Chinese medicine set much value on “digestion”. Because no matter how healthy the food is, it is believed that anything that couldn’t be digested becomes toxic and contaminates the body, leading to various sicknesses. Chinese herbal formula and cooking combinations are also interspersed with insights to heighten gastrointestinal absorption.
For this occasion, Sumi Sakaguchi, a Chinese medicinal culinarian, presents a “Chinese medicinal dish that stimulates digestive juice secretion”.
Herb Grilled Chicken (orange-flavored)
Ingredients (makes 4 servings)
300g boneless chicken thighs
3/4 teaspoon salt (*1% of meat’s weight)
pepper to taste
2 garlic cloves
2 rosemary sprigs
1 orange (preferably organic)
1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon olive oil
200g sweet potatoes
１） Cut the chicken thighs into bite-size pieces. Crush the garlic by hitting it with the flat side of a kitchen knife. Thinly peel the orange and cut into 1cm squares (keep the orange fruit to use later). Press the rosemary with the flat of a knife until aromatic, and pull the leaves from the stem.
2) Place the chicken thighs, salt, pepper, orange peel, garlic and rosemary in a plastic bag and mix, remove the air, and if possible, let marinate for a night. (Freeze directly to preserve.)
3) Put olive oil in a frying pan and fry the 2)’s orange peel over low heat until aromatic. Place the rest of 2)’s ingredients in the pan, and fry skin-side first over medium heat. Remove after both sides are cooked golden brown. Throw away the orange peel and rosemary stem.
4) Add olive oil to the pan and place the sweet potatoes cut into 3mm thick slices with the skin, sprinkle salt and pepper (not included in the ingredients list) and fry both sides.
5) Slice 2/3 of the orange fruit into half-moons, line them up and place the sweet potatoes and chicken over the oranges.
6) Squeeze and sprinkle the rest of the orange on top.
Point on medicinal cooking from Sakaguchi
The orange (mandarin orange)’s peel that we used this time is an ingredient used frequently in Chinese medicine. Dried peels are called ”chinpi”. Peels of citrus fruits heighten digestive juice secretion and also cure swellings and indigestions. It is said that the longer they are preserved the more they increase in potency and value. Using orange (mandarin orange) peel with rosemary or other herbs further helps you digest meat and makes it less likely to cause indigestion.
We are prone to have weak digestion or no appetite during the hot season or in hot places. So let’s do our best to make bodies that don’t create toxins by eating dishes that use herbs and citrus peels!
Recipe by: Sumi Sakaguchi, expert in medicinal cooking.
Representative of Kanpo Kitchen Inc. Professor at the Japanese branch of Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. Pioneer in researching about traditional Chinese medicinal cooking in Japan. She studied abroad in Beijing from 1991, becoming the first government sponsored Japanese student overseas. She holds lessons of medicinal cooking and does menu consultations for companies and municipalities. She did her research on the medicinal cooking records from the Qing Dinasty Court at the Xiyuan Hospital CACMS, at the graduate studies division of the Beijing University of Chinese medicine. She has also written numerous books including “Omedeta yakuzen (published by Shufunotomo Co.)” [Happy yakuzen] and “Seitaikou no anti-aging recipe (published by Shufunotomo Co.)” [The anti-aging recipes of Empress Dowager.] She loves China to the point that she went to study abroad there in 2012 with her 7 year old daughter.
- Kanpo kitchen：http://kanpokitchen.com
- Sumi Sakaguchi’s blog：http://kanpokitchen.blog105.fc2.com/
- 我想信未来 (Blog in Chinese and Japanese):