Gao Lian

September 1st, 2014



Essays on Drinks and Delicacies for Medicinal Eating

Yin Zhuan Fu Shi Jian 飲饌服食箋


By Gao Lian (Ming Dynasty)


Chinese edition edited by T’ao Wentai


Translated by Sumei Yi, 2008-9


English version edited by E. N. Anderson, 2009-2011


Editor’s Note:

            Gao Lian was a 16th-century playwright, litterateur and practitioner of the arts of healing and longevity. He wrote or compiled several treatises on these matters, collected in his “eight treatises” published in 1591 (Wikipedia).  The present translation is of the material on food and drink from this collection, including a good deal of alchemy and medicine.  Gao’s approach is totally eclectic.  He reproduces a great mass of odd advice and recipes, many of the latter so hard to follow that one doubts strongly if Gao ever tried them or even knew anyone who had. Reproducing any old advice that might help someone live long was a Ming Dynasty practice.  In this book, thoroughly practical village advice is mixed with arcane alchemy.

            The book is of interest largely to show what a refined gentleman of the 16th century would think worthy of attention, but some of the recipes are good or historically important.  Particularly interesting is the Sweets section, for it includes several Near Eastern recipes, including several for halwah—specifically so called (“hai luo”) in one case.  Evidently, Near Eastern foods continued to be of interest in China, as they had been in Yuan (Buell et al. 2010).  The nativist reaction after the fall of Yuan had largely eliminated this interest, but it persisted, as shown not only by recipe books like this but also by government reprinting of Yuan works.

            In the medical sections, Gao shows a striking fascination with Solomon’s seal, lilyturf, Atractylodes spp., and a few other plants. Sumei Yi and I are not aware if this is his personal devotion or a general Ming idea, but the Yinshan Zhengyao of the Yuan Dynasty also liked Solomon’s seal, reprinting a long paean of praise to it from Ge Hong.  Gao is also interestingly careful about separating the three kinds of cardamom:  baidoukou (the white cardamom familiar in the west), caokou (Ammomum tsaoko, a large round brown cardamom), and sharen (Ammomum villosum and sometimes similar species), very large coarse musky cardamoms from south China and southeast Asia.  He carefully distinguishes their uses and often calls for two kinds in one recipe. 

The Wikipedia entry intriguingly says he described bipolar disorder; we eagerly await details on this.

            In translating, we have given scientific names and common popular ones but have not been exhaustive (so far) about identifications (or consistent about citing “authorities” with names).  A cleaned-up translation with all this made consistent will take time, and the editor is lacking that commodity at this point, but needs to make the work available.  Further time and research is sorely needed.

            Gao’s health writings have been the subject of an article we have not seen, cited in the Wikipedia entry “Gao Lian, dramatist” (retrieved Oct. 20, 2009):

Carpenter, Bruce E.  1990.  “Kao Lien’s Eight Treatises on the Nurturing of Life,” Tezukayama University Review 67:38-51.

            See also:

Buell, Paul D.; E. N. Anderson; Charles Perry.  2010.  A Soup for the Qan.   Leiden:  Brill.

            Clunas, Craig.  1991.  Superfluous Things:  Material Culture and Social Status in Early Modern China.  Urbana:  University of Illinois Press.


            This translation is made from an edition published in 1985 by the China Commercial Press in Beijing.

            Translator’s and English-language editor’s comments in text are in square brackets.  Comments in parentheses are parenthetical notes by Gao Lian or his sources.  This includes Chinese characters and names, which are in regular parentheses, being part of the original text.   Most of the footnotes are by the Chinese editor, Tao Wentai, and consist largely of explanations or relevant quotes from other sources.  The translator, Sumei Yi, has contributed footnotes that are confined to brief comments on translation, including identification or failure to identify.  Many of Gao’s plant names defy all search through dictionaries and encyclopedias in Chinese or English; we have searched a wide range of sources. This is unsurprising, as a great deal remains to be recorded about local and specialized usages even in contemporary Chinese.



            Gao Lian’s preface


            Mr. Gao said: “drinking and eating are the basis of living human beings.” Therefore, in the body, yin and yang move and are used, the five elements grow mutually, and this is not unconnected with drinking and eating. After drinking and eating, the qi of grains will fill one. When the qi of grains is full, the qi of blood will thrive. When the qi of blood thrives, the tendons and strength will be improved. The spleen and stomach are basic to the five internal organs. The qi of the four internal organs come from the spleen. The four seasons are based upon the qi of the stomach. Drinking and eating helps support the qi. When qi is generated, the essence is improved. When the essence is generated, the qi will be nourished. When the qi is full, the spirit will be generated. When the spirit is full, the body will be completed. This is because they need and use each other.

            A man should feel indifferent to his daily uses and nourishment of his life養生. He should not let those nourishing him harm him or turn the five flavors into the slaughter of the five internal organs. Then he obtains the way of nourishing life.

My collected works put teas first, then conjee and vegetables, and briefly describe meat dishes, liquors, flours, cakes, fruits and so on. I have only collected what is proper and useful and do not seek the abnormal. As for cooking living creatures or flavoring precious food with pepper and fragrance, these are for chefs serving the Office of Grand Official[1] under the Son of Heaven.  Such things are not for a hermit mountain-man山人 like me. I do not collect them at all.

As for other foods recorded in the literature about immortals, they have benefited the world. Recipes consistently proved effective should be made and used in the correct way. It is up to the cook to make the recipe in a magical and wise fashion. One should choose what can be eaten, and record ones that help cure illnesses and prolong life. Individuals are different based upon their hidden yin (yincang阴藏) or hidden yang (yangcang阳藏). They should take cold or hot medicines accordingly. One must have one’s qi and nature harmonized and peaceful, and have simple desires. The power of what have been taken and eaten will be then effective. If the six desires are too strong, the five sense organs[2] will malfunction. A person will be recorded in the register of ghosts even if he takes food made based on the immortal recipes. Then what is the benefit of taking it? The knowledgable should think by themselves.

I have edited the recipes into one group of notes: drinks and foods and how they can be taken and eaten.



Preface on Various Previous Treatises



            The Perfected Man[3] said: “the spleen is able to nourish the other organs like a mother.” Men knowing how to nourish life called it Yellow Granny (huangpo黄婆)[4]. Sima Chengzhen taught people that one should keep the yellow qi and cause it to enter into the Muddy Pill (niwan泥丸)[5], which enables him to achieve longevity. Chuyu Yi said that if one can eat when he is ill (angu安穀), he will live beyond his allotted span.  If he cannot eat when he is ill, he will not live up to his allotted time. Therefore, we know that if the spleen and stomach are complete and strong, there will be no illness.

            An old man in Jiangnan was seventy three years old and as strong as the youth. When asked how he nourishes himself, he answered, “I have nothing special. I have not been used to drinking soup or water for my whole life. Ordinary people will drink several sheng a day. I reduce this to several he and only let it touch my lips. The spleen and stomach dislike wetness. If one drinks little, his stomach will be strong and the qi will thrive and the liquid flow. If he risks taking a long journey, he will not feel thirsty either.” This can be called true words that are not trivial [or boring].

            Eating and drinking should have time. The degree of hunger and fullness should be proper. Water and food should change. Conflicting qi flows (chongqi沖氣) should be harmonized. Then the essence and blood will grow. The circulation of qi and that of blood (rongwei榮衛) will keep going smoothly. The internal organs will remain balanced. The spirit will be peaceful. The upright qi will be full inside the body. The mysterious and pefected will meet the outside [world?]. The inner and outer vicious illnesses (xieli邪沴)[6] will not attack him. All kinds of illnesses will not be able to arise.

            For proper drinking and eating: if one does not take food till he feels hungry, he will not be satisfied with chewing sufficiently. If one does not drink till he feels thirsty, he will not be satisfied with drinking slowly. One should not wait to eat till he feels very hungry and he should not overeat. One should not wait to drink till he feels very thirsty and he should not drink too frequently. One should not be satisfied with [concerned about?] how delicate the food is or how warm the drink is.

            The sixth in the “Essay on Seven Taboos” (qijinwen七禁文) composed by the Perfected Man of Grand Unity (taiyi zhenren太乙真人) says: Refining the drink and food will nourish the qi of stomach. Peng Helin said that the spleen is an internal zang [7]organ and the stomach is an internal fu organ. The qi of spleen and stomach will compensate each other. The stomach is the sea of water and grains, mainly receiving water and grains. The spleen is in the middle, grinding and digesting them. They will turn into the blood and qi, nourishing the whole body and irrigating the five internal organs. Therefore, the man practicing the technique of nourishing his life cannot eat without refining his food. This does not mean preparing all sorts of things growing in the water and on the ground, or strange and precious dishes. It means not eating the raw or the cold, nor

the gross or the hard, nor forcing oneself to eat or drink. One should eat when he feels hungry and should not overeat. One should drink when he feels thirsty and should not overdrink. Otherwise, he will encounter the situations mentioned by Confucius, such as the food spoils, the fish stinks, and the meat decays that cannot be eaten. All these situations harm the qi of stomach. Not only will they make people sick, they harm life. If one hopes to gain longevity, he should be deeply alarmed about this. Those who want to support their elder relatives, or those who want to live happily and support themselves, should also know it.

            Huang Tiingjian said:  “In Tongzhou, people steam lamb till it is mashed and then add almond conjee (xinglao杏酪) and eat it with a knife instead of chopsticks. In Nanyang, they add sophora sprouts to the Stirring-Heart Noodle (boxinmian撥心面) and wash them with warm water. The adept’s rice-covered dish (san) should be the plastered pork (mozhu抹豬) from Xiangyang. The rice (chui) should be the fragrant rice from Gongcheng. The offering (jian) should be steamed young goose. Let the chief from Wuxing chop the perch caught in the Songjiang River and then cook it with the water taken from the King Kang Valley in Mt. Lu. Use a small amount of the highest ranked tea from Zengkeng. Then take off your clothes and lie down. Let someone read aloud the first and second Rhymed Essays on the Red Wall (qianhou chibi fu前後赤壁賦) composed by Su Shi. These are enough for one to have an enjoyable break.”  [Lit. “a laugh,” but Su’s essays on the tragedy of the Red Wall are anything but funny, so something gentler is intended.] Although this is a parable (yuyan寓言) told by Huang Tingjian, we can imagine the refinement of those foods. How might we gather all of them together and offer them to the elder as delicious nutrition?

            It is said in the “Rhymed Essay on Gourmets,” composed (laotao fu老饕賦) by Su Shi: “The chef is waving a knife and Yiya is cooking and stewing. The water should be fresh and the pot clean. The fire must not be old and firewood must not be rotten. Steam and then dry in the sun for nine times. Boil and let it float and sink in the hot water for one hundred times in order to make the soup. Taste a piece of meat from the neck. Chew the two pincers [of a crab] before the frost descends (shuangjiang霜降). Cook the mashed cherry with honey. Steam the lamb with almond conjee. The clam is to be half cooked with liquor. The crab is served a bit raw, with dregs. Therefore, gather the tenderness and tastiness of every food and nourish me as a gourmet. The pretty girl is docile and her face is as fresh as plum and peach. She is playing the jade se of Consort Xiang and the cloud ao (yun’ao云璈)[8] of the draughts of the Heavenly God. Ask the immortal lady E Lühua萼綠華 to dance according to the ancient song of Yulunpao郁輪袍. Take the glasses from the southern sea and hold the wine from Liangzhou. They wish me longevity when I divide the remaining wine among the attending boys. My face gradually turns red and I am surprised when the pipa made from sandalwood is played. The song is as wonderful as a string of pearls and as distant as a thread taken out of a cocoon. I feel pity for her tired hands and ask her to rest for awhile. I suspect that her lips are dry and some ointment should be applied. Pour a jar of milk, which is as white as snow. Place as many as one hundred jade ship-shaped serving trays. The guests’ eyes are as wet as the water in the fall. The salted bones are mashed in the liquor made in the spring. The pretty girls ask for leave and then the clouds are dispersed. The gentleman suddenly escaped into Zen. The wind passing through the pine trees as the water is boiled with bubbles as tiny as crab eyes. The rabbit-hair brush is floating above the snow-white paper. The gentleman rises up with a laugh. The sea is broad and the sky is high.”  [This disconnected stream of images needs to be checked.]

            A perch dish from Wu Prefecture: collect perch no longer than three chi during the eighth and ninth month when the frost descends. Mince it. Wash it in water and wrap it with a piece of cloth. Let the water qi totally get out of it. Spread it on a plate. Pick both flowers and leaves of  (xiangrou香柔) [9]. Mince them and add them into the minced fish. Stir it till it is even. The perch caught when the frost descends has meat as white as snow and is not smelly. It is called gold [?] and jade minced fish. It is a wonderful dish from southeast.

            It is said in Youyang zazu酉陽襍俎 [The Youyang Miscellany, a well-known Tang Dynasty work by Duan Changshi]:  “A [good] pastry food (geshi餎食) is wonton made by the Xiao family. When the soup is filtered, it is not greasy and can be used to cook tea. The zongzi粽子 made by the Yu family is as white as jade. The cherry biluo made by Han Yue will change its color. He can also make cold fish pastes (leng hutu kuai冷胡突膾), thick soup of snakehead fish (liyu yi鳢鱼臆), continuously steamed deer (lianzheng lu連蒸鹿), and rive deer skin noodle (zhangpi suobing麞皮索餅). General Qu Lianghan can make roasted (zhi) donkey and camel hump.”

            He Ying was luxurious in taste. When he ate, he had to have food that filled a square one zhang on each side. Later he reduced his food intake somewhat, but still had white Hemiculterleucisculus fish (baiyu白魚)[10], dried eel (shanla鱓腊), and sugared crab (tangxie糖蟹). Zhong Yuan held that when the eel is dried, it bends abruptly. When the crab is added to sugar, it moves restlessly. When the benevolent man uses his mind, he would have deep empathy.  [This is one of those striking parallelisms so universal in Chinese literature.]

As for the che’ao clam (che’ao車螯)[11], blood clam (ark shell; han), and oyster, they do not have eyes or eyebrows inside, which shows the strangeness of the undivided (hundun渾沌). Their mouths are closed outside but not because they are bronze men who cannot speak. They neither thrive, nor turn weak, unlike grass and woods. They make no voice or smell. What is the difference between them and tiles and gravel? Therefore, they are suitable for being used in kitchen as food at any time.  [This idea that motionless shellfish are more mineral than animal and thus fair game for vegetarians survives today.]

            During the Later Han, Guo Linzong used to stay in the house of Mao Rong (his zi is Jiwei). The next morning, Mao Rong killed a hen and made a dish with it. Guo Linzong thought it was made for him. However, it turned out to be that Mao Rong offered the whole hen to his mother and had a vegetarian meal with Guo Linzong. Thus Guo Linzong rose and bowed to him, saying: “You are really virtuous!” Mao Rong accomplished virtue by showing filial piety.

            It is said in Tiaoxi yuyin苕溪漁隱 that Su Shi composed poems and rhymed essays to describe the wonderfulness of food and drinks; for example, the Rhymed Essay on Gourmets, and Poem on Bean Conjee. The Poem on Bean Conjee reads:

            There are one thousand qing of snowwhite reeds at the entrance of the river,

            The lonely smoke is visible sometimes and invisible other times around the thatch.

            The mortar and pestle set on the ground is used for hulling the non-sticky rice, which has a jade-like luster.

            The pottery pot is used for cooking beans, which are as soft as butter.

            I am old and do not have any place to go,

            I sold books in order to approach the landlord to stay at his place.

            I lie listening to the crowing rooster, till the conjee is ready.

            I head to your house with disheveled head and slippers.

Another poem [still by Su] on a fried pastry (hanju寒具)[12] reads:

            The slim hands twist up jade-like stuff several xun in length.

            After being fried with greenish oil, it turns light yellowish.

            On a spring night, the girl tosses about unconsciously,

            With her gold bracelet pressed flat.[13]

Hanju is also called “twisted head” (niantou), which comes from a much-told story recorded by Liu Yuxi.

My son came up with a fresh idea that he uses wild yams to make the Jade Crumb Soup (yusan geng玉糝羹). Its color, fragrance, and taste are extremely good. It is unknown how its taste is compared to the Heavenly Cheese (tiansutuo天酥酡)[14]. In this world it is can be confirmed that there is no match for it. The poem reads,

            The fragrance is like the Dragon’s Slaver and [the color is] pure white.

            The taste is like that of milk but it is totally clear.

            Do not hastily compare Golden Minced Fish from the Southern Sea (nanhai jin?kuai南海金?膾),

            To Dongpo’s Jade Crumb Soup.

