I remain ever grateful to those who prayed, sent messages of concern and prescribed all sorts of remedies while my son Diego was in the hospital stricken with dengue. Your well-wishes pulled me through such a harrowing experience. Thank you.
This is a compilation of soups recommended by my Shifus (shifu is Cantonese for a skilled master), a loving term for my friends who are experts in Chinese healing recipes.
Pig spine and tail soup was the most popular recommendation. This is a recipe that’s said to lower body heat and help you regain energy. It is good not just for those who have dengue but for everyone recuperating from illness.
Sofia Co and Joseph Tiu swear by this soup. They claim that it is guaranteed to drive the platelets up. I believe them since Co’s son and Tiu’s daughter both suffered from dengue.
Tiu’s tip: buy pig’s tail that includes the spine. This must be slow cooked and only seasoned with salt. The longer it is cooked, the more nourishing it is.
Tiu added, this recipe protects the kidneys and is good for the elderly, too. He said this is often served to their 101-year-old grandmother. They add red dates and ginseng to her portion to help boost her energy.
Diego’s pig spine soup was cooked by Ana Yu as instructed by Connie Lu of the Chinese Culinary Arts Center.
Pig spine and tail medicinal supplement soup
2 kg pig spine with tail
5 L water (enough to cover)
1/2 kg radish
20 pc goji berry
2 tbsp salt
Chop pig spine and tail in small pieces. Wash well.
Bring water to simmer and cook meat for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse.
Boil in high heat for 5 minutes and simmer for 3 hours. Skim off scum.
When meat is tender, add radish and goji berry. Season.
Strain soup or enjoy with meat. Garnish with cilantro.
These two recipes are by Jerry and Eleanor Ty of Kitchen Hobbies Cooking Center.
The couple specializes in Chinese and Asian cuisines. They are famous for their ge-lai (postpartum pregnancy food) and Chinese healing recipe modules.
Jerry pointed out that the recipes are good for hydration and as such are beneficial for dengue recovery. The soups are nutritious and in taste, comforting.
Chicken noodle soup
½ kg chicken thigh
7 c water
1 small piece bay leaf
100 g egg noodles, cut to pieces
2 tbsp butter
¼ c chopped onion
1/3 c chopped celery
½ c diced carrot
Pinch of dried thyme
6 c chicken stock
Salt and white pepper, to taste
Simmer chicken in water and bay leaf until done. Strain the stock. Flake chicken. Set aside.
Boil noodles until al dente. Set aside.
Heat a pot and melt butter. Saute onion, celery, carrot and thyme. Add chicken stock. Add chicken and noodles. Simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Top with some chopped parsley before serving.
¼ kg ground pork
1/3 c shelled shrimps,
¼ c finely chopped onion
1 pc egg, beaten
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp fine salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp achuete (annatto) oil
1 large head garlic, minced
2 tbsp finely chopped shallot
2 tbsp dried shrimp (hibe), soaked and chopped
6 c water
½ tsp fine salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/3 c diced carrot
60 g fine misua noodle
¼ c chopped scallion
In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for the meatballs. Mix well until tacky. Form into 1-inch balls. Set aside.
In a pot, heat achuete oil over low heat. Saute garlic until it starts to brown. Set aside half for topping.
Add shallot and dried shrimp. Continue to cook. Add water. Season with salt, pepper, and fish sauce.
When soup starts to boil, add meatballs one at a time. Add carrots. Lower heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
Add misua and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Add scallion. Serve in individual bowls and top with toasted garlic.