Pear Soup: The Secret Remedy for Your Fall Cold

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Feeling a little under the weather since the start of fall? Well you’re not alone; especially in Beijing, where steamy summers evaporate into dry fall weather, lots of people develop colds and dry coughs.

But never fear! Just in time for cold-weather colds, our September 2011 Youth Issue gives you the lowdown on the tastiest cough remedy you’ll quaff this season: pear soup. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, pears are perfect for dry autumn coughs because they moisten the body and increase the yin, or cool, liquidy side, in your yin-yang balance.

But you don’t need a Chinese mother to have fresh pear soup on hand. Making your own is a snap! Try our recipe, listed below, as soon as you’re starting to feel that dry hack coming on. And for those of you with a sweet tooth, try out our pear dessert for an equally beneficial (and 100 times more gnashable) treat.

Basic Chinese Pear Soup (梨汤)

Ingredients:

2-3 Chinese pears

Rock sugar (to taste)

2 tbsp Goji berries

2 tbsp white Chinese almonds

4 pieces white fungus

5-6 c. water

Directions:

1. Soak white fungus in water for 15-20 minutes. When soft, remove and chop.

2. Cut pears into 1-2 cm3 squares.

3. Bring water to a boil, and add all ingredients.

4. Simmer for 40-60 minutes.

Like pears, white fungus is great to help clear and moisten lungs, while Goji berries are alleged to be packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. However, if you can’t get your hands on these ingredients, you can simply boil chopped pears with sugar and water. (For a low-sugar version, substitute honey for the rock sugar.)

Steamed Candied Pears (冰糖蒸梨)

Ingredients:

1 large Chinese pear

1 tsp fresh ginger

1 tbsp rock sugar or honey to taste

Directions:

  1. After washing your pear, chop off the top and scoop out the core.
  2. Place three slices (or about 1 tsp) of fresh ginger inside the pear, along with sugar or honey.
  3. Replace the top of the pear, and steam for 30 minutes, or until tender.
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