The Poem on Vegetarian Soup (caigeng菜羹) composed by Yang Wanli also reads,

            Use a spoon to take mica-like rice, which is fragrant and fresh and has the color of jade.

            The vegetarian soup is newly cooked; in it are thin kingfisher-green slices.

            There is no meat or roast like this in the human world–

            The Sutuo from heaven might be as sweet.

            The Song Emperor Taizong ordered Su Yijian to explain Wenzhongzi文中子[15] to him. In this book, there was a saying about “wild herb soup and solid food (gengli hanqiu羹藜含)” from the Classic of Food composed by Yang Su杨素 and intended to be handed down to his son. The emperor therefore asked, “which food is the most precious?” Su Yijian replied, “the food does not have a set flavor. Those suiting one’s taste are the precious ones! I only know that the [strange plant name; character unknown, possibly a miswriting] juice is delicious. I can remember that one night it was extremely cold. I drank a lot by the stove. At midnight, I was thirsty. The moon in the courtyard was bright and there was a basin of [?] juice covered in the remaining snow. I ate several pieces without interruption. At the time I told myself that the phoenix meat made by the immortal chef in heaven would not be as good as what I had eaten. I have tried to compose a biography of Mr. Jade Bottle and record this story, but have not found opportunity and thus have no results to report.” The emperor laughed and agreed with him.

            At Tang times, Liu Yan went to the court at the fifth beating of drum. It was in the middle of the coldest days at the time. On the road he saw a shop selling steamed Iranian pancakes (hubing; [Iranian nan or something similar]). The pancakes were steaming. Liu Yan asked people to buy it for him.  He wrapped it in his sleeves and [then] ate it. He told his colleagues that it was so delicious that it could not be described in words. This is also because food does not have a determined flavor hierarchy; whatever suits one’s taste is the precious kind!  [Food can taste different to different people; each to his own.]

            Ni Si [Song Dynasty] said that Huang Tingjian composed an essay of Five Seeings at Meal Time (shishi wuguan时五观). His words were deep and profound. He could be called a person who knew shame. I[16] used to enter a Buddhist temple and saw fasting monks. Whenever they ate, they would have three bites of little flavor. The first bite was to know the right taste of rice. If a person ate too much and mixed up the five flavors, he would not know the right taste. If he ate light-flavored food, the food was delicious by itself and did not need to borrow other flavors. The second bite was to think where food and clothes came from. The third bite was to consider how strenuous the farmers were. These were the five seeings and the meanings were prepared in the process. It was very simple to use this method when eating. If one had three bites first, the rice was eaten for more than a half. Even if there was no soup or vegetables, he could also finish eating by himself. This was a way of being satisfying with poverty.  [Also a way of satisfying the standard Buddhist directive to think seriously about what you eat, every time you start eating.]

            In the Essay on Thinking of Returning (sigui fu归赋) Wang Fengyuan [of whom little is known] said:

My father was eighty years old and my mother’s hair had also turned white. I am still a clerk, staying far away from my parents. The black bird chirping in the morning even knows to feed his parents. How can I be less than a bird? Whom can I tell my sorrow? The qi of autumn is chilly and moving. In the day my sorrowful thoughts arose and I looked askance at the river bank. I remember that when I was a child, every kind of fruit had been just ripe and the precious ones were offered frequently. Sometimes there were long-waist purple water chestnuts (ziling changyao紫菱長腰), round and solid red foxnuts [17](hongqian yuanshi紅芡圓實), persimmons in shape of a cow’s heart, with green pedicels (niuxin ludi zhi shi牛心綠蒂之柿), chestnuts individually wrapped in yellowish skin (dubao huangfu zhi li獨包黃膚之栗), greenish taros growing in linked [levee-divided?] fields (qingyu lianqu青芋連區), blackish barnyard millet (Echinochloa crus-galli) with five calyxes (wubai wuchu烏稗[18]五出), colorful duck-claw wood with small seeds (yajiao shoucai hu weihe鴨腳受彩乎微核), quinces that grow as if carved out of cinnabar (mugua loudan er chengzhi木瓜鏤丹而成質), breast-like greenish pear (qingru zhi li青乳之梨), oranges in shape of a reddish bottle, salted bee pupae (fengyong yancuo蜂蛹醃), honey-covered areca nuts and crab apples [19](binzha zimi檳楂). Meat dishes included cormorant[20] (jiaojing鵁鶄) wild goose (yeyan野雁), ducks living in a lake, chirping quails, fatty crabs from a pure river, fresh fish from cold water, covered with purple fronds[?] and mixed with wild rice stem (jiaoshou茭首). There were dogwood berries (Cornus officinalis) (yu[21])  and chrysanthemums floating in cups of liquor. Turnips (jing[22]) and leeks (jiu) were displayed on the table. I sat by the pines and bamboos in the mountain with streams, sweeping under the paulownias (tong) and willows in the field in front of my door. My boy servants would not be noisy and I had books by my sides. Sometimes I had kept quiet for a whole day, while other times I had pleasant conversations with my friends. I believed in what my parents liked and had been in the community for long. My heart earnestly desires to decline the official seal and ribbon, but I definitely do not want to imitate the self-locked heart of Tao Yuanming, who was ashamed to bow down for five pecks of grain.  [All the treats mentioned are rustic mountain-and-river foods.  Tao Yuanming famously rejected office, thus nobly following his true nature but less nobly denying the world his services; Wang wants to follow him but is too moral.]







A thesis on teas


There are many kinds of tea in the world. There are the Flower-on-Stone Tea石花from the top of Mountain Meng in Jiannan[23], Purple-Bamboo-Root Tea 紫筍in Guzhu (Hu Prefecture[24]), Bright-Moon Tea in Bijian (Shan Prefecture), Missing-the-Peace Tea of Huojing in Qiongzhou, Thin-Flake Tea in Qujiang, True-Fragrance in Badong, Cedar-and-Rock in Fuzhou, White-Dew in Hongzhou, Yangxian Tea in Chang Prefecture, Juyan Tea in Mao Prefecture, Yangpo Tea in Mountain Yashan, Riding-the-Fire Tea in Long’an, High-Stalk Tea in Duru, Qianyang, and Plum-Slope Tea in Naxi, Luzhou, which are well-known.

Speaking of ranks, the Flower-on-Stone Tea is the best, the Purple-Bamboo-Root second.  The Bright-Moon Tea in Bijian and the others rank after them respectively. It is a pity that all of them cannot be obtained. In recent years, the tea grown on Mountain Huqiu is said to be surprising; unfortunately we cannot get more of it. If its slender sprouts are picked before the Festival of Grain Rain and withered (lit. “roasted,” but withering is the correct technical English term here) with the correct method, the Heavenly-Lake Tea is green and fragrant. It would satisfy your thirst just to smell it. The real Jie Tea is extremely expensive, twice as expensive the Heavenly-Lake. I regret the difficulty of obtaining it. It would be wonderful if one could pick by himself as needed. As for the Lu’an Tea in Zhejiang, its taste is delicate. However, it is not good for withering and turns bitter if withered even if its nature is really good. The real Dragon-Well Tea grown in Hangzhou cannot be matched by the Heavenly-Lake. There are only a few families whose skill in withering it is excellent. Nearby, the tea withered by monks living in the mountain is also good.

The Dragon Well is better. However, Mountain Dragon-Well occupies merely over ten acres. The tea grown outside of the mountain seems not as good. The tea grown nearby is used as pretended Dragon-Well.  Teas such as the tea grown in Northern-Mountain and West-River are used to replace the Dragon-well. Even the Hangzhou natives who know the taste of the Dragon-well are few, since there are too many fakes. I think that the beautiful spring of the Dragon-well is made by heaven.  The wonderful tea is grown for the miraculous qi of the mountain and thus can match the mountain. For those that cannot obtain it, the Heavenly-Lake and [ordinary] Dragon-Well[25] are the best. Tianzhu and Lingying tea are ranked next. The Yuqian tea grown in Mountain Tianmu, Hangzhou, is similar to the tea in Shuzhou, both of which are of the second rank.

Tea has become popular in the north, but one should be careful about drinking water and tea if he is in the south, in Fujian and Guangdong. In the past, Lu Yu [the great tea conoisseur] did not recognize the [problems with] teas grown in Lingnan and said that the tea grown in Lingnan tasted very good. We now know that Lingnan has much poisonous qi.  It affects the grass and trees. If northerners eat it, they can easily get sick. Therefore, one should be careful. Anyone wanting to pick some should wait till the sun is up and the mountains are visible. When the mist is gone from the mountains, one can start to pick the tea.

Tea balls and tea bricks are produced by grinding and lose most of the true taste.

Tea is wonderful when it is dried in the sunshine, green and fragrant, much better than withered tea.


[Notes:  The belief that southeast China had poisonous mists is an old and widespread one, not entirely gone today.  The major source for the idea was malaria, which is, of course, associated with mosquito-breeding marshes, and thus with mists.

            Withering tea leaves involves heating them—“roasting”—in shallow pans, over fires or sometimes with charcoal.  It is the normal first step in preparing green tea.]


Picking tea


Tuanhuang “has one flag and one gun,” which means one leaf and one sprout. When it is picked in the morning, it is called “tea,” but is called “chuan” if picked in the evening. The tea picked around the date of Grain Rain is best. Both the rough and the slender can be used except that it should be picked when it is sunny, withered properly, and preserved in the correct way.


            [The first sentence here appears fragmentary; what is meant is that people say that the tea should be picked “when it has one flag and one gun,” as explained. The very finest tea still is picked at this stage:  one new leaf and a bud.]


Preserving tea


Tea is compatible with ruo bamboo leaves, but should be kept away from fragrances and medicines (xiangyao香藥). It likes warm and dry and hates cold and wet. Therefore, tea-gathering household use ruo bamboo leaves to pack it, and warm it every two or three days. The temperature of the fire should be close to the body temperature. When it is warm, it can get rid of the humidity. If the fire is too hot, the tea is burned and cannot be consumed.

            It is said that one can put the tea in bottles, ten jin per bottle, and then put the bottles in a jar. Every year, put the ashes of burned straw into a huge barrel. Put the tea bottles into the barrel and insert the ashes around the bottles. Put the ashes above the bottles and pack down tightly. Whenever wanting to use the tea, open the bottle and take out a little, then put the ashes on it. The tea will not be rotten. In the second year, change the ashes.

            It is also said that one can hang a frame in an empty room and put the tea bottles upside down. Because steam comes from the sky and goes down, they are put upside down.  [Steam rises, of course; evidently something like “drizzle” is meant here.  The text appears to be corrupt.]

            If two kinds of sprout teas are served, they should be cooked with clean spring water, and flowers, fragrances, and fruit should not be added.. Some like to add flowers to tea. They should use tea that is even and delicate [i.e. small, even-sized leaves]; the taste of tea will not be decreased and the mouth will be filled with the fragrance of the flowers, so the tea will not be insipid (脱俗tuosu).

For orange tea and lotus tea, open the half-blossoming lotus at dawn and add a pinch of delicate tea. When the flower is full of tea, tie it up in a hemp skin [sic; evidently a web or sack made of hemp cloth) and leave it overnight. Next morning pour out the tea. Use paper made in Jian to wrap the tea and bake it with slow fire till it is dry. Repeat the previously-mentioned method with another flower. Repeat it for several times and bake it till it is dry. Its fragrance will be unsurpassed when it is tasted.

            Osmanthus (muxi), jasmine, rose, wild rose (qiangwei), orchid (lanhui兰蕙), orange flower, gardenia, muxiang木香 (costus, Vladimiria souliei or Saussurea lappa), and mei (Prunus mume) flowers, all can be used in tea. When the flower is blossoming, pick the half-opened blooms, which have the most fragrance. Measure the amount of the tea and add a proper amount of flowers to it. If the flowers are too many, it would be too fragrant and lose the taste of the tea. If the flowers are too few, it would not be fragrant and not good enough. Use three portions of tea and one portion of flowers and it would be fine. With osmanthus, one should get rid of its branches and pedicels and dust and worms and ants. Take a porcelain jar and put one layer of flower and then one layer of tea till it is full. Tie it tightly with paper and put it into a boiler. Boil it with a large amount of water. Then take it out and wrap it with paper when it is cooled down. Bake it on fire till it is dry and then preserve it. Other flowers are treated similarly.


            [Most of these flowers, especially osmanthus or sweet-olive, are still commonly used in tea.  Mei or flowering-apricot—often mistranslated “plum”—has a delicate carnation scent.]


Four knacks in cooking tea

1. Select water

            When a mountain spring is not sweet, it will devastate the taste of the tea. Therefore, people of old thought that the selection of water is of utmost importance. Mountain water is the best, river water next to it, and well water the worst. As for mountain water, springs dripping from stalactites and flowing slowly is the best. If the water flows fast, don’t use it, or it will make people have neck ailments. As for river water, use that which is far from human beings. For well water, take that which is abundant. If the water is as yellow as a crab or turbid or salty and bitter, don’t use it.

The water taken from the middle of the lake in Hangzhou, the number one spring in Mount Wu, Guo Pu’s Well, The Hupao Well, the Dragon Well, and the Immortal Ge Well, are very good.


2. Wash the tea

            Whenever cooking tea, wash the tea leaves with hot water, so that the dust and cold qi [“breath” or essence that cools the body, but actual bitter dust is probably intended too] will be eliminated.  Thus it will be wonderful when cooked.


3. Then to the brew

            The tea should be cooked by slow and “living” fire. Living fire means fire coming from burning charcoal and having flames. One should not let the water boil.  Thus the tea will be properly prepared. At first, the water has dispersed fish-eye [bubbles] and a low sound can be heard. In the middle of boiling, the water gushes like a spring from the edge and [the bubbles] are like pearls. At the end, the water is surging and the water qi disappears.  This is called old water [i.e., overboiled for the purpose]. This method of three-stage boiling cannot be made without living fire. The most serious thing to prevent is smoking the tea by burning firewood—the Five-Bandit-and-Six-Demon Brew mentioned in Qingyilu清异 (N. Song).


4. The equipment

            When the pot is small, it is easy to get the brew ready. Soaking the tea leaves and pouring the brew should match each other. [I.e., don’t steep more than you are going to drink—always good advice.]  If the pot is large and the tea is left over after drinking, the tea stays too long and thus will not remain tasty. The tea boiler and pot made of porcelain and pottery is the best, bronze or tin is worse. Porcelain pots are best for making tea, while pottery boilers are best for cooking the water. It was said in Qingyilu清异 that the brew made by the wealthy and prominent people should be cooked by silver boilers, and is wonderful. It is worse when using a bronze boiler to cook the soup or a tin pot to pour the tea.  [The metal leaches out and its taste and chemical action ruin the tea.]

            For tea utensils, the cups and plates made from Xuan kiln is the best. They are of thick material and white and shiny, while the style is ancient and delicate. There are white pots stamped with flower patterns that are similar to those from the Xuan kiln. Their style is acceptable, and they shine like jade. Second best are those from kilns of the Jiajing period. When there is a small design [character unclear, probably corrupt] in the middle of it, it is especially beautiful. If one wants to test how the tea is yellow or white, how could he make the assessment harder by using qinghua [either blue-and-white or bluish-white, here] porcelain? For liquor, the same theory applies; only pure white vessels are of the highest quality, and others should not be used.


            [All the above is good advice, still to be highly recommended.]


Three methods to use for tea


  1. 1.      Wash the vessels

When tea pots, cups, and spoons become dirty, they will devastate the taste of the tea. They should be washed till they are clean; then it will be wonderful.


  1. 2.      Warm up the cups

Whenever the tea is poured out, the cups should be warmed.  Thus the tea will show a cream-like surface.  If the cup is cold, the color of the tea will not appear on the surface.


  1. 3.      Concerning fruit

Tea has real fragrance, good taste, and right color. When it is cooked or poured, it should not be served with precious fruits or fragrant grasses. Those that can complement its fragrance are pine nuts, orange, lotus seed kernels, Chinese quince, mei flower, jasmine, wild rose, osmanthus, and so on. Those complementing its taste are cow milk, dragon peach, round eye (yuanyan圓眼—longan?), loquat and so on. Those complementing its color are dried persimmon, dried date, fire [-colored] peach, red bayberry, orange and so on.  [These are all ordinary, common items, not “precious” exotica.]  Whenever taking good tea, I feel pure after moving away the fruits. When they are mixed, I cannot distinguish one from another. If one wants to have fruits and nuts with tea, he should try walnut, hazel, melon seeds, apricot kernels, Canarium seed, chestnut, chicken head (jitou雞頭, seeds of the Euryale waterlily), ginkgo seed (yinxing銀杏) and so on. These can be used with tea.


[Again, all good advice, and most of it still practiced in China.]


