Postpartum Recipes

Goji Berries and Longan Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

1 whole free range chicken

10 dried longans

¼ cup of dried goji berries

6 cups of water

 

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

3 slices of old ginger

3 garlic cloves

8 dried shitake mushroom  

Salt to taste

 

Directions:

 

Rinse the dried berries, longans, and shitake mushroom in water and drain thoroughly. Bring the water to boil in a soup pot. Place the chicken into the pot, along with the dried longans, dried goji berries, old ginger, garlic cloves, and dried shitake mushroom. Let it boil for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and let the soup simmer for 2 hours. Once the soup is ready to serve, season with salt to taste. Serve while warm.

 

Double Boiled Herbal Chicken Soup

 

Ingredients:

 

1 whole free-range chicken

20 grams of dried goji berries

10 dried red dates

10 pieces of dried polygonatum 

6 cups of water

Salt to taste

 

Directions:

Rinse the goji berries, red dates and polygonatum in water and drain thoroughly. In a soup pot, add 6 cups of water and let it boil. Once the water reaches a boil, add the chicken and herbs into the stock pot. After it boils for approximately 3 to 5 minutes, turn the heat to low and let it simmer for approximately 3 hours. Once the soup is ready to serve, season with salt to taste. Serve while warm.

 

Sesame Oil Roasted Kabocha Squash

 

Ingredients:

 

1 medium kabocha squash

2 tablespoons of sesame oil  

Salt

Black pepper

 

Directions:

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Rinse the kabocha squash in water. Using a sharp wedge knife, cut the kabocha squash into medium wedge slices. Scoop out all of the seeds. Toss the kabocha squash with the sesame oil and season with salt and black pepper. Place the squash on a foil-lined baking tray and place it in the oven. Bake the squash for approximately 30 minutes total, flipping the squash over at 15 minutes. The wedges are ready to consume when they are fully cooked and soft on the inside and slightly crunchy on the outside. Consume while warm. 

 

Red Bean Mochi

 

Red Bean Paste Ingredients:

 

1 cup of dried adzuki beans

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

¼ cup of sugar

½ cup of water

Pinch of salt

 

Directions:

 

Wash and drain the dried adzuki beans. In a pot, add 3 cups of water and let it boil. Once it boils, add the adzuki beans and boil for 8 minutes. Lower the heat and simmer the beans for 1.5 hours. The beans are fully cooked and ready when they are soft and easy to mash. Remove the adzuki beans from the water and drain thoroughly and set aside. In a pan, heat water and sugar on high until it boils and sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the pan from heat. Pour the sugar water into a glass bowl and set aside. Pour the adzuki beans into the pan and mash the beans with a large wooden spoon or you may utilize a blender until it is smooth. Add the sugar water mixture into the pan along with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Put the heat on medium and mix the beans with the sugar water mixture until it is thick and glossy. Divide the paste into 12 pieces by rolling each piece into small balls. Each ball should contain about 1 to 2 teaspoons of red bean paste.

 

Mochi Ingredients:

 

1 ½ cup of mochiko sweet rice flour

2 tablespoons of sugar

2/3 cup of water

½ cup of corn starch

 

Combine the glutinous rice flour, sugar, and water in a glass bowl. Using a rubber spatula, stir the mixture well until no lumps remain. Cover the glass bowl with plastic wrap and microwave the bowl on high for 3 minutes. Once completed, remove the bowl from the microwave and stir thoroughly. The dough will be very thick so it is essential to stir the mixture with a sturdy spatula. Recover the mixture and heat it in the microwave for 60 seconds.  Remove the bowl from the microwave. Sprinkle half the cornstarch on a cutting board. Place the dough onto the cornstarch and pat the surface with your cornstarch-covered hands. Stretch the dough slightly and utilize your hands to flatten it. Cut the dough into 10 to 12 pieces. Place 1-2 teaspoons of the red bean paste balls on the mochi piece and pinch the edges together to seal tightly.

 

Red bean mochi is religiously consumed among Japanese new mothers who consume this in order to increase their breast milk and enhance their overall health during the postpartum period. Adzuki beans benefit the kidneys in Traditional Chinese Medicine and are known to boost energy and promote regularity due to its rich fiber content.

 

Gingered Sweet Potato Soup

 

Ingredients:

 

2 large sweet potatoes

2 slices of old ginger  

5 cups of water

8 dried red dates

2 teaspoons of sugar

 

Directions:

 

Peel, wash, and cut sweet potatoes into small cubes. In a soup pot, bring water to a boil and add ginger, sweet potatoes, and red dates. Boil the soup for approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 35 minutes until the sweet potatoes are soft in texture. Just before serving, add sugar to taste.

