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Chinese herbal concoction: Ching Bo Leung


To Chinese, especially Cantonese, soup plays a critical part in the daily meal as a source of nourishment and for the maintenance of good health. According to the season, different soups are made like cooling soup in summer and warming soup in winter. Certain individual with specific conditions from arthritis and flu to stress at work can be relieved by corresponding soups.

CHING BO LEUNG (or Qing Bu Liang in Mandarin) 清補涼

Ching Bo Leung is a soup that is a mild and general tonic, meant to be good for anyone in any condition. Many  ingredients in the soup which targets the cardiovascular system, help the body function better without stimulating any particular organ too much.

I introduce this soup for Americans also because there are premixed packets of this soup sold in Asian grocery stores and supermarkets, as well as in any Chinese medicinal herb shops. The other reason is that it's pretty easy to prepare. It can be prepared both as a savory soup using pork meat or bones in flavor, or as a sweet dessert soup like the one you can order in Vietnamese restaurant. Both will add sugar at the end. It's a drink that we can always take and help balance our Qi and Blood.

Ingredients: (Usually it's easier to buy the premixed packets, but if you do want to prepare, Chinese translations are here for you to print out as well.)

15g pearl barley (薏米半兩)

30g polygonatum (玉竹一兩)

30g lotus seeds (蓮子一兩)

30g foxnuts (茨實一兩)

15g Chinese yam (淮山五錢)

30g lily bulbs (百合一兩)

10g dried longan (optional) (元肉或龍眼肉三錢)

(Some Pork, maybe around 1lb, not too fatty; No pork needed if it's for dessert)


- Put all the ingredients in a large pot.

- Add about 8 cups of water, or enough to cover the ingredients by 3 times of the volume, and pork meat or bones if desired.

- Make it boil, reduce heat, and simmer partially covered until barley is cooked and liquid is reduced, that takes about 1-2 hours.

- Season with salt for a savory soup, or sweeten with sugar as a dessert. Dessert can be served cold as well.

(sources: Streetwise Guide: Chinese Herbal Medicine by Wong Kang Ying and Martha Dahle,