The uses of tea


When one drinks tea, it can satisfy his thirst, help digestion, get rid of the ailment of having phlegm or insomnia, benefit the “water way” [sic], brighten his eyes, enhance his thinking (this comes from Bencao shiyi本草拾遺), get rid of irritation and greasiness. One should not spend a day without having tea. However, there are things to avoid. It will get rid of irritation and greasiness and will not damage his spleen and stomach when one washes his mouth with strong tea after having a meal. When there is meat between teeth, one should use tea to wash it. Then the meat will be diminished and fall down. He would not even notice it or feel anxious of picking it out. The nature of teeth is bitter [in the Chinese fivefold correspondence theory]. Therefore, his teeth will grow stronger and denser and poison will disappear by itself. However, only Chinese tea (zhongcha中茶) should be used. (The foregoing comes from Mr. Su’s writings.)


The tea set


A tea set includes sixteen vessels, which are collected in a container and work for the “bitter upright man” [a literary term for a furnace, see below]. I name them here and want to manage them as one set, for those that have pure hearts and fine conduct and can manage by themselves.

Shangxiang: the ancient Zhao tripod, used for cooking the tea.

Guijie: baboo brushes, used for washing the pot.

Fenying: ladle, used for measuring the weight of the water.

Dihuo: bronze fire dipper, used for moving fire.

Jianghong: bronze fire sticks, used for piling up the fire.

Zhiquan: balance for measuring tea, use one liang of tea when using two jin of water.

Tuanfeng: white bamboo fan, used for fanning the fire.

Chuchen: tea washer, used for washing the tea.

Jingfei: bamboo frame, a stomach support mentioned in the Classic of Tea.

Zhuchun: pottery pot, used for pouring tea.

Yunfeng: knife, used for cutting fruits.

Gandun: wood chopping block.

Chuoxiang (tasting the fragrant): porcelain cup, used for drinking the tea.

Liaoyun (teasing the cloud): bamboo tea spoon, used for taking fruits.

Najing (showing respect): bamboo tea container, used for containing cups.

Shouwu (receiving the dirty): dishcloth, used for cleaning the cups.


Tea containers (seven in total)


Kujiejun (bitter, upright man): bamboo furnace used for cooking the tea. It is also collected by the travelers.

Jiancheng: cage made from Indocalamus leaves, used for containing the tea to store in a high place.

Yuntun: porcelain bottle, used for taking the spring water for the purpose of cooking.

Wufu: bamboo basket, used for containing charcoal, the material for boiling the tea.

Shuicao: porcelain or pottery urn, used for containg the spring water which is used for boiling.

Qiju: a square box braided from bamboo sticks, used for collecting the tea set.

Also, pinsi: a round basket braided from bamboo sticks, used for collecting every kinds of tea leaves available for cooking and tasting.



Treatise on spring water


Tian Ziyi said: the spring that comes from the mountain foot is called mengxi, wuxi is heaven-given, water xi has the complete taste.  Lu Yu said: mountain water is the best. Meng refers to a spring coming from bell-like rocks and rocky ponds with a slow flow. When the spring flows fast and violently, it is not a meng. Therefore, one should avoid consuming it.

The obscure cannot be abandoned since there is a god for everything [obscure and possibly corrupt; we suspect that “obscure” was originally used in its root meaning, “turbid water,” and that a direction to avoid turbid water has gotten mixed with an originally separate sentence on the gods]. The heavenly god produces the myriad things. The Book of Han mentioned three gods. The mountain god is one of them.

Spring water should be heavy [i.e., mineralized].  Good spring water is especially so. The Hermit Xu in Yuhang used to tell me that the mountain spring from Phoenix Mountain and the One-Hundred-Flower Spring in Amudun are not as good as the Five Springs; one can see the advantages of the immortals’ springs.

When the mountain is thick, the spring is thick.  [I.e., a large wide mountain produces a large spring.]  When the mountain is outstanding, so is the spring. When the mountain is pure, so is the spring. When the mountain is serene, so is the spring. All of them are of good nature. When it is not thick, it would be thin. When it is outstanding, it would be stupid. When it is not pure, it would be turbid. When it is not serene, it would be noisy. These will not be good springs. 

When the mountain does not come to an end, the water will not. If it ends, there will be no source. When there is a drought, it will dry quickly.



Stone and Stream


Stone is the bone of the mountain. A stream is moving water. The mountain spreads qi and thus the myriad things grow. Qi spreads and thus mai [“pulse”] grows. [The flow of qi in the mountain means it naturally has a pulse; this idea was universal in China until recently, and the folk view was that mountains contained actual dragons that had actual pulses.] Therefore, the mountain water is the best. It is said in Bowuzhi博物志 that stone is the source of metal. When the essence of jia [lit. “nail” or “shell,” unclear here] and stone flows out, there is water. It is also said that the mountain spring brings out the qi of the earth.

If the spring does not come out from stone, it cannot be good. So it is said in Chuci (Poems of Chu, ca. 3rd century BCE):  “drink the water of the stone spring and stay in the shade of pine and cypress.” Huangfu Ceng wrote a poem for Lu Yu:

Distant temple—in the mountain a calm time,                        

Cooking in the wild with clean and clear water from the stone spring.

Mei Yaochen’s poem on the tea on Peak Blue Sky:

            The stone spring is good where I cook [the tea].

It is also said that:

            Small stones and the cold spring hold the early taste.

These can really be appreciated.

            Sometimes, there are springs that hide in the sand and earth. If one takes it and it is not exhausted, it can be used. Otherwise, it is sinking rain water.  Even if it is clean, do not use it.

            If the current flows a long way, its taste will be light. If it stays in a deep pond, its taste is doubled and can be used.

            If the spring does not move, it is harmful to drink it. It is said in Bowuzhi博物志 that people living in mountainous areas will have goitre if taking water that does not flow [a common belief; water in the west China mountains is often deficient in iodine, with the result that goitre is common; the Chinese early realized that something was wrong with the water and/or the salt, since they recognized that iodine-rich sea salt prevented the condition while iodine-lacking Sichuan mountain salt was associated with it; but they had no idea what the actual problem was]. 

            When the spring gushes out, it is called pen. When the spring falls down suddenly, it is called pu. Both the water curtain in Mountain Lu and the waterfall in Tiantai, Hongzhou, are recorded as ranked waters, which betrays the Classic of Tea written by Lu Yu. Therefore, Zhang Jiuling wrote a poem on the waterfall in Mt. Lu, saying that:

            I heard of the meng water at the foot of the Mountain,

            It is said by those now living in the wild woods

            That the nature of things is mysterious and unstable,

            The life-giving attribute kun [a power of the earth] is often diverse and transforming.

            I put it away and leave quietly,

            Who can understand the transformations?

Therefore, the knowledgeable will not have it. However, a waterfall is truly a precious screen and silk curtain when one lives in the mountains. Used for ears and eyes, who would say that it is not suitable?  [I.e., it is fine for scenery, though not for drinking.]


            Pure and cold


            “Pure” means clean and quiet, which is how the pure water looks. “Cold” means chill and frozen, which is how the water having been poured out looks. It is not difficult to find pure springs but it is hard to find cold springs. Pure as the water that is shallow and flows over sand, it is not of a good grade. Cold as the water coming from deep rocks and having accumulated enough yin, it is not of a good grade.

            When stones are few and earth much, or when the sand is sticky and the mud congealed, it cannot be pure and cold.

            The image of the meng water is said to be its fruit. A flowing well’s image is said to be cold. If the spring does not fruit, the qi will be stagnant and its radiance will not be pure. If it is cold, the nature will be dry and the taste will be bitter.

            Ice means hard ice. When the qi of yin gathers in a deep canyon and cannot get out, it will be congealed and turn into hidden yin. Water lies bright and light on the ground, while ice is condensed and cold. Therefore, ice is the ultimate status of the pure and cold. The poem composed by Xie Lingyun is:

            Chisel the ice and cook the breakfast.

Shiyiji拾遺記 (Record of collecting what has been forgotten):

            For the icy water in Mt. Penglai,

            One who drinks it will live for a thousand years.

When there is sulfur under the water, it emerges as a hot spring. There are many of them here and there. Besides, there are many cases in which springs come out from the same valley but half are warm and half are cold. Not all of them are of potable grade. An exception is the vermilion spring in Mt. Huang, Xin’an, which can be drunk. It is said in the Illustrated Classic of Herbals that Mt. Huang used to be called Mt. Yi and there is a vermilion spring under the east peak that can be used for cooking tea. In the spring, it is pinkish. It is the liquid cinnabar of nature. [Actually it is ferric iron that stains hot spring water red; red algae may also be involved.]  It is said in Shiyiji拾遺記 that: if one drinks the boiled water in Mt. Penglai, he will live up to one thousand years. This is the drink for immortals. When there is gold, the water must be pure. When there are pearls, the water must be lovely. When there are carp, the water must be foul [as every fisherman knows!]. When there is a dragon, the water must be deep, dark, and mildly bad. One cannot use waters without distinguishing them.


Sweet and fragrant


Sweet means beautiful. Fragrant means of good smell. In the Book of History it is said that: make the crops grow and get sweet grains. The sweet means fragrant. The grain is sweet and fragrant and thus can nourish people. The spring is sweet and fragrant. Therefore, the spring can nourish people, too. However, it is easy to find sweet spring that is also a fragrant spring. There is no fragrant spring that is not sweet.

Those tasting good are called sweet springs. Those having fragrant smells are called fragrant springs. One can find them here and there. When there is a noxious plant growing above a spring, its leaves will be nourished and roots moistened. All of them will damage the sweet and fragrant. The ultimately noxious plants can even make the liquid poisonous. So they should be moved away.

Sweet water is praised for its sweetness. In Shiyiji拾遺記it is said that there is a sweet river passing by the north of Mountain Yuanqiao. Its taste is as sweet as honey. In Shizhouji十洲記 (the record of ten continents) it is said that the water from the Dark Canyon in Yuan Continent is like honey. If one drinks it, he will live as long as heaven and earth. It is also said that the water from Sheng Continent is like maltose and cheese.  [Buddhist and Chinese cosmology postulate several continents beyond the bounds of the known world.  They have truly unearthly properties, such as flavored water.  Possibly the visions of shamans or spirit mediums were the sources for the information.]

When there is cinnabar in the water, not only the taste is not normal, but can elongate one’s life and cure his illnesses. It can be found only in the famous mountains and great rivers, where the immortals stayed and practiced. In his youth, Ge Xuan used to be the magistrate of Linyuan. In the county, there was a family named Liao whose members enjoyed longevity for generations. He suspected that it is because of the particularly reddish well water. So he tried to dig around the well and got dozens of hu of vermilion cinnabar covered up by ancient people.

Ge’s Well at Lake West was the place that Ge Gong made cinnabar [pills? Elixirs?]. At the Majia Garden, a stone jar was found when people dredged the well. There were several pieces of cinnabar in it. They were like wild lotus seeds and had no taste when tasted. They had been abandoned. Someone gave a fisherman a pill and he lived as long as one hundred six years. This cinnabar water is extremely difficult to gain. It cannot be contained in unclean vessels.

If one cooks the tea properly but does not know how to drink it, it is like taking springs from stalactites to irrigate wormwood [i.e., using the finest grade of water to irrigate a bitter herb]. The sin cannot be more serious. When the drinker has it in one sip and does not take time to distinguish the taste, it cannot be more vulgar.


Spiritual water


“Spiritual” means pertaining to the gods. The heavenly Unity gave birth to water, which is essential and bright and not turbid. Therefore, water falling down from heaven is really spiritual water. Isn’t it called the water of the upper lake in the ancient? When inspected, they are drinks for the immortals. Use a big jar to collect rain water during the Yellow-mildew period [the rainy period in spring when mildew grows], and also use snow water. Insert above ten pebbles under it. It will not spoil for years. Take a piece of charcoal about three-or –four-cun in length and burn it till it is red. Throw it into the water and let it quench. The water will not grow fleas. [Both the heat and the adsorptive qualities of charcoal would purify the water.]

The spiritual is that which has yang qi dominant and spreading. The color is as strong as sweet dew, as congealed as grease, as tasteful as maltose. It is also called paste dew, or heavenly liquor.

“Snow” is the coldness accumulated in heaven and earth. In the Book of Fan Shengzhi it is said that the snow is the essence of the five grains.  [Fan was giving practical advice for cold, dry northwest China:  snow is the best source of soil moisture.]  In Shiyiji拾遺記 it is said that when the King Mu went east and arrived at the Great Xi Valley, the Queen Mother of the West came to submit sweet snow from Qianzhou. This is spiritual snow. Tao Gu took snow water to cook tea balls. In a poem on cooking the tea, Ding Wei wrote that:

I cherish it and preserve it in the bookcase,

Insisting on keeping it till snow falls.

In a poem on the Jian Tea submitting to the scholar, Li Xuji wrote that:

            I try to use the snow of the Liang Garden,

            To cook and stir the spring tea from Jian.

Therefore, snow is especially good for tea drinks. Men without official titles ranked it as the last grade; why? I think that it might be about the taste of dryness. If one thinks it is too cold, I do no think so.  [Snow is pure, a commodity rare in old Chinese waters.  Even today, snow and rain make the best tea, far better than our chlorine-laden and sediment-sullied tap water.]

            Rain is harmony between yin and yang. Heaven and earth give the water from the cloud above, which supports the time, gives birth, and nourishes the living. The wind is mild and the rain is proper. The cloud is bright and the rain is sweet. In Shiyiji拾遺記 it is said that when fragrant clouds moisturize everywhere, they become fragrant rain, which is spiritual rain and surely can be drunk. If the rain is made by dragons, or it is heavy and continuous, or dry and frozen, or foul and black, or the dripping from the eaves, it cannot be taken.  [Mostly good advice—rain often picks up dust and soot in the air, as it falls—but the dragon issue is a difficult one.  Many Chinese believed all rain was made by dragons.  We suspect that Gao considered slow or gentle rains to be natural, but violent storms to be dragon-caused.]

            The place close to tides must not have good springs because saline-alkali soil is plentiful there. The most famous tides in the world are in Wulin. So there are no good springs. However, there are good springs in the mountains near West Lake.

            The Yangzi is a river. The Nanling [flowing into it] has layered rocks and deep canyon and is taken into the best rank, as an exception [to the general rule that river water is contaminated]. I used to taste it and it was really not different from those found east of the mountain [that the Nanling is west of]. The water from the Wusong River is the lowest grade of water. Inexplicably, it has also entered the ranks [of waters that some people consider acceptable].


            Well water


When the well is pure, it is because the spring is pure. “Tong” [to go through, circulate] means materials circulating [getting through].  “Law” means limits. The law regulates the residents, forbidding them from eating and drinking without limits. The purity [of the well] comes from yin. What has gotten through into the well makes it turbid. The law sets up limits [on the well].  Its mai [pulse, in the qi system] is dark and the taste is stagnant. Therefore, Lu Yu said that the well water is ranked lowest. He said that the well has been taken by too many people. When too many people take it, their qi gets in and flows actively there. So it is definitely not a good class. When using the water, put white stones into a jar. This will not only enrich its taste, but can keep the pure water from turning turbid.

            Gaozi said:  The beautiful well water known to the world is the Zhongling well. However, I have tasted the well on Mt. Jiao for four times and it is no worse than that of the Zhongling well. The taste of the water from Mt. Hui is light and pure, and can be safely put into the highest grade. As for the water in our Hangzhou, it is the Running-Tiger well that is best among all the wells. The old Dragon well and that of the Pearl Temple are sweet, too. The taste of the Immortal Ge’s well in Mt. Bei is dense. As for the water inside the city, the number one well in Mt. Wu is the best. When I tasted it, it was not as pure as Mr. Shi’s well or Granny Guo’s well, which are good for tea. As for the water close to the two bridges in the south lake, one should take it in the early morning. It is very good for cooking tea and does not require anything else.




[The recipes in this section are for medicinal preserves, not soups in the usual sense.]


            Green and crisp mei soup


            Take three jin twelve liang of green and crisp [underripe] mei [flowering apricot or “plum”] fruits, four liang of the raw liquorice powder, one jin of baked salt, one jin four liang of raw ginger, three liang of green Sichuan pepper, half liang of dry pepper. Get rid of the seeds of the mei and cut them in half. Probably every family has a recipe for green mei soup and their ingredients are largely identical, though with minor differences. When starting to make it, the fragrant smells are similar too. When it is preserved for several months, it must become fully ripe just like yellowish mei soup. There is an explanation for this. First, the green mei should be collected before the festival of Xiaoman (Grain Fills). Pestle them till mashed. Discard the seeds, but do not use your hands; use a dry wooden spoon instead. When stirring, use a wooden spoon also. After mashing them, spread them out on the sifter. Let the liquid strain off. Second, use raw liquorice. Third, use baked salt–only when it is cooled down. Fourth, use raw ginger and mash it without being saturated in water. Fifth, use green pepper right after it was picked and dried. Fry and stir all the previous ingredients and use a wooden spoon to move them into a new bottle. Only materials slightly more than the quantity for ten cups can be preserved in one bottle. Leave some salt in the power. Cover it with double-layered oilpaper and tie the bottle neck tightly. Only when this has been done, one is able to have crisp mei. If the mei and ginger stick to your hands [i.e. if the mashed paste is too difficult to work with], you can cut them into bits instead. 

