By Chef Deborah Lieder
The feminine. We all hold this within us, no matter what our gender may be. We are comprised of masculine and feminine energies and each serves their purpose at different times and in different ways. The feminine principle is to nurture and support, to listen to what her intuition is saying to her and using that as her guide to moving forward. We live in a very masculine society, where value is placed on the doing, going, and achieving. This energy is important for certain aspects of our lives but just as with anything, when it’s out of balance, we must recalibrate by bringing in the opposite principle.
When it comes to the foods we consume, the feminine is found in the same way. She is what nurtures and soothes, giving our body the self-love and care we deserve while helping to restore it to a healthy balance. The masculine invokes heat with acidic foods while the feminine neutralizes with alkalinity. She listens to her body, hearing what food it is asking for. And when something doesn’t fit, when something doesn’t feel right, she does not force it upon herself, continuing to push it down.
Just as a mother helps sustain life and love for her child, so does the feminine within do that for our bodies. It is our job to listen and hear what our bodies are telling us. Perhaps it is time to give up that one thing that you know is aggravating you, but you have a hard time letting go of. It is remembering that when we let go of that which does not serve us, it is actually self-love and care.
Food is the best way to restore our health and well-being. The challenge is navigating through all the obstacles of convenience culture. We do the best we can where we can. The feminine is also about empathy, grace, and understanding. It is our job to know when it is time to improve those habits and when it is an opportunity to love ourselves through grace. The feminine allows us to slowly chip away, accepting us wherever we are at with our food journey, and continuing to encourage us to heal through the nourishment of our body and soul.
Sizzling Rice Soup
8 oz. Chicken, boneless, skinless
1 T. Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 t. Cornstarch
4 dried black mushrooms -can be found at an Asian store, soaked
6 c. Chicken Bone Broth or stock
1 inch fresh ginger, sliced
1/4 c. straw mushrooms, canned and drained
1/2 c. Bamboo shoots, sliced
1/2 c. Carrot, sliced
1/2 c. Water chestnuts
2 c. Bok choy, chopped
1/2 c. Peas
3 T. Chinese rice wine or sherry
1 T. Tamari soy sauce
3 drops of Sesame oil
High heat oil such as avocado, olive, safflower, ghee, coconut oil (will have coconut taste)
Pre-cooked Brown rice – roughly 2 cups, divided into 8 flattened pieces
Additional options: zucchini, scallions, red chili pepper, shrimp
For the chicken: cut chicken into thin strips. Combine wine/sherry and cornstarch in a medium bowl.
Add chicken and stir to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, remove stems from black mushrooms. Bring broth to a boil in a large pot. Add chicken, black mushrooms, straw mushrooms, and ginger. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Add bamboo shoots, carrot, water chestnuts, bok choy, peas, wine, tamari, and pepper; simmer for 2 minutes.
In a wok, heat oil for deep-frying to 375’F. Deep-fry rice crusts, 4 chunks at a time, turning continuously, until puffed and golden, 15 to 20 seconds. Remove and drain on paper towels.
To serve, in one large bowl or individual bowls, slide hot rice crusts into the soup. Top with sesame oil. After the rice sizzles, break rice pieces with a soup ladle and serve.
*For additional items:
vegetables add in with carrot/bamboo shoots.
For spiciness, add peppers with stock
Use green onions for garnish