 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, sweet potato is considered beneficial for your digestive system by nourishing your spleen. It is also very moistening and helps with regularity. Adding ginger to the sweet potato will fortify the nutritional value of the sweet potato and create a more warming effect.

 

Seaweed Soup

 

 

Ingredients:

 

2 cups of dried seaweed

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of Korean soy sauce (Gookganjang)  

½ tablespoon of minced garlic

¼ cup of beef

6 cups of water

 

Directions:

 

Place the dried seaweed in a large bowl and cover with water for approximately 30 minutes. Drain seaweed thoroughly. In a soup pot add 2 tablespoons of Korean soy sauce, ½ tablespoon of minced garlic, and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Add 1/4 cup of beef and stir-fry the beef until it is fully cooked. Add the dried seaweed and stir it for approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Add the 6 cups of water, bring the water to a boil for approximately 3 minutes. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for approximately 1 ½ hours. Vegetarians can utilize 3 cups of vegetarian stock and 3 cups of water and omit the ¼ cup of beef.

Seaweed soup or miyeok guk in Korean is a traditional postpartum soup consumed by mothers in Korea.  The seaweed is rich in calcium and iodine, nutrients that are vital for nursing mothers. Seaweed soup is consumed annually on birthdays because it is a reminder of the first food that the mother has eaten and passed on to her newborn through her breast milk. It is said to pass along good fortune and happiness for the rest of the year.

 

Grilled Chicken Fried Rice

 

Ingredients:

 

1 cup of cooked white or brown rice

2 cloves of garlic

1 beaten egg

½ cup of chicken tenders

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

1 teaspoon of black pepper

 

Directions:

 

Cook the rice and let it cool in a refrigerator for 3 hours. Chop 2 cloves of garlic into fine pieces. Heat 2 tablespoon of sesame oil into a non-stick wok and grill ½ cup of chicken tenders until it is fully cooked. Add the beaten egg slowly and stir-fry until fully cooked. Add the garlic pieces, cooked rice, and stir frequently until well combined for 3 minutes. Add the bowl of rice to the beaten egg and chicken and stir until well combined. Just before serving, add 1 teaspoon of black pepper to taste.

 

Black Bean Soup

 

Ingredients:

 

200 grams of pork ribs

1 cup of black beans

6 dried red dates  

6 cups of water

 

Directions:

 

Soak 1 cup of dried black beans for 2 hours, rinse thoroughly, and drain. Blanch the pork ribs in boiling water for approximately 10 minutes to remove the scum. After you see the scum floating in the water, discard the water. Add 6 cups of water into a boiling pot. Add the pork ribs, black beans, and dried red dates and boil for 5 minutes. Simmer for approximately 2 hours. Serve while warm.

 

Sesame Oil Chicken Stew

 

Ingredients:

 

4 boneless skinless chicken breast (24 ounces)

¾ cup of dark sesame oil

¾ cup of rice wine

2 tablespoons of light sesame oil

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

5 slices of fresh ginger root

1 ½ cups of water

1 package of uncooked soba noodles

 

Directions:

 

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 4 minutes until lightly browned on the outside. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Pour in the rice wine, dark sesame oil, light sesame oil, and ginger slices. Add the lightly browned chicken breasts to the boiling water. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 3 minutes. Add additional water, return to a boil, and cook until the chicken is fully cooked for 8 minutes. In the meantime, fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the soba noodles. Cook uncovered for 6 minutes until the noodles have cooked through, but are still firm. Drain well in a colander. Stir the soba noodles into the chicken stew to serve.

 

Chicken and Black Bean Soup

 

Ingredients:

 

1 bone-in free range chicken

1 cup of dried black beans

3 slices of old ginger

2 tablespoons of sesame seed oil

12 cups of water

 

Directions:

 

Soak dried black beans for 1 hour and rinse thoroughly. Clean chicken and remove gut and bones. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet on high and stir-fry the ginger slices and black beans for 3 minutes until aromatic. Add chicken to the stir-fry and mix the ingredients thoroughly. In the meantime, boil 12 cups of hot water in a large soup pot. Place all of the stir-fried ingredients into a large soup pot and reduce to a simmer. Let it simmer for 3 hours until the soup is fragrant.

 

Papaya and Fish Soup

 

Ingredients:

 

4 medium-sized golden threadfin bream fish

1 large papaya (green papaya is beneficial for increasing milk production)

3 slices of fresh ginger

6 cups of water

1 teaspoon of salt

2 dried red dates

 

Directions:

 

Boil water in a large soup pot and add the fresh ginger slices and dried red dates. Cut the papaya into small slices and scoop the seeds out. Add the fish followed by the papaya to the boiling water. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let it simmer for approximately 30 minutes.