            [This would not produce a “soup,” but a preserved paste very much like—and in fact ancestral to—the “liquorice plums” or “liquorice crack seed” so abundant in Asian and Hawaiian markets today.]


            Yellow mei soup


            Take round and large yellow [i.e., ripe] mei and steam them till fully cooked. Discard the seeds. Take one jin of clean meat, three qian of baked salt, one and a half qian dry ginger powder, two liang of dried purple mint [perilla], liquorice and sandalwood, adjusting to individuals’ taste. Stir them till the flavor is even and put them in porcelain. Dry them in the sun and then preserve them. When eating them, one should add some salt. In the summer, it is even better if water is added.

            [Again, this is a preserve, not a soup; it is the salted and dried version of a common dish of meat with flowering-apricot sauce.]


            Phoenix-Pond soup


Take one jin of pitted black [fermented] mei, four liang of liquorice, one liang of baked salt, and cook them till they become creamlike. One method is to divide them equally into three. Pestle them into powder and stir till they are even. Press them into the bottle tightly. In the twelfth month or in the middle of the hottest days, blend them together. After half a year, bake them till they become powder and take it after cooked with hot water. Otherwise, it also can be taken after it is cooked with water and turns into creamlike stuff.

[Another version of preserved liquorice mei, not a soup.]


Mandarin orange soup


Take one jin of mandarin oranges and take off the skins, discarding the white membranes inside. Cut the skins into bits and mash them with the pulp. Use one liang of baked salt, one liang of liquorice, and one liang of raw ginger. Mash them till the juice comes out and stir them till it is even. For oranges, the method is the same. Dry it in the sun and seal tightly. When it is cooked in hot water, it tastes very good.


Apricot soup


Take any amount of apricot kernels and boil them till the skins peel off. Soak in water overnight, just as in making mung bean jelly. Drain the water. Or add a little of ginger juice as well as butter and honey. Another method is to use three liang of apricot kernels, two liang of raw ginger, one liang of baked salt, one liang of liquorice powder, and mash them together.


Fennel spice soup


Take six qian of fennel and the skins of Chinese pepper, two qian of dried salt, half sheng of fully cooked sesame, one jin of roasted flour. Mash them into powder.  Make up as soup with boiled water.

[This would be a thin, highly spiced paste or thick soup.]


            Mei-and-Perilla soup


            Take one and a half jin of black mei fruit, four liang of baked salt, two liang of liquorice, ten liang of purple mint [perilla] leaves, half liang of sandalwood, twelve liang of fried flour. Blend them evenly.  Blend in boiled water.


            Heavenly-fragrance soup


            When the white osmanthus blossoms, use a wood stick to strike off the flowers when they still have dew on them in the early morning. Hold them in a piece of cloth and take off the pedicels and calyx. Put them in a clean container. Use a new basin and mash them into mud-like paste. Squeeze water out and collect it. Add one liang of liquorice and ten salted plums to every jin of this material. Mash and make into cakes. Put the cakes into a jar and seal tightly. Use after making up as soup in boiled water.  [This seems to explain why the recipes are called “soups”:  one can beat up the preserved items in water for a hot drink.  However, they are, in our experience, eaten as they are prepared, not made into drinks.]


            Secret-fragrance soup


            When the mei blossoms, one should pick half-open flowers with petals in the early morning. Put them into porcelain bottles. Sprinkle every liang with one liang of baked salt. Don’t use hands to take them, or they will be spoiled. [They are extremely fragile.] Use layers of thick paper to seal. Put in the shade. In the next spring and summer, open, and add a little of honey first in the cup. Then put two or three flowers in it. Pour boiled water in it. The flower will blossom by itself just as lovely as if fresh. When it is added to the tea, it is extremely fragrant. It is said that pistils also can be dried in the shade and juice added as in the above method.

            [Opening mei flowers have a delicate carnation fragrance that is wonderful in tea.]


            Need-to-ask soup [i.e., soup you should ask for]


            Su Shi composed a song, saying:

            Three qian of raw ginger (dried for use) and one sheng of jujubes (dried and pitted for use),

            Two liang of white salt (fried to be yellowish) and one liang of liquorice (burned to get rid of the skin),

            Nail spice, wood spice, each half qian,

            Mash with the right amount of orange skins (get rid of the white membranes),

            When cooked well,

            When made up well,

            It will redden and whiten your face even when you’re old.

[We have translated “clove” (lit. “nail spice”) and “muxiang” (“wood spice,” Vladimirea or Saussurea) literally above, to keep the parallel construction]


            Apricot kernel cheese soup


            Take three and a half liang of apricot kernels and saturate them in two sheng of repeatedly-boiled water. Cover them with a lid. When the water is cooled down, replace it with more repeatedly-boiled water. Repeat this for five times. Then pinch off the skins and grind the kernels carefully in a small pottery basin. Then take one jin of good honey and cook them in a boiler till they boil three times. When boiled for the third time, collect them. When they are half cooled, add some more mashed kernels. Grind again.  Add [still more] mashed kernels and grind till even. Eat after mixing thoroughly in boiled water.


            [This produces a cheeselike substance; it is a form of nut butter, probably a Near Eastern contribution to Chinese cooking; see Buell et al. 2010.]


            Phoenix marrow soup (nourishing the lung and curing coughing)


            Use one liang of pine nuts and walnuts respectively (soaked in hot water and then peeled), and half liang of honey. Grind the above mentioned materials till they are mashed and then add honey to it. Stir till evenly blended. When using it, mix up in boiled water.


            [Another nut butter.  Pine nuts are associated with longevity, because pines live long and the nuts are genuinely highly nutritious.  Walnuts are, at least in modern China, considered brain food, because the kernel halves look like small brains.]


            Finest cream soup (satisfying thirst and generating saliva)


            Use one jin of black mei (mashed. Cook them with two large bowls of water till the soup can be contained in one bowl. Let it settle down. Don’t use iron vessels.), two liang of susha[石宿][26] (ground fine), one qian of white sandalwood power, one fen of musk, and three jin of honey.

            Put the mei water, susha, and honey all three together. Cook it in a sandstone vessel with slow fire till it turns reddish. When it is cooled down, add white sandalwood and musk. When using, take one or two spoons of it and mix in boiled water.


            Watery-Miraculous-Mushroom soup (opening the qi of heart and benefiting the essence and marrow)


            Use one jin of dried lotus seeds (wither them with skins on till they are extremely dry. Mash them into fine powder) and one liang of fine liquorice (slightly withered). Grind the above mentioned materials into powder. Add a pinch of salt to it every two qian. Saturate it in boiled water and use. Mash the blackish skins of lotus seeds till they are as hard as iron. If they cannot be mashed any more, get rid of them then. People usually get rid of the blackish skins when using lotus seeds. They do not understand. When one remains sitting at night, too hungry and tired to take any food, have one cup of this soup and it will greatly compensate for weakness and enhance the qi.  Formerly the immortal Wuguangzi took this and then achieved the Way.


            Jasmine soup


            Spread honey in the middle of a bowl. Spread it evenly and do not let it flow. Pick twenty or thirty jasmine flowers every early morning. Cover the honey bowl on the flowers and use their fragrance to smoke it. At noon get rid of the flowers. Pour hot water into the bowl.  It is very fragrant.


            Fragrant orange soup (widens the Middle Jiao, improves the movement of qi, and cures the discomforts of drunkenness)


            Use two jin of large oranges (got rid of the seeds, cut into slices, and use with skins), one half liang of sandalwood power, one liang of raw ginger (cut into slices and withered), one liang of liquorice powder, and three qian of salt. Grind the oranges and ginger in a clean sandstone basin till they are mashed. Then add white sandalwood powder and liquorice powder. Mix them and make cakes out of them. Bake the cakes till they are dry. Grand them into powder. Whenever using, take one qian of it and make it up in boiled water.


            Chinese olive (Canarium album) soup


            Use one liang of baiyaojian (百藥煎)[27], one qian of white angelica 白芷, five qian of sandalwood, and five qian of honey liquorice甘草炙[28]. Grind the above materials into fine powder. Mix in boiled water and then take it.


            [Presumably the ingredients are used to preserve the “olive,” or are used with a preserved one; the “olive” is the preserved fruit of a south Chinese and southeast Asian tree that also has an edible kernel in the seed.]


            Cardamom soup


            This soup cures every kind of cold qi, fullness in heart and stomach, stagnancy in chest midriff, hiccup and vomiting, diarrhea and weakness and slipperiness[29], indigestion of water and grains, tiredness and powerlessness, lose of appetite (this comes from Jufang局方[30]).

            Use one jin of cardamom seeds (baked in flour), four liang of roasted liquorice [here and in the following, “roasted” means parched or toasted in a pan], one jin of roasted white flour, five qian of clove branches and sticks (just use the branches), two liang of dried salt. Grind them into powder. Whenever using it, take two qian of it and mix in boiled water. It is wonderful when used before meals.


            Sobering-up soup (use after getting drunk)


            Use one and half qian of white tuckahoe [a fungus], five qian of cardamom seeds, three qian of muxiang, one and half qian of dried orange skins, one fen of greenish lotus skins 蓮花青皮, one qian of zexie澤瀉[31], one qian of shenqu神曲 (withered till it turns yellowish), three qian of susha, half liang of kudzu flowers葛花, one and half qian of cocklebur猪苓 (get rid of the black skins), one qian of dried ginger, and two qian of large-headed atractylodes (Atractylodes macrocephala) .

            Grind them into fine powder and stir them till they are even. Whenever using, take two qian of it and saturate it in hot water. After taking it, the patient will sweat a little bit and then the drunken illness is gone. One should not take too much of it.


            Quince soup (getting rid of wetness, satisfying thirst, and improving the movement of qi)


            Use four liang of clean, peeled, dried quince, five qian of white sandalwood, three qian of gharu-wood, five qian of roasted [pan-toasted, parched] fennel, five qian of cardamom, five qian of susha, one and half liang of fine liquorice, and half liang of dried raw ginger.

            Grind them into extremely fine powder. Take half qian of it everyday. Add salt and boiled water when using it.


            No-dust soup


            Use two liang of crystal sugar水晶糖霜 and two fen of mei-like borneol梅花片.

            Pestle the sugar into powder and sift it. Add borneol and grind it till it is even. Whenever using, take one qian and mix up in boiled water. One should not use too much. If one uses too much, it makes people feel full.


            Green-cloud soup (one should not take this soup when eating fish)


            Use four liang of catnip ear荆芥穗, two liang of large-headed atractylodes, and two liang of liquorice.

            Grind them into powder. When using it, add salt and saturate in hot water.


            Arborvitae leaf柏叶 soup


            Pick tender leaves of arborvitae [Thuja orientalis—though pai can sometimes mean similar evergreens with flat needle sprays]. Tie them with thread and hang it in a large jar. Seal the jar with paper. Use it after several months. If it is not dry yet, seal it till it is dry. Grind it into power. The color is like that of tender grass. If the jar is not used, it can also be put in a closed room. But it won’t be as green as that made in a jar. It turns yellowish when meets the wind. This soup can be used to replace tea, especially if people talk at night and are frightened [presumably because of drinking too much tea]. If one drinks too much tea, it will harm his health, consume the qi of essence, and harm the spleen and stomach. Arborvitae leaf soup is very beneficial. It is even better if it is picked freshly, cleaned, and mixed in boiled water.


            Three-goodness soup


            Use one sheng of glutinous rehmannia地黄 juice and Chinese wolfthorn枸杞 berry juice respectively, and half sheng of honey. Cook them in silver till it is like thin maltose. When using it, take a large spoon of it and saturate it in hot water or liquor. It enriches the qi and nourishes the blood. It is good for a person when taken over a long time.


            Dried Lichee荔枝soup


            Use two jin of white sugar, five liang of large black mei pulp (steam it with boiled water and get rid of the sour liquid), a small amount of cinnamon powder, a small amount of raw ginger thread,, and a small amount of liquorice.

            Pestle the sugar and black mei pulp till they are mashed. When using it, mix it in boiled water.


            Pure charm清韻 soup


            Use three liang of susha, one liang of stone calamus powder石菖蒲末, and five qian of liquorice powder. Add a small amount of salt. Mix in clear boiled water and take.


            Orange soup


            Use fifty oranges, one liang of dry yam powder山藥末, one liang of liquorice powder, and four liang of white mei pulp.

            Mash them and bake until dry. Make it into cakes. Mix it in clear hot water and use.


            Osmanthus soup


            Use four liang of osmanthus (baked and made into powder), a small amount of dry ginger, and a small amount of liquorice. Make them into powder and stir it till it is even. Add proper amount of salt and contain it in porcelain jar. Do not let the qi get out of the jar. Use it frequently after mixing in white hot water.


            Dongting soup


            Use four liang of aged orange skins (peeled) and four liang of raw ginger.

            Mix the orange skins and ginger for one night. Toast them and add six qian of liquorice powder, thirty white plum pulps, as well as five qian of baked salt. Stir them till they are even.  Mix in boiled water and use.


            Quince soup (second recipe)


            Use ten liang of quince, two liang of raw ginger powder, two liang of baked salt,two liang of liquorice powder, and ten liang of purple mint powder.

            Merge them and stir till they are even. Mix in boiled water and use. If one’s hands and feet are sour [sour perspiration?], he will feel better after drinking it.

            Another recipe: add two liang of susha powder and three liang of yam powder. This enhances digestion, dissolves the qi化氣, and strengthens the spleen.


            Ginseng and dwarf lilyturf soup


            Use one qian of ginseng, six fen of dwarf lilyturf门冬, and three fen of five flavors五味.

            Put them in a small jar and cook. As the soup is ready, drink it.


            Green mung bean soup


            Sift and clean green [but dry] mung beans and put them in a pot and add water. Boil it once over a high fire. Take the soup and wait till it is cooled down. The color is green. It cures heatstroke/insolation. If it boiled for several times, the color will become turbid and one cannot bear to eat it.  [This is still an extremely common folk remedy, or at least was in Hong Kong 30-40 years ago.]



BOILED WATERS (twelve kinds)


            Paddy-leaf boiled water (daoye shushui稻葉熟水)


            Pick seedlings of paddy plants and dry them in the sun. For use, pour boiled water in a pot. Burn the paddy leaves and throw them into the pot while still alight. Cover tightly. After a short while, pour the water out.  It is extremely fragrant.


            Tangerine-leaf boiled water


            Pick and dry in the sun. Make as above.


            Osmanthus-leaf boiled water


            Pick and dry in the sun. Make as above.


            Purple-mint-leaf boiled water


            Pick purple mint [perilla] leaves and toast them over fire with a piece of paper inserted between the leaves and fire. Do not stir them. When the fragrance can be smelled, collect them.  For use, wash quickly in boiled water. Then pour away the water. Add the saturated purple mint into a pot and then pour boiled water in it. After using this water, the breast can broaden out and the stagnant can be guided through (kuanxiong daozhi寬胸導滯).


            Gharu-wood boiled water


            Use one or two pieces of gharu-wood of the best grade. Burn in a stove and let it smoke. Cover the stove with the mouth of a pot and do not let the smoke escape. When the smoke does not come out any more, add boiled water into the pot immediately. Cover it tightly and then pour it out and drink it.


            Clove boiled water


            Use one or two cloves. Mash and put in a pot. Pour boiled water into the pot. The fragrance is thick; it is a little heating (shaore少熱).


            Large cardamom (sharen砂仁) boiled water


            Use three to five sharen and one or two qian of liquorice. Mash them and add them into a pot. Add boiled water. This is fragrant and can be eaten.  It can eliminate blockage (xiao yongge消壅隔) and remove what has congealed and been detained in the stomach region.


            Flower-fragrance boiled water


            Pick jasmines and roses with half-opened buds. Use one bowl of boiled water and let it cool down. Saturate the buds in the water and cover it with a bowl tightly. Remove the flowers next morning. Fill a pot with boiled water and then add one or two small cups of flower-saturated water. Then the whole pot is fragrant and the water can be taken.


