Food is medicine
In the fall air is dry. This leads to a cold with a dry cough. Dry coughs also occur in the deep winter with the heat blasting (especially with steam heat here in NYC).
A dry chronic cough that is accompanied by deep congestion in the chest is perfectly suited for a healing sweet soup. We call this dry phlegm because it is difficult to expectorate and causes and chronic long term dry cough.
Most remedies come from foods and herbs that are naturally ripe and ready in that season. By far my favorite food for dry cough is steamed Asian pear with almonds.
Asian pears are ripe in the fall, so it is a perfect delicious dish! And it’s very easy to make.
This is an adaptation of a traditional remedy called Chuan Bei Li. That herbal remedy contains a steamed Asian pear with the herb chuan bei mu– a cooling herb that helps to clear phlegm and nourish the lungs. It is a little hard to get and this chuan bei mu has also become very expensive. Almonds can be used as a delicious and accessible alternative.
Steamed Asian Pear with Almonds
1. Peel and core the pear.
2. Crush 5-8 almonds. Should be enough to fill the core with the almonds.
3. Put 1/3-1/2 cup water in the bottom of the pot and bring to a boil.
4. Place the pear in a heat-proof bowl on a steamer, either stainless steel, silicone, or bamboo. In the bowl put 1/4 cup of water mixed with 1-2 teaspoons honey.
5. Gently steam while covered until the pear is soft, about 8-12 minutes. Sometimes it can take a little longer.
6. Remove the pear to a bowl. Pour the liquid over the pear and eat as a delicious sweet soup. The honey will infuse into the pear wich is super yummy!
You can top with more honey if you like.