 

Papaya and fish soup has been touted to help new mothers increase their breast milk supply and should be a big feature in your postpartum meal plan.  

 

Gingered Chicken Tenders

 

Ingredients:

 

¾ pound of chicken tenders

2 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of soy sauce 

1 teaspoon of sugar to taste

2 tablespoons of dried ginger

½ cup of rice wine

 

Directions:

Chop the garlic into fine pieces. Heat sesame oil into a non-stick wok and add the ginger, garlic, and chicken tenders until fragrant.  Add in soy sauce, sugar, and ½ cup of rice wine until chicken is fully cooked and thoroughly mixed through. 

 

Egg and Ginger Fried Rice

 

Ingredients:

 

1 cup of cooked white or brown rice

1 teaspoon of dried ginger

2 eggs

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

Pinch of salt

 

Directions:

 

Cook the rice and let it cool in a refrigerator for 3 hours. Beat the 2 eggs lightly. Heat sesame oil into a non-stick wok and add the beaten egg slowly and stir-fry until fully cooked. Add the bowl of rice to the beaten egg and mix thoroughly. Add the ginger and pinch of salt and stir all of the ingredients together. Just before serving, add the soy sauce in and mix until all the ingredients are well combined.

 

Ginger and Date Tea

 

Ingredients:

 

20 dried red dates

¼ cup of fresh ginger

6 cups of water

 

Directions:

 

Wash the dried red dates in water and drain thoroughly. Slice the fresh ginger into thin slices until it reaches ¼ cup. Add 6 cups of water into a large soup pot. Once water reaches a boil, add the ginger and dried red dates. Cook for approximately 45 minutes on medium heat.  Once ready to serve remove the ginger and dates. Serve while warm.

 

Stir-fried Pork with Black Fungus

 

Ingredients:

 

300 grams of sliced pork

30 grams of dried black fungus

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

3 cloves of garlic

2 slices of fresh ginger

2 stalks of green onions sliced into small pieces

1 teaspoon of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of oyster sauce

1 teaspoon of corn starch

Pinch of salt to taste

Pinch of black pepper to taste

 

Directions:

 

Soak the dried black fungus in warm water until completely softened for approximately 50 minutes. After it is softened, drain the black fungus thoroughly and cut into small pieces. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and corn starch into a glass bowl, and add the pork. Let it marinate for approximately 45 minutes. Heat up a tablespoon of sesame oil into a non-stick wok pan. Add ginger and garlic and sauté until it is fragrant. Add black fungus and stir-fry for an additional 4 minutes. Add the marinated pork and combine with the black fungus until it is thoroughly cooked. Just before serving, season with a pinch of salt and a pinch of black pepper to taste.

 

Longan and Red Date Tea

 

Ingredients:

 

10 dried longans

30 dried red dates

6 cups of water

 

Directions:

 

Add 6 cups of water into a large soup pot. Once it reaches a boil, add the dried longans and dried red dates. Let it simmer for 50 minutes.  

 

This tea is an absolute staple during the postpartum recovery period. Many mothers in Asia drink this throughout the day instead of plain water to keep warm and replenish their nutrient stores.

 

Carp Fish Soup

 

Ingredients:

 

1 whole carp fish 16 to 30 ounces

5 slices of old ginger

4 small carrots cut into small slices

¼ cup of brown rice vinegar

6 cups of water

¼ cup of miso

 

Directions:

 

Purchase a whole carp fish and request it to be cut into 4 pieces. Rinse thoroughly before cooking. Cut old ginger into 5 thin slices. Place 6 cups of water into a large pot. Once the pot reaches a boil, add the fish, ginger, carrots, brown rice vinegar, and miso into the water. Reduce the heat to a medium and let it simmer for 3 hours until the soup is aromatic.

 

Black Sesame Seed Porridge

 

Ingredients:

 

4 cups of water

½ cup of black sesame seeds

1 cup of white rice

¼ teaspoon of sugar

 

Directions:

 

Soak the white rice in water covered for approximately 2 hours. Drain. Using a blender, bring 1 cup of water and rice into a blender and mix well. Add the ½ cup of black sesame seeds until the mixture becomes chunky. Place the blended mixture of black sesame seed and rice into a saucepan and add 3 cups of water. Let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently to make sure it is well blended. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 more minutes. The consistency should be thick and well blended like porridge. Pour black sesame seed porridge into 4 bowls and add a ¼ teaspoon of sugar to taste in each individual bowl.

 

Koreans consider black sesame porridge to be a wellbeing food and is commonly consumed as a light breakfast or a warm snack during the day. This recipe is especially nutritious and beneficial for a new mother. 

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