            Sandal-wood boiled water


            Use the same method as for gharu-wood boiled water


            Cardamom boiled water


            Use one qian of cardamom, three qian of liquorice, and five fen of sweet flags growing on rocks (shichangpu石菖蒲). Slice them and add them into a clean pottery vessel. Pour boiled water on them, then drink. If the taste is too strong, add boiled water and then it can be used.


            Cassia liquid (guijiang桂漿)


            Use one liang of royal cassia (guan gui官桂, Chinese cinnamon) powder and two bowls of white honey (baimi白蜜). Boil two dou of water till only one dou remains. Pour it into a porcelain jar and wait till it is cooled down. Add cinnamon and honey and stir it for more than two hundred times. First cover it with a layer of oil paper. Then add several layers of cotton paper. Seal the jar tightly. After five to seven days, the water can be used. Otherwise, wedge a piece of wood into the jar and seal it tightly. Put it in a well. After three to five days, it is cool and tasty. Drink one or two cups frequently. Heat will be dispelled (qushu祛暑) and anxiety resolved. The hot will be removed and the cool will be generated (qure shengliang去熱生涼). Hundreds of illnesses will be prevented.


            Medicinal citron (xiangyuan香櫞) soup


            Use any amount of of large fragrant (medicinal) citrons and set twenty of them apart. Cut them in half. Use a bamboo knife to scrape out the pulp. Remove the part resembling a bag(nangdai囊袋). And the membrane resembling a tendon (jin). Collect it. Peel it till there is no white pith. Mince totally. Take it with a bamboo strainer and put it into boiled water. Scald it briefly once or twice. Squeeze it and let it dry. Collect it into the bag-shaped part. Add four liang of baked salt, one liang of liquorice powder, three qian of sandal-wood powder, one qian of gharu-wood powder (it will also be suitable if gharu wood is not used), and two qian of white cardamom powder. Mix evenly and seal tightly in a bottle. This can be preserved for a long time. Use chopsticks to get out one or two spoons of it and pour fully boiled water (baiguntang白滾湯) into it. It cures swelling and inflation in the diaphragm area (xiongge zhangman pengqi胸膈脹滿膨氣), sobers one up from drunkenness, improves digestion (xingjiu huashi醒酒化食), removes phlegm and dissolves congealed (daotan kaiyu導痰開郁). Its wonderfulness cannot be described in words. It cannot be taken in too large quantities, or it will hurt one’s original qi (yuanqi元氣).



CONJEES AND PORRIDGES (zhoumi粥糜), thirty-eight kinds


            Gordon euryale (foxnut or chicken-head, the edible fruits of a water plant; qianshi) conjee


            Use three he of peeled Gordon euryale. If they are new crop, grind them into paste. If they are old, make them into powder. Mix it with three he of japonica rice. Cook it as it turns into conjee and eat it. It will enhance the essence and qi, strengthen the intelligence, and sharpen ears and eyes.


            [Still commonly used in soups and congee; highly nutritious and digestible, it does provide benefits, though possibly not great intellectual supplement.]


            Lotus seed conjee


            Use one liang of lotus seed pulp. Peel and cook it till it is mashed. Pestle it carefully. Add three he of sticky rice. Cook them till it turns into conjee. Eat it and the curative effects are the same as the above.


            Bamboo leaf conjee


            Use fifty pieces of bamboo leaves, two liang of gypsum (shigao石膏), and three bowls of water. Cook them till it can be contained in two bowls. Let it settle down and remove the sediment. Add three he of rice and cook them into conjee. Add one or two spoons of white sugar and eat it. It cures the wind and heat above the midriff (or diaphragm; geshang fengre膈上风热) and red eyes (toumuchi头目赤).


            Turnip seed (manjing蔓菁, possibly including a kind of beet) conjee


            Use two he of turnip seeds and mash them. Add two large bowls of water and stir. Take the clean juice and add three he of rice. Cook it into conjee. It cures difficulty in urination (xiaobian buli小便不利).


            Cow milk conjee


            Use one zhong of raw real cow milk [as opposed to soybean milk, etc.]. First make a conjee with japonica rice and cook it till it is half cooked. Remove a little of the soup. Add cow milk. When it is fully cooked, contain it in a bowl and add one spoon of butter (su) and eat it.  [An interesting recipe, appearing thoroughly Indian; it probably came from India with Buddhism.]


            Sugar cane conjee


            Extract three bowls of sugar cane juice and add four he of rice. Cook it into conjee. Eat it with empty stomach. It cures cough, heat accompanied with weakness (xure虛熱), dry and hot mouth (kouzao口燥), thick phlegm (tinong涕濃), dry tongue (shegan舌幹).


            Yam (shanyao山藥) conjee


            Use four liang of lamb and mash it. Add one he of yam powder, a small amount of salt, and three he of japonica rice. Cook them into conjee. Eating it will cure illness caused by long-term weakness (xulao虛勞) and hot bones (gezheng骨蒸).[32]


            Wolfthorn (gouqi枸杞) conjee


            Use one he of wolfthorn [presumably berries] from Ganzhou甘州 and add three he of rice. Cook it into conjee and eat it.


            Perilla (zisu) conjee


            Use Perilla frutescens crispa powder and add water to get the juice. When one is cooking [rice] conjee and it is about to be fully cooked, add proper amount of juice and mix them evenly. Eating it will cure old men’s foot qi (laoren jiaoqi老人脚气). (It is wonderful using domestic perilla.)


            Glutinous rehmannia (dihuang地黄) conjee


            Use more than ten jin of glutinous rehmannia newly grown by the tenth month. Mash them till the juice comes out. Add four liang of white honey to every jin of the juice. Slowly cook it till it turns into paste. Collect and seal it. When cooking three he of conjee, add three or two qian of glutinous rehmannia paste and a small amount of ghee. Eating it will moisturize yin and moisten the lung (ziyin runfei滋阴润肺).


            Sesame conjee


            Use peeled sesame and steam them till full cooked. Toast till the fragrance can be smelled. Use three he of rice and wash. Add two he of sesame and grind juice out of the mixture. Fully cook it into conjee. When eating, add butter to it. [“Grinding juice out” may be a miswriting for grinding up the sesame and rice, or, more likely, for putting all in water.]


            Mountain chestnut (shanli山栗) conjee


            Fully cook chestnuts and powder them. Add rice and cook into conjee. Then one can eat it.


            Chamomile seedling (jumiao菊苗) conjee


            Use new born sprouts of chamomile (ganju甘菊) with clustered leaves. Pick and clean them. Mince finely. Add salt and cook with rice into conjee. Eating it will clarify the eyesight and pacify the heart (qingmu ningxin清目宁心).


            Wolfthorn leaf conjee


            Use new tender leaves of wolfthorn. Cook it as the above method. It is also wonderful.


            [Chinese wolfthorn leaves and berries are extremely rich in vitamins and minerals, and have many of the benefits claimed for them in Chinese medicine.]


            Job’s tears (yiyi薏苡) conjee


            Wash job’s tears and add the same amount of white rice. Cook them into conjee. When eating, add one or two spoonfuls of white sugar.


            Sandy-husk rice (shakemi沙殼米) [rice with rough, sandy-feeling husks] conjee


            Collect sandy-husk rice and wash it roughly with water. Add it to boiled water. When it is boiled again, take it out immediately. Therefore it will not turn into paste. It cures diarrhea (xiali下痢) and is extremely effective.


            (wulou芜蒌) conjee


            Fully cook red beans (chidou赤豆) in a pottery jar. When the rice conjee is slightly boiled, add the cooked red beans to it and cook. Eat it.


            Mei flower conjee


            Collect fallen mei petals and clean them. Use snow water to cook conjee. When the conjee is fully cooked, add petals to it. When it is boiled again, take it up immediately and eat it.


            Tumi 荼蘼 conjee


Pick petals of tumi [a small tree with white flowers, according to note in text; unidentified] and boil briefly with hot liquorice soup. When the conjee is fully cooked, add them to it and reboil.

Or pick tender leaves of muxiang木香, and boil them briefly with hot liquorice soup. Add oil, salt, ginger, and vinegar to make a dish. It has two kinds of pure fragrances and is truly a food that should be offered to the immortals.


            River-god (heqi河祇) conjee


            Fully cook Chinese herring (haixiang). Remove the sticks and cut it finely. When the conjee is fully cooked, add the fish to it and cook together. Stir till evenly mixed, and eat.


Wild yam (shanyao) conjee


            Use yam from Huai and make it into powder. Add rice to it with the ratio four to six. Cook them into conjee. Eating it will compensate the lower cinnabar field (xiayuan下元)[33].


            Goat or sheep kidney (yangshen) conjee


            Use half jin of wolfthorn leaves, three he of rice, two goat/sheep kidneys, five minced green onion heads (it is also suitable if dried). Cook them with rice into conjee. Add some salt. Eating it will effectively cure pains in waist and feet.


            Elk horn (mijiao麋角) conjee


            Use elk horns that have been cooked to produce glue. Grind them into fine powder. Add one qian of powder to every cup of conjee. Add a small amount of salt. It cures the weakness in the lower cinnabar field (xiayuan xuruo下元虚弱).


            Deer kidney conjee


            Use two deer kidneys. Remove the fat and membranes. Mince them finely and add a small amount of salt. Cook till very soft. Add three he of rice and cook into conjee. It cures the weakness of qi and deafness (qixu erlong气虚耳). Another recipe: add one liang of desert cistanche (congrong苁蓉), which has been washed by liquor and peeled. Cook it with kidneys and rice. It is also good.


            Pig kidney conjee


            Use two fen of ginseng, a small amount of green onion white (congbai葱白), and one fen of (fangfeng防風)[34]. Mash all of them into powder. Cook them with three he of japonica rice (jingmi粳米) till they are half cooked. Remove the membranes from a pair of pig kidneys. Cut them into thin slices and salt them. Let stand for a while. Add them into the conjee pot. Do not stir after the kidneys have been thrown into the pot. Cook it with slow fire for a long time. Eating it will cure deafness.


            Lamb conjee


            Use four liang of cooked [?] lamb (lanyangrou烂羊肉). Mince it finely. Add one qian of ginseng powder, one qian of tuckahoe powder, two jujubes, and finely minced membranous milk vetch (huangqi黃耆)[35]. Add three he of japonica rice and three or two fen of good salt. Cook them into conjee. Eating it will cure weakness (leiruo羸弱) and enhance the yang (zhuangyang壮阳).


            Dolichos bean (biandou扁豆) conjee


            Use half jin of white dolichos beans and two qian of ginseng. Mince them into thin slices. Cook them with water till the juice comes out. Add rice to it and make it into conjee. Eating it will improve one’s essence and strength (yi jingli益精力). Also, it cures children’s cholera (xiao’r huoluan小儿霍乱). 


            Tuckahoe (fuling茯苓) conjee


            Make tuckahoe into powder. Use one liang of it and two he of sweet rice. Fully cook the rice into conjee. Then add the tuckahoe and cook them together. Eat it after taking it up. It treats insomnia (“the symptom that one wants to sleep but cannot,” yushui budeshui欲睡不得睡).


            Perilla and cannabis conjee


            Use five qian of real Perilla frutescens crispa seeds (zhen zisuzi真紫苏子) and cannabis seeds (damazi大麻子) respectively. Wash them with water. Bake them till the fragrance comes out. Add water and grind them into mud-like stuff. Take the juice. Use the juice taken from the two kinds of seeds to cook conjee. It cures every kind of weakness that has congealed in an old man’s body for a long time (laoren zhuxu jiejiu老人諸虛結久), wind that cannot been terminated (fengmi bujie風秘不解), the stagnancy gathered in the diaphragm area (yongju gezhong壅聚膈中), inflation in the stomach and sickness in heart (fuzhang exin腹脹噁心). 


            Bamboo trickle (zhuli竹瀝)[36] conjee


            Cook conjee as normal. Add a half bottle of bamboo trickle. Eating it will cure the fire accompanying the phlegm (tanhuo痰火).


            Dwarf lilyturf (mendong門冬) [37]conjee


            Wash raw dwarf lilyturf till it is clean. Extract one cup of juice out of it. Take two he of white rice, one he of Job’s tears (yiyiren薏苡仁), two he of extracted raw glutinous rehmannia (dihuang地黄) juice, and half cup of raw ginger juice. First, fully cook Job’s tears and white rice. Then add the other three sorts of juices. Cook them into thin conjee. It cures nausea and vomiting (fanwei ouni翻胃呕逆).


            Daikon (luobo萝卜) conjee


            Use daikon that is not spicy. Add salt and boil it till it is fully cooked. Mince it into bean-shape bits. Add it to conjee that is almost cooked and it can be eaten when it is boiled.


            Lily bulb (baihe百合) conjee


            Use one sheng of lily bulbs. Mince them and add one liang of honey. When the conjee is almost ready to eat, add three he of lily bulbs and cook them together. Eating it is wonderful.


            Heshouwu (何首) conjee


            (The red heshouwu is the female and the white is male. The bigger, the better.)

            When picking the bigger, iron tools cannot be used. Use a bamboo knife to peel and slice it. Collect the slices. Use five qian of it and cook it in a pottery jar till it is mashed. Add three he of white rice and make them into conjee.


            Cornel (shanzhuyu山茱萸) conjee (it can also be made into powder)


            Peel and mash it. Grind it into mud-like stuff. Whenever using one cup of it, add two spoons of honey. Bake them together and let them congeal. When eating, mix it with conjee and stir evenly.


            Breast milk (renru人乳) conjee


            Use breast milk from a fat person (feiren肥人). When the conjee is half cooked, remove the soup and add breast milk to it. Replace the soup with breast milk and cook it till it is fully cooked. Contain it in a bowl. Add one or two qian of butter (suyou酥油). Stir immediately. It is sweet and tasty. It greatly supplements the original qi (dabu yuanqi补元气). It is also suitable if butter is not added.


            Wolfthorn berry (gouqizi枸杞子) conjee


            Use raw wolfthorn berries and grind them into mud-like stuff. If they are dry, grind them into powder. Add half cup of the powder to every basin of conjee. Add one or two spoons of white honey and stir it till it is even. Eating it is greatly beneficial (dayi大益).


            Meat and rice (roumi肉米) conjee


            Use white rice and cook it into soft rice. Use chicken soup (jizhi鸡汁), meat soup, or shrimp soup. Mix them and let it become limpid. Mince fully cooked meat into bean-like bits. Add wild rice stem [i.e. sliced swollen stems of “wild rice,” Zizania; jiaosun茭笋], hispid arthraxon (xiangjin)[38], or (songrang松穰). Mince them finely. Add them and the rice to the soup. When it is boiled, take it immediately and serve it. Use pickles to add flavors to it (guowei过味). It is very good.


            Green bean conjee


            Wash green beans till they are clean. Put them into a boiler. Add a lot of water and cook them till it is mashed. Then add rice. Use high fire (jinhuo紧火) to cook them into conjee. When it is cooled down, it is good for eating. In the summer months, one should stop when having enough of it. It should not be eaten too much.


            Counted-member (koushu口數) conjee[39] [i.e. conjee for everyone in the household]


            At the night of the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month, use red beans to cook conjee with the same method of cooking green bean conjee. Share it with the whole family. For those that have been out and returned, one should have them eat too. It is called koushu conjee. It can repulse epidemics and vicious demons (ligui疠鬼). This comes from Tianjia wuxing田家五行.




            STARCHES AND POWDERS (fenmianlei粉面), eighteen kinds


            Lotus root starch (oufen藕粉)


            Take any amount of thick lotus roots. Clean and cut them off. Soak [in water] for three days. Change the water every day. When the water is clean and clear, take the lotus roots out. Mash them into mud-like stuff (dao ru nijiang捣如泥浆). Use a piece of cloth to get the juice. Then mash the dregs. Then extract the juice, sift the remaining, and remove any contaminants. Add clean water, slightly mix and stir them. Then let it settle and remove the water. What has settled is good starch.


            Jitou Starch (jitoufen鸡头粉)


            Use fresh jitou and dry them in the sun. Remove the husks and mash them into powder.


            Chestnut starch (lizifen栗子粉)


            Use mountain chestnuts. Slice them and dry them in the sun. Grind them into fine powder.


            Water caltrop starch (lingjiaofen菱角粉)


            Peel the water caltrops and make them into powder as in making the lotus root starch.


            Ginger starch


            Mash the raw ginger and extract the juice. Let the starch settle. It can be added to soup (hegeng和羹).


            Arrowroot starch (gefen葛粉)


            Peel the arrowroots. Obtain starch by using the above method. It stimulates the appetite and terminates anxiety and thirst (kaiwei zhi fanke开胃止烦渴).


            Tuckahoe starch (fulingfen茯苓粉)


            Slice tuckahoe. Soak, and remove the red juice. Change the water and soak for one day. Get the starch by using the above method. When it is stirred with uncooked conjee (weizhuzhou未煮粥), its benefits are best (buyi zuijia补益最佳).


