Autumn is a season that holds great significance in TCM. Recommends conserving and nourishing the body’s energy during autumn in preparation for the colder months ahead. It recommends specific foods and herbs to support the body during this season.
Millet is a grain highly valued in TCM for its ability to harmonize the body’s spleen and stomach or vital energy. Millet can be incorporated into the diet in various ways, for example in porridges, soups or as a substitute for rice in dishes.
Eggs are another important food during autumn. In TCM, they considered eggs to have a nourishing and soothing effect on the body. Eggs are supposed to nourish the lungs, stomach and spleen and nourish the yin.
Cheese is another important food. Historically, existed in China – even in areas considered the cradle of civilization. Indeed, modern Chinese cuisine does not favour heavy cream sauces or artisanal cheeses, but anthropological evidence suggests that they have long used dairy foods. The earliest evidence of cheese was found in the tombs of 3,800-year-old mummies in China’s Taklamakan Desert.
Cheese culture has been widespread in China since at least the Tang Dynasty. The Tang Dynasty lasted from 618 to 907 AD.
Song Xu, whose courtesy name was Jiufu, was born in Huating, Songjiang (now Songjiang, Shanghai). The exact dates of his birth and death are unknown. According to his “preface”, the Song family has been living in Songjiang for a long time. Song Xu’s mother, Mrs. Zhu Tai, “lived for a long time in the capital” and became proficient in the cooking skills of Beijing cuisine.”
Song Xu acquired cooking skills “by word of mouth and heart to heart” from his mother, but he was afraid that they would be forgotten over time, so he wrote this book. A 16th-century book, Mr. Song’s Book of Nourishing Life, (Songshi yangsheng bu, 宋氏養生部) (Ming Dynasty 1368–1644), contains a recipe for dumplings from Jiangsu Province filled with cheese, poppy seeds, spring onions and spices. Naturally, we owe our surprise to the Chinese origin of the recipe, much to the fact that the key ingredient was crumbly fresh cheese made from cow’s milk.
The book has a total of 6 volumes, including 1010 kinds of food, more than 1340 kinds of food preparation methods, and more than 160 kinds of food processing and storage methods. The content is extremely rich.
Pour millet into a pot of hot water (1 part millet to 2.5 parts water). Add some finely chopped ginger and finish cooking. Season with a pinch of salt and finely chopped parsley. Separately, boil the eggs in water until soft-boiled (1 egg per person) and peel them. Make mounds of millet and put an egg in the hole. Decorate with cheese or paneer.
This dish is fortifying. It is recommended for qi and blood emptiness and physical and mental exhaustion.
A few thoughts about dairy can be found here
Millet – Property – Sweet, salty, cool; kidney, spleen and stomach meridians entered.
Actions – Harmonize the spleen and stomach, tonify the kidney, clear heat and remove toxicity.
Indications – heat in spleen and stomach, regurgitation, vomiting, diarrhoea and diabetes.
Egg – Property – Sweet, neutral; lung, stomach and spleen meridians entered.
Actions – Nourish yin and moisten dryness, tonify blood and prevent abortion.
Indications – Hot eyes, sore throat, thirst after delivery, scalds, dysentery, cough caused by dryness, threatened abortion, restlessness.
Contraindication – It is contraindicated in the case of phlegm-retained fluid and indigestion.
Cheese – Property – neutral, sweet, sour; Lung, Spleen. Actions – qi, blood, yin.
Contraindication – dampness and phlegm accumulation.
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