It’s that time of year when almost everyone I know has come down with the cold or the flu. So besides making Hot Lemonade with Honey (or Hot Toddies) and Chinese Chicken Soup (particularly Hot and Sour Soup - previous post) for my loved ones, I also make Poached Asian Pears. Eating Poached Pears is an ancient Chinese Medicine remedy for colds, coughs and sore throats, as Pears support and lubricate the lungs. It was one of the things I remember my Mother making me when I was a child and it’s a very comforting food.
I use Asian Pears that are big and round. It doesn't matter if the skin is brown or yellow. They are wonderful to eat out of hand as they are crisp and juicy. But, when I poach them in a lightly sweetened syrup using Water, Ginger and Brown Rock Sugar, they become medicine. If you don't have Rock Sugar, you can use Brown Sugar, but you will need a lot less as it is much sweeter and you can also use Honey. It only takes a few minutes to poach Pears and I highly recommend this as a tasty medicine for when you get sick with an upper respiratory infection. Of course you can eat this dish anytime as it is delicious and supports your immune system, but do try to have someone make it for you if you are sick. And don't forget to drink the syrup too!
Medicinal but Delicious Poached Asian Pears
1 large Asian Pear
1 1/2 cups Water
3 heaping Tablespoons brown Rock Sugar
3 slices Ginger (about the size of a quarter) or more
Cut the Asian Pear into quarters. Then peel and core them. Cut them each again so you have 8 slices.
In a small pot, put in the Water, Rock Sugar and Ginger. Bring to a boil and put in the Pears. Return to a boil and cover. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 - 12 minutes or until a fork can pierce the Pears. Serve hot.
Five Element Analysis
Pears belong to the Metal Element. The Ginger is a combination of the Metal Element and the Earth Element. The brown Rock Sugar adds even more Earth. This is no meant to a balanced food as it is designed to support the Immune System and lubricate the Lungs. But if you also have Chicken Soup, which brings in the Wood and Water Elements, be sure to add some Hot Chili Sauce or Pepper for the Fire Element and you will have a balanced meal even while you are sick.