Walking into a traditional Chinese herbal store can be intimidating. There are so many foreign herbs that are beneficial to use, but they don’t always come with instructions. One such herb is called the Tendrilleaf Fritillary Bulb or what I refer to as “Chuan Pei”. These little bulbs can be found in some medications, but it can also be used as a healthy treat.
These little round bulbs are great for helping the throat and lungs. It’s used to moisten the lungs and clear phlegm and stop coughing. It’s good for those with chronic coughs or asthma. It’s also used to help cool the body down when it is too “heaty” (not sure if everyone understands what I mean by this, but if it doesn’t make sense let me know and I’ll try to clarify). Today, I’m sharing a simple and healthy recipe using these bulbs.
- 4 Yali pears
- Tendrilleaf Fritillary Bulbs
Prepare the pears by cutting off the tops. Set the “hats” aside and clear the pear from seeds and core. Place each one into a ramekin.
Rinse the tendrilleaf fritillary bulbs under cold water and strain. Add them into the pears so that they fill the top of each one. Place the “hat” back onto each pear and place the pear-filled ramekins onto a tray. Put the tray into a steamer and steam for about 1 hour or until the bulbs are clear and soft. If you are using a steam oven, put it on 300º.
The juice from the pears will help soak the bulbs and make them soft. The bulbs have a bit of a bitter flavour to them and when cooked, it has a soft yet grainy texture (somewhat similar to mung beans). The yali pear helps counteract the bitterness by adding some natural sweetness to the treat.
Once the pears have cooled off a bit, you can use a spoon to enjoy this treat. It’s best to eat it when it’s warm, but I suppose you can eat them cold too. I can’t say I have tried though because they are usually all gone by then!
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