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Some of Christina’s suggestions regarding Chinese confinement foods:
Just to let you know that white fish tail boiled with half-ripe papaya will cause your breast to open up like a tap overflowing with milk. According to Chinese records, the sap from the papaya and protein from the fish enriches the milk glands and drinking this soup occasionally during the breastfeeding period will fill up your natural milk reservoirs. For Teochew, more fish are encouraged in their diet to increase milk flow. So it depends which dialect group you are in. My friend’s relatives from Pantai Remis (a fishing town) takes prawns cooked with sesame oil and wine and flower crabs cooked in wine to so called “get rid of toxic elements and to immunise the body system against toxic ingredients. The seafood helps in milk production and the wine helps in blood circulation. You can consume “Batt Chun Tong” besides the tong kwai. You can also double-boil black chicken with “wai san”, “kei chee” and dried longan flesh. This also serves to soothe the nerves so that the tired mother can have a good sound sleep. Also recommended is the “Sap Chuen Tai Po Tong” boiled with a pig tail because pig tail will benefit the mom’s lumbar region. Another suggestion is soya beans with pig knuckles. Seems that the soup will also open up the milk glands for the “heaty’ new mom. Pig knuckles provide gelatine and protein and thus this soup is filled with nutrients for those who are bf. For veg. kail lan fried with lean pork or snow peas stir-fried with lean pork is recommended. Always remember to add at least 2 slices of old ginger.
Wincarnis (a sweet wine) can be added to your cooked food – chicken wine or fried kai lan. You can use some chicken fillet (marinade with a bit of cornflour so that it would not taste tough) to stir-fry kai lan. Firstly saute with more garlic (suppose to fragrant the milk and also act like antibiotic) and some ginger slices before adding in the chicken fillet followed by kai lan. Either I add in some soya sauce or a little salt. After which I’ll add in a tablespoon or two of Dirty Old Man (DOM) or any wine and off the fire. There is one called MAMA POH CHIEW which I used not too long ago. STONE’s ginger wine can also be used – green cap is from young ginger and red cap from old ginger roots. Can be added to the chicken wine or cook neat.
HERBY OMELLETE (another Christina’s creation)
The following herbs are all fantastic fried in omellete. Kunyit, cekor, sweet basil (selasih), ‘heah’ (a kind of herb that sounds like ants in Hokkien), mint/daun pudina leaves.
Take a bunch of any one type of the above herbs. For kunyit and cekor leaves, cut into small pieces. For mint or sweet basil, no need to cut them up.Break two eggs, season with a little salt & pepper. Add the herbs and make an omellete.
Dried chillies with shark meat (another Christina’s speciality)
Regarding shark meat, I love it cooked “koong poh” – fried with dried chillies or fried with young ginger slices and spring onions (keong choong). Can marinade the fish and add to porridge like when you’re cooking with other fish fillet. The bones, I’ll boil it with ginger slices and goes with my rice. Normally, I’ll get baby shark and it is not easily available.
Ingredients (suggested by Lilian)
1 kati (500 gm) shark meat or chicken or vegetarian kidney/squid, cut into cubes
6 dried chillies, 2 onions quartered, ginger slices, – Heat oil and saute the ingredients
Add meat/shark/whatever, add sauce below
Sauce – 3 tablespoons thick soya sauce, 2 tblspn light soya sauce, 2 tbl sugar, 1 tbl oyster sauce (optional) mixed with 5 tbl water and 1 teaspoon cornflour.
You can find more recipes for Chinese confinement foods on this blog.
A few of our Malay and Indian members said that white radish/lobak putih is one of the vegetable their old folks recommend for an increase in milk quantity. Here is one Chinese confinement foods recipe for white radish soup. Shown in the picture is the radish, some red dates and dried cuttlefish. Here’s the complete recipe:1 white radish about 500 gm, half *cuttlefish cut into small pieces, 8 red dates, some chicken bones for stock, a few pips garlic, white pepper and salt to taste. 2 liter water. Simmer in slow cooker overnight or for about 3-4 hours.
*According to the Cantonese, dried octopus (pat chow yee) is supposed to increase milk.
GREEN PAPAYA SOUP (no pic ‘cos I am way past my confinement and can’t bring myself to cook this soup again.) – Credit goes to Christina of Ipoh for sharing this recipe.1/2 green papaya (ask from your neighbour or get the greenest you can find from the grocer), 300gm garoupa fish tail, garlic, black peppercorns crushed, ginger crushed. Slow boil all the ingredients till the soup looks milky.
*Green papaya has sap which is used as a meat tenderiser. It has something to do with the enzyme. I know dentist normally give papase to reduce swelling after extraction. The papaya that I used normally are rather ripe and orangey. Never tried a totally green sappy papaya, so I won’t dare to recommend to anyone.
SALTED FISH TOFU SOUP (This taste yummy and I can personally testify that it really increases milk.) Being from Penang, I can get hold of fresh mergui bones. Make sure that you get fresh looking salted fish bones.)3-4 pieces of salted fish bones, 2 pieces soft tofu (the white, square variety), some chicken bones, big piece of ginger crushed, several pips of garlic. 2 litre water. Pepper to taste. Cook the soup for about 1 hour. Taste good when left overnight.