            Pine and cypress starch (songbofen松柏粉)


            Take leaves when they still have dew on them. If picked overnight, it will not produce starch. Use the tender leaves and mash them. Let the starch settle down. It is like the tender leaves, green and lovely.


            Yam starch (shanyaofen药粉)


            Use fresh yams. Follow the above method. The dry can be grinded into starch.


            Brake [presumably bracken fern root] starch (juefen蕨粉)


            Use it to make cakes, which are wonderful. There are such made-cakes (zhichenghuo治成).


            Lotus seed starch


            The dry lotus seeds can be ground into powder.


            Taro starch (yufen芋粉)


            Use white taro (baiyu白芋). Make them into powder by using the above method. The purple ones should not be used.


            Caltrop starch (jilifen蒺藜粉)


            Mash it in a wood mortar till its sticks and skins are off. Take the starch out of it as the above method. It can lighten the body and remove the wind (qingshen qufeng轻身去风).




DRIED MEAT AND FISH (puzhalei鲊类), fifty kinds


            One thousand mile dry meat (qianlipu千里脯)


            Beef, lamb, or pork can be used. Use one jin of thin meat, two cups of strong liquor (nongjiu秾酒), one qian of thin vinegar (dancu淡醋), four qian of white salt, three qian of dong , one qian of fennel and Chinese pepper powder. Stir them overnight. Cook them with slow and high fire (wenwuhuo文武火)  till the juice is dry. Dry it in the sun. It is extremely wonderful. It can be preserved for one month.  [Presumably good for a journey of a thousand li, about 300 miles.]


            Meaty dry fish (rouzha) it is also called willow-leaf dried fish (liuyezha柳叶)


            Use one jin of thin meat (remove the tendons) and one liang of salt. Add a small amount of rice starch (mifen米粉)—it will turn sour if too much rice starch is added. Use three jin of pig skins (roupi肉皮). Boil them briefly with water. Slice them into thin pieces. Mince them with the thin meat. Stir them. Use a piece of bamboo shoot (ruo) skin to wrap a meat cake of the weight of four liang. Bake it above the ashes in the winter (dongtian huihuo冬天灰火) for three days. Use a cover and keep a small hole on it. In the summer, it can be eaten after one week.


            Pestled dry meat (chuipu槌脯)


            Use one jin of thin meat from a pen-raised pig that has been just slaughtered, while still warm. Chop it into four or five pieces. Add half liang of baked salt. Press them into the meat till the tendon and pulse cannot take them any more. Half dry them in the sun. Measure and use good liquor and water, Chinese pepper, dill (shiluo莳萝), orange skins (jupi橘皮). Cook them with slow fire till it is dry. Then mash it into bits.


            [This spiced, pemmican-like dried shredded meat is still a common snack food.]


            Fire meat (huorou火肉)


            Use the four thin legs from a pig that has just been slaughtered and used to be raised in the pen. Add salt when they are still warm. Add one liang of salt to every jin of meat. Rub the salt from the skin into the meat. Let it turn soft. Press down with bamboo fencing [woven slats] and stones. Put it in a jar. After about twenty days, add ashes burned from paddy stalks (daochaihui稻柴灰) to each layer of meat. Repeat this for three or five times. Burn paddy stalks to smoke the meat for one day and one night. Hang the meat in the place for smoking. In early summer, soak it in water for one day and one night, clean it, and hang it up as before.


            [Modern Chinese huotui “fire leg” is ham, but here we have a more complex recipe.]


            Twelfth-month meat (larou腊肉) [La is a general term for preserved meats]


            Use ten jin of fat, tender pork from a castrated pig (fenzhu?). Cut it into twenty pieces. Use eight liang of salt and two jin of liquor. Mix them evenly and rub them with high pressure into the meat till it turns soft. Use a big stone to force out the liquid. Air it till dry. Spread the remaining liquor and dregs on the meat. Use a piece of bamboo strip to piece the meat and hang it in a well-ventilated place.

Another method: use ten jin of meat. Cook twenty liang salt with water till the water is clean. Take the liquid and add it to the meat. Take it out after twenty days and hang it up in a well-ventilated place. Another method: summer-month salty meat. Rub baked salt into the meat. Let it evenly salted for one night. Then hang it up. If any trace of liquid is visible, use a big stone to extrude the liquid. Then hang it in the wind.


            Roasted fish (zhiyu)


            Use long-tailed anchovy (jiyu鲚鱼)[40] just caught from the river. Clean it. Roast it on burned charcoal till it is fully dried, and gather it up.

Another method: remove the head and tail of the long-tailed anchovy. Cut it into pieces. Fry it with oil till it is fully cooked. Use the skin of bamboo shoots to separate the fish, and arrange them in a pottery jar. Use mud to seal the jar.


            Fish in salted water (shuiyanyu水腌)


            In the twelfth month, cut a carp (liyu鲤鱼) into large pieces. Wipe off the water. Use four liang of baked salt for every jin of fish. Rub the salt on the fish and let it stay for one night. Then wash it and air it till it is dry. Then use two liang of salt and one jin of dregs. Mix them evenly and put them in a jar. Use paper and mud to seal the jar.


            Raw crab (xiesheng蟹生)


            Mince fresh crab into bits. Cook the sesame oil till it is cooked. Let it cool down. Use (caoguo草果), fennel, large cardamoms (sharen砂仁), Chinese pepper powder, water ginger (shuijiang水姜), pepper powder. Then add green onion, salt, and vinegar. There are ten kinds of flavors. Add them into the crab and stir it evenly. It can be eaten immediately.


            Dry fish (yuzha鱼鲊)


            Carp (liyu鲤鱼), herring (qingyu), weever (luyu鲈鱼), or sturgeon (xunyu鲟鱼) all can be used to make dry fish. Remove the scales and intestines. Use old bamboo brush to brush away the fat and blood till it is very clean. Hang it in the wind for one or two days. Cut it into small squares. Add one jin of raw salt for every ten jin of fish. In summer months, use one jin four liang of salt. Stir it evenly and let it be salted in a container. In the winter, it should be salted for twenty days. In the spring and autumn, it should be salted for less time. Wrap it with a piece of cloth and press it with a rock. Let the liquid go out till it is fully dry, not slippery (hua) or pliable (ren). Use two liang of Sichuan pepper skins, half liang of dill (shiluo莳萝), fennel, large cardamoms, and red beans (hongdou红豆) respectively, a small amount of liquorice. Make them into rough powder. Wash seven or eight he of white japonica rice and cook it. Use one and half jin of raw sesame oil, one jin of purely white green onion slices, one and half he of red distiller’s yeast (hongqu红曲). Mash them and stir evenly. Press them into a porcelain or wood jar tightly. Cover it with lotus leaves. Insert bamboo strips to fix it. And then press small stones on it. Wait till it is gradually ready. It is suitable to be made in the spring or autumn. In the winter, one can prepare salted fish as a base. When it is used, add other materials to it immediately. This is the method used in the capital. Long-tailed anchovy (jiyu鲚鱼) can be made in the same way. But it should be dry; then it will be good.


            Meat that is like dry fish (rouzha)


            Cook fresh pig or goat lean legs. Slice them and pestle the slices with the back of a knife blade for twice or three times. Cut them into squares. Boil them and then take them out immediately. Wrap them in a piece of cloth and twist it till dry. For every jin of meat, add one cup of good vinegar, four qian of salt, a small amount of Chinese pepper oil, caoguo草果, and sharen砂仁. It is also tasty when it is served [at dinner].


            Large stewed meat (dalurou卤肉)


            Choose a pig that has been raised in the pen and is about forty jin in weight. Use only the fore legs. Remove the fat, bones and the (tuodu拖肚). Pick a piece of pure meat (jingrou净肉) and cut it into pieces about four or five jin in weight. Then cut two times in a cross shape and then make them into squares (qie shizi wei sifang kuai切十字为四方块). Boil them with pure water till they are about seventy or eighty percent cooked. Take them out and let them cool down. Slice them and let each slice have both fat and lean meat and one finger in thickness. Remove the grease on the surface and add a small amount of water. Use the original soup (yuanzhi原汁) [that was used to boil the meat]. Put the soup in a pot. First add spices (luliao卤料), then add the meat, and then add soy sauce, and then add the original soup. Boil them. Then add fine spice powder (mozi xi luliao末子细卤料) to the meat, and then add red dreg powder (hongqumo红曲末). Let it soak in the meat juice and get thinner. Pour the juice onto the meat. Use slow and high fire to boil them till the meat is red all over. Then add previously cooked sauce (suzhi宿汁). Add some salt, remove (jiangban酱板), and then add shrimp sauce (xiazhi虾汁). Remove the grease floating on the surface. Measure how clean (qing) the sauce is and cook it till it is proper. Use when it is warm. The meat and sauce should not be warmed in a pot again.

            Fermented-soybean-sauced goose (chizhi e豉汁) is made as the above method. But the red dreg should not be used. Instead, add some fermented soybeans to the sauce.

            The method of extracting a thin sauce (qingzhi清汁): how to remove the grease previously. Mash raw shrimps and soy sauce and add them to the soup. Boil the soup and let it boiled in the pot. At the same time, skim what is floating on the surface. (If there is no shrimp sauce, mash pig liver and add water. Replace the shrimp sauce with the liver sauce.) After three or four times, it is all right, when there is no floating grease, if the shrimp sauce is added.

            The method of preserving previously cooked sauce (suzhi宿汁): boil the previously cooked sauce everyday. Let it settle down for awhile and it is usable when clean. If it is not used, contain it in a tin container or pottery jar and seal it. Then hang it in a well.

            The method of using the red dregs (yong hongqu fa红曲法): use about a cup of liquor for every yeast ball (qu). Let it soak in the liquor overnight and turn soft. Grind it into mud like stuff. Use the meat soup to dilute it.

            The method of making rough spices (cu luliao卤料): use equal amount of royal cinnamon, white angelica (baizhi白芷)[41], and fine ginger (liangjiang良姜). Do not cut them and use up all of them.

            The method of making fine spices (xi luliao细卤料): use as much as liquorice, and equal amount of royal cinnamon, white angelica, fine ginger, osmanthus flowers, sandal wood, ageratum (huoxiang藿香), asarum (xixin细辛), nard (gansong甘松), Chinese pepper, susha[石宿], red beans, and apricot seeds. Make them into fine powder for usage.

            The meat soup should be very clean. It is wonderful when there is no floating grease. But the meat should not be dry or shriveled.



Salted vinegar fish in jelled stock (daidong yancu yu帶凍鹽醋魚)


            Cut fresh carp into small pieces. Salt them. Cook in soy sauce. Add the fish scales and catnip (Schizonepeta tenuifolia,jingjie荊芥)[42] to the sauce and boil them. Remove the dregs. When the soup is thick, flavor it according to one’s taste. Keep the soup in a tin container. Put it in a well or in [cold] water [to jell it]. Pour thick gingered vinegar on it.


            Cucumber sauce (guaji瓜齏)


            Use equal amount of cucumber [or gourd] pickles (jianggua醬瓜), raw ginger, green onion (congmian蔥面), unsalted dried bamboo shoots (dansungan淡筍乾) or wild rice stem (jiaobai茭白), baby shrimps (xiami蝦米), and chicken breasts. Cut them into long slices. Fry them with sesame oil and then it can be served.


            Dried moorhen (a duck-like wild bird; shuiji ganzi水雞幹子)


            Clean a large moorhen. Boil it in the water and take it out immediately when it is boiled. Press it with a stone. Let it dry totally and then store it.


            Abacus-strip cake (suantiao bazi算條巴子)


            Use fat and lean pork and cut them into pieces three cun in length, in shape of abacus strip. Use proper amount of granulated sugar (shatang砂糖), Chinese pepper powder, and susha宿砂 powder. Blend them evenly. Dry them in the sun and steam them till fully cooked.


            Minced pork and clam (saozi hali臊子蛤蜊[43])


            Use half fat and half lean pork. Cut into small squares like dices. Add some liquor and half-cook these. Add soybean sauce and then Chinese pepper, large cardamoms, green onion white, salt, and vinegar. Blend them evenly. Then mix green bean powder and water evenly. Add them into the pot and contain it when it is boiled. Use this as the sauce (ni). Boil the clams in the water and remove the shells. Place them one by one in a boiler (tangguzi湯鼓子). Place the sauce above the clams and serve them. The same method can be applied to fresh leek (xinjiu新韭), onion (hucong胡葱), bok choy hearts (caixin菜心), pig kidney (zhuyaozi猪腰子), bamboo shoots, and wild rice stem.


            Oven roasted chicken (lubeiji炉焙)


            Use one hen. Boil it till it is eighty percent cooked. Cut it into small squares. Add a small amount of oil in a pot and fully heat it. Place the chicken in the pot and fry it briefly. Use a metal plate (xuanzi鏇子) or a bowl to cover it. Cook it till it is extremely hot. Add equal amount of liquor and vinegar, a small amount of salt. Cook. When it is dry, [add water and] cook it. Repeat this for several times till the chicken is very soft and full cooked. It can be used.  [The “oven” thus appears to be a large pot. The idea here is to cook the chicken pieces down to preserve them.]


            Steamed hilsa herring (or Reeves shad; shiyu鲥鱼)[44]


            Remove the intestines of the hilsa herring but not the scales. Use a piece of cloth to wipe off the blood. Place it in a boiler. Mash Chinese pepper, large cardamoms, and soy sauce. Add liquor (shuijiu水酒) and green onion and blend them till the flavor is even. Steam the fish with the sauce. Remove the scales and serve it.


            Soft-bone fish (suguyu酥骨)


            Clean a large crucian carp (jiyu鲫鱼). Add a small amount of soy sauce, a large pinch of perilla leaves (zisuye苏叶), and a little liquorice. Cook for half a day [evidently braising over very low heat; this would soften the otherwise extremely annoying small bones of this fish]. When it is fully cooked, it can be served.


            Sichuan pig head (chuanzhutou川猪)


            Boil the pig head with water till it is fully cooked. Cut it into strips. Blend granulated sugar, Chinese pepper, large cardamom, and soy sauce with it evenly. Boil it in the original soup [boiling stock]. When it is as soft as if mashed, remove the bones and tie it with threads. Press a large stone on it tightly and make it into cream-dreg like stuff (gaozao膏糟). Then it can be eaten.


            Stuffed stomach (niangduzi肚子)


            Clean a pig stomach. Stuff dried lotus seeds (shilianrou石蓮肉)[45] into it. Wash the bitter skin (kupi苦皮) [of the lotus seeds] till it is very clean. Wash white sweet rice as much as the lotus seeds. Stuff them into the stomach. Tie the stomach with threads. Full cook it and press it tightly. When it is cooled down, slice it. Place the cooked stomach above a piece of paper on the floor. Spray fine vinegar on the stomach and cover it with an earthen bowl. After a while, it can be eaten. Both the stomach and the pulp are thick and edible.


            The method of making salted meat (yanrou腌肉) in summer months


            Use baked warm salt to scrub the meat till the meat turns soft. Place it in a jar and press stones on it evenly. Press it overnight and then hang it up. If there is any trace of liquid, use a big stone to press it till it is dry. Hang it in a windy place and it will not spoil.


            The method of making salted pig tongue and ox tongue


            Use eight qian of salt for every jin of tongues. One recipe: use five qian [of salt][46], a bowl of fine liquor, a small amount of Sichuan pepper, dill (shiluo莳萝), fennel (huixiang茴香), and sesame oil, and minced green onion white. Blend them and let them be for five days. Stir them for three or four times. Pierce the tongues, then use a piece of thread to hang them up in a windy place. Let them dry in the shade and wrap them in paper. Boil them and they can be used.


            Recipe for air-dry fish (fengyufa风鱼法)


            Cut open the stomach of herring (qingyu) or carp (liyu鲤鱼) and remove the intestines. Use four or five qian of salt for every jin of fish. Salt it for seven days and then take it up. Clean it and wipe off the liquid. Cut below the gills. Scrub the gills and inside and outside of the abdomen with Sichuan pepper, fennel, and baked salt. Wrap it with paper. And then use a piece of hemp skin (mapi麻皮) to wrap all the fish into one bundle. Hang it in a windy place. It would be wonderful if there are more spices stuffed in the fish abdomen.


            Recipe for raw meat (roushengfa肉生法)


            Cut lean pork into narrow, thin slices. Wash them with soybean sauce. Fry them quickly in a red-heated pot. When the blood disappears and the meat turns white, it is prepared. Take it out and cut it into threads. Then add pickles, radish pickled in lees (zaoluobo萝卜), garlic, Amomum villosum cardamom (sharen砂仁), Amomum tsaoko cardamom (caoguo草果)), Chinese pepper, orange slices, and sesame oil. Mix them and fry. When eating it, one should add vinegar to the meat threads and blend them evenly. It is very tasty.


