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Mung beans in Chinese cuisine


Chinese mung beans
(The image is from http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/绿豆)

Today, in Oxford, it really feels summer is here, warm and sunny. I like heat — I know… :) I am not even talking about just hot. :)
We can never be really satisfied — cold days we want hot, hot days we wish it was cooler, so difficult to get just right.. If only we can control the sky. :)) However, no matter what, balance is always very important, no? :))

Mung beans in Chinese cuisine and Chinese medicine

In summer, one of the most popular foods in northeast China for balancing the body heat is mung beans . It is well known that mung beans can help reducing the body’s inner heat, and dissolve the accumulated toxins in the body.

Mung beans in Chinese are called lǜ dou , literately green beans. It is said that there are many valuable nutrients in mung beans, for example, fiber, vitamins, iron, copper…. Also, the Bencao gangmu ( the Chinese medicine “bible” written in the 16th century) already recorded how people used mung beans for medical purposes .

Anyway, in general, they are all very good and healthy. In really hot days, having mung bean congee is highly recommended. In Chinese medical terms, when the weather too hot, it is easy to get “heat stroke”, which can make you restless, and feel dry and thirst in the mouth and throat, even dizzy. Boiling mung beans with water for some time, and having the liquid with beans is known to help you cool down, and balance out.

Although mung beans are considered very useful in daily life, they count as ‘cold’ in Chinese medicine, so you should be careful if you are having stomachache or if you are prone to suffer from diarrhea. Mung beans are also not adviced for women when having period.

— Sorry, should not get too much into Chinese medicine . There will be other times for talking about health issues.

Chinese mung bean dishes

In northeast China, there are many kinds of mung bean made food.

Mung bean cake , – commonly called lǜ dou gao , (gao here means cake): northeast mung bean cake is normally quite dry, without any oil or eggs in it, it can be eaten as it is, or .. which I like better, by dissolving some pieces into the hot water, turn it into a kind of liquid form; OR mung bean water / soup – simply boiled in the water with some sugar, and drink the liquid; OR mung bean rice – cooked mung beans with white rice; OR even mung bean ice cream — which became my husband’s favorite after first bite.

Oh, no, I cannot talk more about these, my mouth is watering !!

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