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Wolfberry/Gou Qi Zi


Laksa
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According to this webpage, the wolfberry has some amazing powers:

In fact, the wolfberry contributes not only for long life, but is often connected with beauty. In the past, the women of noble families in China have drunk a wolfberry tea in order to look younger and more beautiful. On another hand, the men used wolfberry for increasing their sexual powers. It is not accident that in China there is a proverb: "Those who go faraway from home, should not take a wolfberry!"

What are your favourite uses for this fruit and do you have it every day? Do you abstain from it when travelling? :biggrin:

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Do wolfberries actually taste like anything? I also put them in chicken and pork soups, but I don't taste anything different when I put them in.

Yes, they taste sweet, with some sour aftertaste. Try popping a dry one in your mouth. Some people make a drink out of it. How much did you put in your soup? I'm guessing maybe you didn't put enough to make a difference.

Often, wolfberries and red dates are used to balance the bitterness of Chinese herbs in some recipes.

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Qi Zi has a reputed ability to improve the vision. My 10-year old niece's classmate used to be very short-sighted for her age. The story goes that her mother let her take qi zi like snacks everyday. After 6 months, she did away with her glasses.

My children loves them, in savoury soups, in sweet winter melon soups, and, even in salads.

Edited to add: I just found this in my Chinese Herbal Secrets book...it also strengthens the liver and kidney, and can remedy impotence, weak back and knees. It generally nourishes the blood.

However, over-consumption can lead to very loose, er hem, stools.

Edited by TP(M'sia) (log)

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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What are your favourite uses for this fruit and do you have it every day?

Occassionally I put some hydrated qi zi in my steamed chicken dish (chicken steamed with lily buds, black mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms).

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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My mum adds qi zi and red dates to her oatmeal. It's hardly a Chinese dish though

Well, practically! If she added them to congee instead of oatmeal, you wouldn't sneer, would you?

I have a great sympathy with your mother's cross-cultural making do. Here in Japan, I like buttered toast, like the good Kiwi I am...spread with cold bean jam!

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How does it affect blood pressure, if at all?

Don't quote me on this, but I've heard that if you use it instead of salt on all your food, it will improve your blood pressure. :laugh::laugh:

And if you use it in place of pork belly, it will improve your cholesterol levels.

:cool:

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The berries add a sweet undertone to a lot of broth based soups. What's better is soups made with the tender leaves of the wolfberry plant.

I have a gou qi zi shrub in my garden and it is always loaded with plump red berries by

late summer. Used to pick them and air dry for later use in soups, but mostly, I like to make soup with freshly picked berries, with a clear pork broth.

My daughter likes to eat them fresh off the bush.

If you air dry the fresh berries, they will stay red. You must pick them WITH the stem intact.

I didn't know that you can use the leaves from the gou qi zi shrub for soup.

There is one kind where I use the leaves for soup, just called gou qi. The leaves on the qi zi bush are longer and more slender. The soup gou qi are more rounded. I cut the individual stalks, run my hand in the opposite direction the leaves grow, then stick the stalks back into the ground for next year. These have never developed into bushes.

I love the soup with salted egg swirled in it... gou gai dan fa tong!

Edited by Dejah (log)

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Dejah, perhaps you are right. But I always thought that they were one and the same.  Gou gi leaves with pork liver soup, was a regular summer treat when mother was alive.

Gou qi soup is like rhubarb...the first treats from the garden for me.

Gou qi is a perennial. Before guy choi, spinach, melons, etc is ready for soup, gou qi is.

It always helps when the older "aunties" in the city bring you bags of the leaves, cleaned and ready to use. :biggrin:

Gou qi zi is also the last soup harevst from the garden.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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  • 11 months later...

mudbug, I'm glad you revived this thread. We've had a discussion on wolfberries in my foodblog, starting here. (You can see the wolfberries in the cold sweet and sour lotus root dish, but I had forgotten their name.) I will put a link to this thread in my foodblog.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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When I was studying Chinese medicine (NM), common practice during breaks was to wander down to the herbal pharmacy and sneak fistfuls of gou qi zi into our pockets to last us through class. Other than eaten out of hand, they're often prescribed by herbologists in cases where the "Liver" or "Kidney" essense needs boosting, and can assist in the treatment of things like back pain and blurred vision.

Lots of my classmates would add gou qi zi to trail mix.

I like it in cold or hot cereal.

In English, Fructus Lycii can also be known as lycium fruit or matrimony vine fruit.

edited for spelling.

Edited by Verjuice (log)
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Adding gou qi zi to muffins, that's very interesting! I'll have to try that.

I know my kids used to eat them right off the bush. The bush is about 3 feet high, just the right height for toddlers. They are juicy and sweet fresh.

I'm really enjoying your blog, Pan. :biggrin:

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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[...]

In English, Fructus Lycii can also be known as lycium fruit or matrimony vine fruit.[...]

That explains something I hadn't realized I didn't know: When I see dried fructus lycii in Chinese supermarkets, those are wolfberries, not lychees, as I had thought. I really couldn't tell from the shape or color. So should I just buy those dried wolfberries that are in a box and eat them like that, or do they need to be reconstituted?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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.....I really couldn't tell from the shape or color. So should I just buy those dried wolfberries that are in a box and eat them like that, or do they need to be reconstituted?

I did not know one can eat wolfberries as snacks. I always use them in herbal chicken soup and in some steamed dishes. I think you can eat them straight off the box. If you soak them in water first, they may become quite messy when you snack on them.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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[...]

In English, Fructus Lycii can also be known as lycium fruit or matrimony vine fruit.[...]

That explains something I hadn't realized I didn't know: When I see dried fructus lycii in Chinese supermarkets, those are wolfberries, not lychees, as I had thought. I really couldn't tell from the shape or color. So should I just buy those dried wolfberries that are in a box and eat them like that, or do they need to be reconstituted?

No reconstituting required. Like currants, these have a tendency to get very leathery and chewy though, which is why I don't mind eating them out of hand but I am not convinced that I'd like them in baked goods, partticularly when there are so many other things out there that are better. I'm sure that some grocers carry gou qi zi that's more tender and fresh than others, though.

I find imported gou qi zi can also be quite salty if treated with lots of preservatives, in which case it's just inedible to me.

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