Sunday, March 2, 2008

Eight Treasure Porridge

About lotus seeds--It's flavorless, but without it, the porridge would tastes like a cheesecake without sugar, or a burger without salt.
I felt pretty weak recently. The main reason is the god damn paper I had to write. I actually prefer working to writing up the work! The latter is more painful if you know what I mean. The concentrated stress can easily crush my biological balance. So as a chinese girl, the first thought was-- I need eight treasure porridge to boost up my energy!!

Actually I used way more than 8 ingredients. The main stars are dates and lotus seeds. You can use whatever grains you have on hand, but you need one strong but delicate sweet ingredient to dominate, and one mild but fragrant ingredient to support. In my case, the dried dates have a distinctive sweet fruity flavor, and the lotus seeds have this incredible flavorless aroma. You can substitute dates with dragon's eye fruit, another traditional ingredient. :)

Why dates and lotus?
Date, in chinese medicine, is a great and strong tonic, but too many dates would backfire, and make you sweat and feel dizzy.
Lotus seeds, in chinese medicine, is a mild and gentle tonic, and can ease the effect of dates.
It's all about yin and yang--balance. :)

I also added 16 kinds of beans. I bought it from Trader Joe's, and I lost the package already. You get the idea, right? Beans, as many kinds as possible.

Last, corn meal and chinese almond. Chinese almond is smaller and milder. They stay crunchy even after 12 hours of stewing. Plus, it's good for the lack of energy.

Put all the ingredients and lots of water (roughtly 3 times of dry ingredients) in the thermal pot, bring to a boil and put it back to the vacuum container. Wait for 12 hours, and you will get this wonderful porridge! Slow cooker works well too, but it's going to be an energy sucker for this porridge. You can add honey afterwards, but I like mine as it is. You have to clear your mind to enjoy this firework! Just like in Ratatouille--simple but elegant.

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