            Recipe for making fish paste (yujiang鱼酱)


            Use one jin of fish. Mince it and wash it till it is clean. Use three liang of baked salt, one qian of Chinese pepper, one qian of fennel, one qian of dried ginger, two qian of (shenqu神曲), five qian of red dregs (hongqu 红曲). Add liquor to them and blend them evenly. Blend them with fish and contain it in a porcelain jar and seal it tightly. After ten days, it can be used. When eating, one should add some minced green onion.


            Recipe for making mashed and/or lees-cured pig head and feet (zaozhutou tizhua糟豬頭、蹄爪)


            Boil pig head and feet till they can be easily mashed. Wrap them in a piece of cloth and spread them. Add a big stone on it and press the stone, flattening them for one night. It is very good when brewing lees are used (zaoyong糟用).


            Recipe for making liquor fish (jiufayu酒發魚)


            Cut a large crucian carp (jiyu鯽魚) open. Remove the scales, eyes, and intestines. Do not let unboiled water touch it. Use a piece of cloth to wipe off the water. For one jin of fish, use one liang of shenqu神曲, one liang of red dreg (hongqu红曲) powder, two liang of baked salt, one liang of pepper, fennel, Sichuan pepper, and dried ginger. Blend them and insert them into the abdomen of the fish. Add one more layer of spices and place it in a jar. Wrap it and seal it with mud. If it is made in the twelfth month, it should be opened after the fifteenth day of the first month. Turn the fish over and add fine liquor to it and let it saturate in the liquor. Seal it with mud till the fourth month. By then it is ready and can be eaten. It can be preserved for one or two years.


            Recipe for making liquor-soaked shrimps (jiuyanxia酒腌)


            Use large shrimps and do not wash them with water. Clip the antennae and tails. Use five qian of salt for every jin of shrimps. Salt them for half day. Let them dry and put them in a bottle. When placing one layer of shrimps, add thirty Chinese peppercorns. It would be wonderful if more peppercorns are added. Or it would be wonderful if one blends peppercorns with shrimps and place them in a bottle. After placing them in the bottle, one should use three liang of salt for every jin of shrimps and dilute the salt with fine liquor and pour the salted liquor into the bottle. Seal it with mud. It will be tasty after five to seven days in the spring or autumn. It takes ten days in the winter.


            Huguang recipe for making dried fish (huguang yuzha湖广鱼鲊)


            Use ten jin of large carp (liyu鲤鱼). Cut them into small squares like cloves (dingxiang丁香). Remove the bones and other wastes. Stir and toast old yellow rice till dry. Grind into powder. Use a half sheng of it.  Add one and a half sheng of baked red dregs (chaohongqu红曲). Make into powder for use. Measure ten jin of the fish pieces and use two bowls of fine liquor, one jin of salt (use one jin and four liang of salt in summer months). Blend them with the fish and put them in a porcelain container. Let it be salted for half of a month in the winter, ten days in the spring or summer. Then take it up and wash it till it is clean. Wrap it in a piece of cloth and extract water out of it till it is very dry. Use two liang of Sichuan pepper, one liang of Amomum villosum cardamoms (sharen砂仁), five qian of fennel, five qian of red beans, a small amount of liquorice that is made into powder, one jin and eight liang of sesame oil, and one jin of white stalks of green onions. First, add one sheng of rice-koji powder (miqumo米曲末) to them and blend them evenly. Contain them in a jar and press a stone on it. It can be eaten after fifteen days in the winter and seven or eight days in the summer months. When eating it, it would be wonderful if spices and rice vinegar (jiaoliao micu椒料米醋) are added.


Deep-fried meat in water (shuizharou水煠肉); also called “split-and-burned” (boshao擘燒)


Cut raw pork into large strips of two fingers in width. Carve patterns like brick stairs [i.e., cut little notches] on both sides of the strips. Then use sesame oil, sweet sauce (tianjiang), Chinese pepper, fennels, and blend them evenly. Rub them on the carved meat till they are evenly spread. After a while, add a bowl of oil obtained by cooking the pig fat, a bowl of sesame oil, a large bowl of water, a small bowl of liquor to a pot. Add the spiced meat till it is saturated in the juice. Then add one liang of garlic (suanlang蒜榔) and stew it with a cover on the pot. When the meat turns soft, take it up and eat it. The meat seems to have no grease at all because the grease turns into gas.


Water steamed meat (qingzhengrou清蒸肉)


Boil a piece of fine pork once. Take clean squares. Wash it by water and scrape it till it is clean. Carve the skin with a knife. Wrap anise seeds, fennel seeds (daxiaohuixiang大小茴香),  Chinese pepper, Amomum tsaoko cardamoms (caoguo草果), and royal cinnamon in a piece of sparsely-woven cloth. Put it in a boiler and press the meat on it. First, boil chicken or goose meat to get the pure broth and flavor it properly. Pour the broth onto the meat. Then cover it with scallion (dacong大葱), pickles (yancai腌菜), and garlic (suanlang蒜榔) in the boiler. Steam it with the boiler covered. When eating it, remove the scallion, garlic, wrapped spices, and so on.


Fried goat stomach (chaoyangdu炒羊肚)


Wash a goat stomach till it is clean. Cut it into narrow strips. Boil a large pot of water. At the same time, cook oil in a pot. First, put the stomach in the boiler and boil it quickly by holding it in a bamboo strainer (zhaoli). Then use a piece of coarse cloth (cubu粗布) to extract the water in the stomach. Put it immediately into the wok with oil in it and fry it with high fire. When it is about to be fully cooked, blend green onion, sliced garlic, Chinese pepper, fennels, soybean sauce, liquor, and vinegar evenly and add them to stomach. Take it up immediately after it is cooked. It is delicious and crisp. If one is slow in doing this, the stomach will be slick like a strip of skin.  It is then disgusting.


Fried kidney (chaoyaozi炒腰子)


Cut a pig kidney open and remove the white membrane and tendons. Carve patterns on the outside of the kidney. Place it in boiled water and boil it briefly. Take it up and let the water go. Fry it quickly in a wok. Add spices (xiaoliao小料) such as minced green onion, coriander (yuansui芫荽), sliced garlic, Chinese pepper, ginger, soybean sauce, liquor, and vinegar. Take it up immediately when it is cooked.


Razor clam and dried fish (chengzha蛏鲊)


Use one jin of razor clams and one liang of salt. Let the clams be salted for one day and one night. Then wash the clams and let them dry. Wrap them in a piece of cloth and press a stone on it. Add five qian of cooked oil, five qian of ginger and orange slices, one qian of salt, five fen of sliced green onion, a large cup of liquor, and one he of rice (fanshen飯糝) that is made into powder. Blend them evenly. Put in a bottle and seal it with mud. It can be served after ten days. Dried fish can be made in the same way.


Wind-dried fish (youfengyu风鱼)


Use four qian of salt for every jin of fish. Add Chinese pepper, Amomum villosum (sharen砂仁), minced green onion, sesame oil, sliced ginger, and finely sliced orange. Let them be salted for ten days and then hang the fish up in the smoke.


Sugar-roasted meat (tangzhirou糖炙肉) and roasted meat strips (hongrouba烘肉巴)


Remove the skin and bones in a piece of pork and cut it into large slices of two cun in thickness. Use a small amount of granulated sugar to remove the smell [of the pork]. Blend soybean sauce, aniseeds, fennel seeds (daxiaohuixiang大小茴香), and Chinese pepper with the meat. Dry it for one day and collect it. Cook sesame oil and add the meat to it. Cover the wok and do not burn firewood. It is ready when it turns soft.

Cut lean and tender pork into slices or strips. Salt them for awahile and blend them with Chinese pepper. Dry them for one day. When eating, roast them on iron grill above burning charcoals.


Three recipes for soybean sauce crab (jiangxie醬蟹), dreg crab (zaoxie糟蟹), and drunk crab (zuixie醉蟹)


Add sesame oil in soybean sauce, which can make the crab be preserved longer without turning granulate (jiuliu busha久留不砂). Use one bowl of dregs, vinegar, liquor, and soybean sauce, respectively. When the crabs are many, add a plate of salt. Another recipe: use seven bowls of liquor, three bowls of vinegar, and two bowls of salt. Drunk crabs are delicious too. Place a piece of charcoal at the bottom of the jar and the crab fat (xiegao蟹膏) will not granulate. Add one qian of angelica root (baizhi白芷) to the crabs in liquor dregs and then the crab fat will keep firm. But the crabs will probably be tainted with a smell of medicine, which is not good.


How to dry shrimps in the sun without letting their redness fade away


Stir and bake shrimps with salt till they are fully cooked. Put them in a bamboo basket. Wash away the salt with well water. Dry them in the sun and their redness will not fade away.


Recipe for boiling a fish (zhuyufa鱼法)


For river fish (heyu), place in water and boil till bones turn soft. For fish of big rivers and seas (jianghaiyu江海), first flavor the boiler soup and then place the fish in it. So the fish bones will be hard.


How to boil crabs and let them remain green in color; how to remove the meat from clam (geli蛤蜊)


Use three to five persimmon pedicels (shidi柿蒂) to boil with crabs and the crabs will remain green in color. Boil loquat kernels (pipaheneiren枇杷核内仁) with clams and the clam meat will fall from the shell.


Recipe for making meat paste (roujiang)


Use four jin of lean pork and remove the tendons and bones. Use one jin and eight liang of soybean sauce, four liang of finely ground salt, one bowl of finely minced green onion white, five or six qian of Sichuan pepper, fennel, and preserved orange peels (chenpi陈皮) respectively. Blend these spices with liquor and add the meat into it till it is like a thick conjee. Place it in a jar and seal it tightly. Dry it in a scorching sun. After more than ten days, open it and see whether it is dry or not. If it is dry, add liquor. If it is light, add salt. Seal it with mud again and dry it in the sun.


Dried yellowbird (huangque黄雀) [Yellow buntings or siskins]


Clean every bird. Wipe it with liquor and do not let it be touched by water. Use yellow wheat yeast (maihuang麥黃)[47], red rice starter (honhqu红曲), salt, Chinese pepper, and sliced green onion. Taste it till the flavor is right. Place the birds in a flat jar. Spread one layer of spices on every layer of birds. Stuff the jar and fasten it with bamboo leaves and stalks. When the brine (lu) comes out, pour it away and add liquor to it. Seal it tightly and it can be used for a long time.


List of cooking knacks (zhishi youfa tiaoli治食有法条例)


Use flour to wash pig liver and use granulated sugar to wash pig bowels and there will not be any smell.

When boiling bamboo shoots, add mint to them and add less salt or ashes. Then the bamboo shoots will not taste sour.

Place a half piece of the fruit of Chinese honeylocust (zaojiao皂角) on the jar containing dregs and soybean sauces (zaojiang糟醬), and it can be preserved longer. [Possibly the saponins in the pod have some preservative effect.]

Add one or two drops of raw oil to the water and use it to wash the fish. The there will not be any sticky liquid (xian).

When boiling fish, add ground incense (moxiang末香)[48] to it and it will not be smelly.

When boiling goose, add several slices of cherry and then it will turn soft easily.

When boiling old dried meat (chenlarou陈腊肉) that is about to be fully cooked, throw several pieces of burning charcoal into the boiler and then the meat will not have a sour, greasy smell.

When boiling any kind of meat, cover the boiler and cook them with one or two pieces of paper mulberry fruit (Broussonetia papyrifera, chushizi实子). Then the meat will easily turn soft and become delicious.

In summer months, boil meat with vinegar alone and it can be preserved for ten days.

Flours (mian) should not be eaten along with unboiled water (shengshui生水). Use boiled water and let it cool down and eat it.

When cooking meat, do not use mulberry branches as firewood. [Most of the tips in this section are practical, but this one seems magical.]

Do not place crabs in soybean sauce or crabs in dregs in the light of a lamp. Otherwise, the meat will turn coarse (or sandy, sha).

If the liquor turns sour, bake one sheng of red beans (xiaodou小豆) till they are burned. Put them in a bag and place the bag in the liquor jar. Then the liquor will be good.

Dry the light ashes (danhui淡灰) extracted from a dye house in the sun. Use to cover raw cucumbers or eggplants completely, and they will be edible till the winter.

Wrap oranges with pine needles (songmao松毛) and the oranges will not dry up for three to four months. It is also possible to use green beans to cover oranges.

On the fifth day of the fifth month, boil wheat flour into conjee. Add a small amount of salt and let it cool down. Pour it into a jar. Collect recently picked unripe red peaches and place them in the jar. Seal the jar. The peaches will be fresh in the winter months.

For yellow apricots in honey (mijian huangmei蜜煎黄梅), one should change the honey frequently. Place asarum (xixin细辛) on top of them and worms will not grow in them.

Use the water taken in the twelfth month (lashui臘水), a handful of mints, and a small amount of potassium alum (mingfan). Place them into a jar. Soak loquats枇杷, apples, or waxberries (yangmei) in it and their color will not change. They taste cool and are edible.








These are what I have made by myself and thus I know how they taste. These recipes are collected in my notes, not recorded randomly (fei manlu ye非漫录也). If they are different from what is circulated, it is a difference of opinion (xiting zhidu悉听制度).


Salted gourds and vegetables (peiyan guashu盐瓜蔬)


Use fifty jin of old gourds and tender eggplants. Use two and a half liang of pure salt. First use a half liang of salt to salt the gourds and eggplants for one night in order to let the water go. Then use five jin of orange peels, two jin of fresh perilla (zisu) with roots, three jin of raw ginger, two jin of peeled apricot kernels, four liang of osmanthus flowers (guihua桂花), two liang of liquorice, and one dou of soybean. Boil them. Blend them with five jin of liquor and place them in a jar. Stuff the jar and press five layers of bamboo leaves on them. Use bamboo strips to fasten them. Use bamboo leaves with mud to seal the jar. Dry it in the sun. Take them out after two months. Add half jin of Chinese pepper (dajiao大椒), half jin of fennels and Amomum villosum (sharen砂仁) respectively. Spread them and dry them in the sun light. When they glow [probably:  turn a glowing color], they turn soft and delicious. For soybeans, one should use large ones and fully cook them till they can be easily mashed. Use bran (fupi麸皮) to cover the cooked soybeans till they glow. Then remove the bran and use the pure soybeans.


Sugar steamed eggplants (tangzhengqie糖蒸茄)


Use tender and large cow-breast eggplants (niunaiqie牛奶茄). Do not remove the pedicels. Cut them into six-side shape (liuleng六棱). Use one liang of salt for every fifty jin of eggplants. Blend them evenly. Then boil them firefly in boiled water and let their color change. Strain them. Use mints and fennel powder, two jin of granulated sugar, and half cup of vinegar. Soak them in it for three nights. Dry them in the sunlight and then use above spices to salt them again (lu). Till the spices have been used up and the eggplants are dry, flatten the eggplants and collect them.


Garlic apricots (suanmei蒜梅)


Use two jin of green and hard mei (qingying meizi青硬梅子) and one jin of peeled garlic. Add three liang of stirred-and-baked salt to proper amount of water and boil it. When it is cooled down, soak the mei and garlic in it. After five to ten days, the brine (lushui卤水) is about to change color. Pour it out and boil it again. When it is cooled down, saturate the mei and garlic in it again. Contain them in a bottle. Eat them till the seventh month. The mei will not taste sour and the garlic will not have a rank smell (hunqi荤气).


[Suanmei are still a common delicacy.]


Stuffed gourds (nianggua酿瓜)


Choose hard, old, and large green gourds (qinggua青瓜) and cut them into halves. Remove the pulp and salt them briefly to get rid of excess liquid. Slice raw ginger, orange peels, mints, and perilla (zisu). Stir and bake fennel and Amomum villosum cardamoms (sharen砂仁). Add granulated sugar to them and blend evenly. Stuff these into the gourds. Use threads to tie them into whole pieces. Then place them into a jar. After five or six days, take them out and dry the stuffed gourds in the sunlight. Collect the withered gourds. Mince them and dry them in the sunlight.[49]


Garlic cucumbers (or gourds; suangua蒜瓜) [the recipe seems to be for cucumbers]


Use one jin of small cucumbers picked in the autumn. Boil them briefly in calx and white alum water (shihui baifan tang石灰白矾汤). Strain them and use half liang of salt to salt them for one night. Use another half liang of salt, three liang of peeled, mashed garlic. Blend them with the cucumbers evenly. Place them in the water that is obtained from the previously salted cucumbers. Slowly cook liquor and vinegar. Saturate them in it and place them in a cool place. The same method can be applied to wax gourd (donggua冬瓜) and eggplants.


