March 1, 2015

Sibu Tales : Fragrant Root Soup

Chow Yi Char or Fragrant Roots is a woody root originally from Fuzhou province of China and can be found throughout the world where there are Foochow migrants. It be found in Perth, it can be found in London and now it can be found in New York!! It is of course found in Sibu .

正宗福建闽清县野生山苍子根臭枳柴祛乏力草炖.( extracted from Baido) The genuine wild odorous herbal roots 臭枳柴 of Ming Chiang 闽清(min qing) for dispelling lethargy and weakness.*Thanks to Wong Yuk Feng for this info*

It is called poor man's ginseng and it has been used for many hundreds of years by the Foochows in Fujian and Sarawak to treat poor health and low bodily energy. there is now a global demand for this woody root.

The soup cooked with the wood and roots is particularly fragrant when a few pieces of rehydrated cuttle fish are added to the slowly boiling. Usually we boil the soup with a good pork knuckle and trotters.

This soup is often eaten with soh mien in coffee shops in Sarawak, or if at home, just plain rice will do. Many people continue to believe that this is a real antidote for people who are exhausted from heavy work.

Timber workers when they come home from their logging work would often be given this soup by their loving wives.

My mum would often cook this soup for my maternal grandmother who would love it with a bit of brandy. We all think that this is a soup which gives older people a good sleep and rest too.

p/s I will add the scientific name of this herbal root when I find it...

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