Winter Solstice

Welcome to our blog.

As winter is fast approaching, our team at SeeWoo Foods is getting ready for 22 December 2019, the winter solstice in the Chinese calendar.

It marks the beginning of “Yang Qi”, the shortest day and longest night in the northern hemisphere.

As pioneers of Asian food ingredients in the UK, we love talking about food. After all, this substance we put in our bodies is fuel and nourishment of the body and soul.

With winter bringing more flu and cold ailments, it is important to balance the Yin and Yang in our genetic make-up to maintain your health, to fight off infections and keep illnesses at bay.

According to old folk law - from the 1st day of winter solstice until the 9th - every day becomes the equivalent to 9 days, giving an overall of 81 days in total to make up this golden period.

During these days, a diet in warming foods such as glutinous rice, dates, longan, sesame, leeks and fungus should be eaten to take full advantage of their health benefits.

Cold food and drinks, and seafood should be avoided as these will not nourish your body.

Similarly, and surprisingly hot and spicy food is also a big no-no as the heaty nature will disrupt the internal balance and possibly bring on a sore throat and bronchitis.

Compensatory hot foods such as water chestnuts, lotus root, pear, turnip and cabbage will counteract and help at the first signs of a cough. These ingredients are neutral and easy for the body to digest.

Depending on which part of the region and the custom, traditional folk nourish their bodies during the winter solstice. Both northern and southern China eat a variation of dumplings – in Jiangnan they eat glutinous rice dumplings whereas in Xiaobian they fill their dumplings with mutton – and in towns like Anhui, they eat pumpkin cake, unlike Tengzhou who prefer their nourishing mutton soup.

For the many that have emigrated to Britain and beyond, from families to young students, the Hot Pot is synonymous with the winter solstice and a very popular affair.

As people gather in their homes this winter to enjoy the social and nourishing benefits of sharing a Hot Pot, you will very likely see lamb on many tables.

Lamb, according to the Chinese is a warming food and has many health benefits. For people that suffer from fatigue, deficiencies with the kidney and spleen, or weak in the waist or knees, lamb is the perfect tonic and remedy as it invigorates and nourishes the blood.

Another ingredient that enhances your body’s immunity is white radish (mooli). Not only are they packed pull of vitamins, the digestive enzymes aid with digestion and perfect for the winter solstice.

Our talented, and very creative team have come up with a simple heart warming recipe to try this winter, of mutton stewed radish to share with your friends and family.

MUTTON STEWED RADISH (serves 2-4)

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 45 mins

Main Ingredients:

  • Mutton,
  • White Radish,
  • Carrot,

Seasoning:

  • Spring Onion, sliced
  • Ginger, sliced
  • Star Anise,
  • Pepper, garnish
  • PRB Soy Sauce,
  • Salt,
  • Cooking Oil,

METHOD

  • 1. Wash and cut mutton into chunks. Blanch with boiling water and set aside.
  • 2. Prepare the radish root by washing and cutting into small pieces.
  • 3. Preheat some cooking oil in a pan on a high heat.
  • 4. Add the spring onion, ginger, star anise, pepper and stir fry until fragrant.
  • 5. Add the mutton and stir fry for a while.
  • 6. Add in soy sauce and salt and continue to stir fry until the mutton has browned.
  • 7. Add a bowl of water, but do not cover the mutton and bring to a boil. Once boiled, simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes.
  • 8. Then add the radish, carrot and salt, and simmer for a further 20 minutes.
  • 9. Let simmer until the turnip is soft and glutinous and finally season with pepper before turning off the heat.
  • 10. Add more water if the sauce has reduced too much and sprinkle with coriander to garnish.

 

All ingredients can be purchased from our retail outlets in Greenwich, London and Glasgow Cash and Carry stores.

"Eating method tunnel, living in the law of heaven", from the huangdi neijing heaven and earth health law. "Tunnel" refers to the solar term, that is, we usually eat according to the rules of the solar term to eat, try to eat seasonal food; "The way of heaven" refers to day and night. It means that people should get up at dawn in accordance with the natural law of the movement of heaven and earth. Say so, according to the daily life of the change rule of nature, reasonable food, just be the correct way that healthy life opens.

Minor cold will be the next issue of food in season. "Minor cold and major cold into ice mass", wish you eat well and keep warm, we see you at next issue "food in season - minor cold winter" .