The moisture of spring rain can aggravate the rising heat of the liver. A bowl of parsley tofu soup helps expel cold and disperse heat.
“Orchid and parsley, and fragrant thyme,” so goes the Classic of Poetry — China’s oldest collection of verse.
Parsley — native to central Mediterranean regions — first came to China during the Han Dynasty, brought by Zhang Qian, a diplomat sent to West Asia. It contains carotene and is known for its medicinal value. Parsley can disperse wind and heat in the body. The Chinese use it to prevent colds, strengthen the stomach, and as an expectorant.
Tofu was nicknamed the “lamb” during China’s Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, because it shares similar nutritional value to lamb. It contains amino acids essential to the human body. The Ming Dynasty Compendium of Materia Medica states that tofu’s cool nature is beneficial for the balance of qi. It can help produce saliva, disperse body heat, prevent cardiovascular diseases, obesity and cancers, and treat eczema.
This parsley-tofu soup is one of spring’s simple delicacies.
Ingredients (serves 2):
10.5 oz tofu (300g)
3 cups broth (700ml)
2 sprigs of parsley
1½ Tbsp corn, potato, or tapioca flour
1.Wash and mince parsley.
2.Shred tofu and whisk eggs.
3.Stir a little water into starch mixture.
4.Boil broth, thickening it with the starch.
5.Add salt and bring to a boil.
6.Slowly add whisked eggs, stirring at the same time.
7.Add tofu, boil again, and remove from heat.
8.Sprinkle with parsley.
9.Add sesame oil and pepper and serve.
Thicken soup at the beginning instead of at the end. Thickening helps to evenly blend ingredients and ensure a smooth taste.
Photography by Hsuyi Shih