua discusses some congee recipes for Autumn that are worth sharing.
There are two of particular relevance for Autumn and the changes this season brings.
- White Fungus Congee. Wow. That name is really… um, unappetizing… but do not be swayed. White fungus, or Bai Mu Er, is basically a mushroom despite not looking much like one. Its latin name is Tremella and it is called Silver Ear Mushroom in English. The consistency is something closer to a seaweed. It is a bit chewy and gelatinous… again, sounds delicious, right? Just give it a try. Bai Mu Er is a fantastic Autumn food because it nourishes and strengthens the Lungs. It will help with dry skin and dry cough. Additionally, it goes to the Kidneys to help support the Lungs from the root, and prepare us for Winter, the Kidney season. Add 15g of Bai Mu Er to 250g rice, and make congee as you usually would.
- Lily Bulb Congee. Much better name! Lily bulb goes to the Heart and Lung, which makes it great for dryness, but also for restlessness and insomnia. It cools the upper burner (the torso from the diaphragm to the shoulders) which is where a lot of people feel irritability heat. Bai He is said to calm the mind, too, so it is great when you are feeling overworked or otherwise stressed. Add 30g of Bai He to 250g of rice.
You might notice a commonality in the names of these two food-herbs, the word Bai. Bai means white, and white is associated with the Lungs and the Autumn.
Give these two recipes a try. You can purchase these foods at most large Asian markets. I bet you will be pleased with the results.