Boiled-for-three-times gourds (sanzhugua三煮瓜)


Cut hard, old green gourds into halves. Use half liang of salt, one liang of soybean sauce, a small amount of perilla (zisu) and liquorice for every jin of gourds. During the hottest days (fushi), boil them with the brine water at night and dry them in the day. After three times of boiling and then drying in the sunlight for two days, steam them in a pot. Preserve them after they are withered in the sunlight.


Dried garlic sprouts (suanmiaogan蒜苗干)


Cut one jin of garlic sprouts into pieces of one cun in length. Use one liang of salt to salt them and remove the smelly water. Strain them briefly. Add some soybean sauce and sugar. Steam them and dry them in the sunlight and collect them.


Preserved mustard plants (cangjie藏芥)


Use thick mustard plants (jiecai芥菜) that do not touch water. Dry them in the sunlight till they are sixty to seventy percent dry. Remove the leaves. Use four liang of salt for every jin of mustard. Salt them for one night and take them out. Wrap plants in small handfuls and place them in a small bottle. Pour out all the water and boil it with the mustard. Take the clean liquid and let it cool down. Put it in a bottle and seal the bottle tightly. Eat in summer months.


Green bean sprouts (lüdouya绿豆芽)


Soak green beans in cold water for two nights. When they are swelling, change the water and wash them twice. Bake them till they are dry. Sweep the floor and make it clean. Spread water on the floor and place a piece of paper on the wet floor. Then place the beans on the paper. Cover them with a basin. Spread water on them twice every day. When the sprouts grow, wash them and remove the peels. Boil them briefly in water. Add ginger and vinegar to them. It is especially good when ground meat is added.


Spicy mustard (jiela芥辣)


Finely grind two-years-old mustard seeds (jiezi芥子). Add water to them and pack tightly in a bowl. Seal tightly with a piece of firm paper (renzhi韧纸). Saturate it in boiled water twice till the water turns yellowish. Place the bowl upside down on the cold floor. After a while, there will be gas. Add light vinegar (dancu淡醋) to it. Unwrap it and use a piece of cloth to remove the dregs. Another recipe is to add two or three fen of asarum (xixin细辛) to it and then it will be more spicy.


Buddha’s-hand citron (foshou佛手), citron (xiangyuan), or pear (lizi梨子) preserved in soybean sauce


Place pears without peels in a jar of soybean sauce and they will not spoil for a long time. Place citron peels after removing the pulp in soybean sauce. Place the whole Buddha’s-hand citron in soybean sauce. Fresh orange peels, edible lichens (shihua石花), and wheat gluten (mianjin面筋) can also be soaked in soybean sauce and their taste will be better.


Recipe for making brewed eggplants (zaoqiezi糟茄子)


With five jin of eggplants, six jin of dregs, and seventeen liang of salt, plus river water, [the brewed eggplants] are as sweet as honey.[50]

Use five jin of eggplants, six jin of dregs, seventeen liang of salt, and two small bowls of river water that is used to blend with the dregs. This eggplant is tasted sweet by itself. This is a method of preserving eggplants and not for heavy eating.

Another recipe: soak middle-sized eggplants that are picked late in season (wanqiezi晚茄子) in water for one night. Use four liang of salt and one jin of dregs for every jin of eggplants. It also tastes good.


Recipe for making brewed ginger (zaojiang糟姜)


Use one jin of ginger, one jin of dregs, and five liang of salt. Pick a day before Earth Day (sheri社日)[51] to saturate them in the dregs. Do not let water get into it. Do not damage the ginger peels. Use a piece of cloth to wipe off the mud on the ginger. After half-drying them in the sunlight, blend dregs and salts with them and contain them in a jar.


Sugar-and-vinegar gourds (tangcugua糖醋瓜)


Use white long-crooked gourds (baishenggua生瓜) that are just picked in the sixth month. For every fifty jin of gourds, cut them in halves and remove their (lian). Cut them into squares about one cun in length and three fen three li in thickness. Then use water and a bamboo strainer to wash them till they are clean. Use five liang of salt for every ten jin of gourds. Salt them in a jar for about two hours. Then stir them and salt them for another hour. Strain them and spread them on a piece of reed mat. Dry them in scorching sunlight and let them half dry. First, slice orange peels and gingers, sift Chinese pepper peels and baked salt till they are pure. Boil fine vinegar in a pot and use twenty two liang five qian of vinegar for every ten jin of gourds. Add ten liang of fine granulated sugar to the salt and vinegar. Pour them into a container. When they cool down, add gourds, ginger, Chinese pepper and so on to the vinegar and blend them evenly. After one night, stir them. After another night, stir and collect them. As long as the containers are clean and have not water in it and they are kept in the shade, they will be fine.


Vegetarian bamboo-shoot that is like fish (susunzha素笋)


Use six or seven fine haofu (好麸) [unclear; fron the context, presumably a kind of bamboo shoot] and pull them into strips like little fingers. Measure five jin of them and add them into boiled water. Boil them till boiled for four times and place them in a bamboo strainer. Dry them when they are still warm. First, bake half a he of dill (shiluo莳萝) and fennel in total. Grind them till they cannot be ground further. Pick slightly less than a half he of Chinese pepper peels. Use more than a half he of red yeast rice (chiqumi赤曲米) and soak them in boiled water till they turn soft. Cut a half bowl of green onion heads. Use about one he of apricot kernels and remove the tips and mash them. Use liquor to flavor the soup. Cook two liang of oil. Put out the fire when the oil is fully cooked. Pour the apricot kernels into the oil, and then the yeast rice and spices. Use an iron turner to stir them three or four times. Taste it and decide whether it is salty or light. Then pick it up with a bamboo strainer and keep it in a container. Add the warm red yeast rice to it and press it. Cover it with lotus leaves and fasten it with bamboo strips. Press a stone on it. It can be eaten after three or four hours.


Another recipe for bamboo-shoot like fish (sunzha)


Use tender bamboo shoots in the spring and remove the old heads. Cut them into strips about four fen in thickness and one cun in length. Steam them in a bamboo steamer till they are fully cooked. Wrap them with cloth and extract water out of them till they are extremely dry. Place them in a container. When using them, add them to oil. The recipe is the same as the preceding.


Recipe for making lees-cured turnip (zaoluobo萝卜)


Use one jin of turnip and three liang of salt. No water should get onto the turnips. Wipe them clean. Keep the roots and fibrils. Dry them in the sunlight. Blend lees and salt. Then add the turnips. Stir them and place them in a jar. This recipe cannot be used for heavy eating.


per, one liang of nter, ten days in the spring or summer.

Recipe for making garlic sprouts (suanmiao蒜苗)


Use a small amount of salt to salt garlic sprouts for one night. Strain them and then boil them briefly in water and then strain them again. Blend them with soup having liquorice in it. Steam them and then keep them in a jar, after drying them in the sunlight.


Three harmony vegetables (sanhecai三和菜)[52]


Use one portion of thin vinegar (dancu淡醋), one portion of liquor, one portion of water, and proper amount of salt and liquorice. Blend them to get the right flavor. Boil them. Then add a small amount of vegetables (cai, almost certainly meaning Chinese cabbage greens here), sliced ginger and orange peels, one or two small pieces of Dahurian angelica (baizhi白芷) to the vegetables. steam them with water (chongtang重湯) and do not let it boiled. When they are fully cooked, eat them.


Quick-fried bits (baoji暴齏)


Boil briefly the tender stalks of young pakchoi (songcai菘菜) until half cooked. Strain till dry. Mince them into small bits. Add a small amount of oil and fry quickly. Then put them in a container and add a small amount of vinegar. After a while, eat them.


Carrot dish (huluobocai胡蘿蔔菜)


Slice red, slim carrots and mustard greens (jiecai芥菜). Saturate them in vinegar for a while. They are crisp when eaten. Add a small amount of salt, aniseed and fennel (daxiao huixiang大小茴香), ginger, and sliced dried orange peel. Blend them with vinegar and let them be for a while. Then they can be eaten.


Carrots (huluobozha胡蘿蔔鮓), commonly called red carrots, with fish flavorings


Slice [carrots] and boil them briefly in boiled water. Strain them and add a small amount of minced green onion, aniseed and fennel (daxiao huixiang大小茴香), ginger, dried orange peels, Chinese pepper powder, and mashed red yeast (hongqu紅麴). Stir them with salt evenly. Let them stand for two hours and eat them.


Another recipe


Cut white turnips and wild rice shoots (jiaobai茭白). Boil bamboo shoots till they are fully cooked. Apply this recipe[53] to all the three materials. It can be offered when they are salted.


Sun-dried light bamboo shoots (shaidansungan曬淡筍乾)


Use any amount of the tips of fresh bamboo shoots. Peel them and cut into slices or strips. Boil briefly in boiled water. Dry in sunlight and collect them. When using them, saturate them in water that have been used to wash rice (miganshui米泔水) till they are soft. Their color is as white as silver. If they are boiled in [heavily] salted water, they will be salted bamboo shoots.


Garlic dish/pickles (suancai蒜菜)[54]


Cut tender, white winter vegetables (dongcai冬菜) into strips about one cun in length. Use four liang of stir-baked salt [rock salt crystals stirred in a pan over a fire till heated to high temperature], one bowl of vinegar, and two bowls of water, for every ten jin of vegetables. Marinate the vegetables in a jar.


Recipe for cooking gourds [gua, general term for gourds, melons, cucumbers; China’s firm, nonsweet cooking melons possibly meant here, or perhaps this is just a general recipe for gourds.]


Cut hard, raw gourds open and remove the pulps. Wipe them till they are dry and do not let water get onto them. Carve them into triangular pieces. For every ten jin of gourds, use a half jin of salt and place them in a large tub for one night. In the next morning, place them in a bag made from hemp cloth and press stones on it till the slices are dry. Use five qian of dill seed (shiluo蒔蘿), fennel, Chinese pepper, dried orange peel, perilla (zisu紫蘇), and raw ginger respectively. Slice all of them and blend them evenly with the gourds. Use ten liang of fine granulatedd sugar and two bowls of vinegar. Grind the sugar as fine as possible. Place [evidently all the above] in a porcelain container. Dry them in the sunlight and stir them frequently. When the juice is dried up, collect them in a bottle.


Recipe for making light eggplants (danqiegan淡茄幹)


Wash large eggplants. Boil them in a pot and then do not let water[55] get into them. Cut them in halves and then press stones on them to let them dry. When it is sunny, put tiles in the sun till they are warmed up and then place eggplants on the tiles. When they are dry, collect them. Preserve them till the first or second month and blend them with other food. Their taste is as good as fresh eggplants.


Recipe for making the ten-flavor salted fermented soybeans (shixiangxianchi十香鹹豉)


Use equal amount of raw gourds (shenggua生瓜) and eggplants. For every ten jin of them, use twelve liang of salt. First, use four liang of the salt to salt the gourds and eggplants for one night. Then strain them. Use half jin of sliced raw ginger, half jin of fresh perilla (zisu紫蘇) that has stalks and has been cut up, half liang of liquorice powder, two liang of ground Chinese pepper with sticks and seeds removed, one liang of fennel, one liang of dill seeds (shiluo蒔蘿), two liang of large cardamoms (sharen砂仁), and a half liang of agastache leaves (huoye藿葉) (it is also acceptable if there are no agastache leaves).  Five days earlier [or:  in the first five days ?] boil large soybeans and mash. Use one sheng of cooked bran (chaofupi炒麩皮) and blend with the soybeans, and make them into yellow bits (huangzi黃子). [Presumably means roll the slices of gourds and eggplants in the soybean mash, but this recipe seems corrupt, and in fact may be two recipes run into each other.]  After heating, sift them and remove the bran. Use only fermented soybeans. Use a bottle of liquor and more than half a bowl of vinegar dregs (cuzao醋糟). Blend them with the fermented soybeans. Clean a jar and stuff the mixture into it. Use four or five layers of bamboo leaves to cover it and fasten it with bamboo strips. Then use paper and bamboo leaves to wrap the mouth of the bottle. Seal it with mud and dry it in the sunlight. After forty days, take them out and slightly dry them in the shade. Then collect them in a jar. For drying them in the sunlight, one can turn around the jar after twenty days and this will let the sun reach every part.


Another recipe for making spicy mustard (jiela芥辣)


Use one he of mustard seeds and finely grind them in a grinder. Use a small cup of vinegar and blend them with water. Use a piece of fine silk cloth to extract water out of it. Place it in a cool place such as a water cylinder. When using it, add soybean sauce and vinegar and stir till evenly mixed. This is as spicy as it can get, and the taste is very good.


Recipe for making sesame paste (zhimajiang芝麻醬)


Mash one dou of fully cooked sesame. Boil it with water taken on the sixth day of the sixth month. When it cools down, blend evenly in a jar till the water is as deep as one finger. Seal the jar and dry it in the sunlight. After five to seven days, open the jar and remove the blackish peels. Add three bowls of fine liquor dregs (haojiuniangzao好就釀糟), three bowls of fine soybean sauce, two bowls of fine liquor, one sheng of red yeast powder (hongqumo紅麴末), one sheng of stir-baked green beans, one sheng of stir-baked rice, and one liang of fennel seed powder (xiaohuixiangmo小茴香末). Blend all of them and use after fourteen days.


Recipe for making piled gourds and eggplants in soybean sauce (pan jianggua qie fa盤醬瓜茄法)


Use one jin of yellow bits (huangzi黃子 [from the recipe above?]), one jin of gourds, and four liang of salt. Rub the gourds with the salt. Use the water that is obtained by salting the gourds to blend the yellow soybean sauce (jianghuang醬黃). Pile them up twice every day. After forty-nine days, place them in a jar.


Dry sealed-in-a-jar vegetables (ganbiwengcai幹閉甕菜)


Use ten jin of vegetables and forty liang of stir-baked salt. Salt the vegetables in a jar. Whenever placing in a piece of vegetable, place equal amount of salt. When they are salted for three days, take up the vegetables and rub them in a basin. Place them in another jar. Collect the brine for future use. After another three days, take up the vegetables and rub again. Place them in another jar and keep the brine for future use. After repeating this for nine times, place them in a jar, applying one layer of Chinese pepper and fennel (xiaohuixiang小茴香) to every layer of vegetables while placing the vegetables [and spices] in the jar. Repeat this step and pack in tightly. Pour three bowls of the previously prepared brine into each jar. Seal the jar with clay. It can be eaten after the New Year.


Pouring, stirring and blending vegetables (sabanhecai撒拌和菜)


Add sesame oil to Chinese pepper. Use after bringing to boil one or two times. When using it, measure out one bowl of the oil and add a small amount of soybean sauce, vinegar, and white sugar to it. Blend properly and save. For any food that is to be stir-fried with oil, pour some of this oil to it and stir. It is delicious. If stirring with bok choy (baicai白菜), bean sprouts (douya豆芽), water dropwort (Oenanthe javanica) (or achillea; shuiqin水芹; normally the dropwort), one should boil the vegetables briefly [i.e. blanch them] in boiling water and soak them in pure water. When using them, strain them and stir(-fry) them with the oil. The vegetables will remain green and will not turn blackish. They are crisp and delicious.


Recipe for making fermented soybean in water (shuidouchifa水豆豉法)


Use ten jin of yellow bits (huangzi黃子)[56], forty liang of fine salt, and ten bowls of sweet liquor made in Jinhua. One day in advance, add the salt to twenty bowls of boiled water to make brine. Let it cool and settle down, for future use. Place the yellow bits into a jar and add liquor to it. Then add the salted water. Set in sunlight for forty-nine days. Then add three liang of aniseeds and fennel (daxiao huixiang大小茴香) respectively, five qian of large cardamom (caoguo草果), five qian of royal cinnamon, three qian of muxiang (木香), one liang of preserved orange peels, one liang of Chinese pepper, half jin of withered sliced ginger, and one jin of apricot kernels. Place all the spices into a jar. Dry it in the sunlight while beating it. After three days, store it in a jar. It tastes good after one year. It is even better if it is used as a dipping for meat.


Upside-down hairy vegetables (daodaocai倒纛菜)


Use one hundred jin of vegetables. Blend burned-hair ashes (maohui毛灰) like flour with salt brine (yanlu鹽鹵) for sealing [the jar]. Arrange the vegetables and then seal the jar. There is no need to put grass in the jar.  [The idea seems to be to produce a bacteriostatic seal.  The “grass” can then be assumed to be some sort of preservative herb.]


Pure-boiled spicy mustard (lajiecai qingshao辣芥菜清燒)


Use mustard stalks that water is not got onto. Dry them in the shade till they turn soft. Boil them briefly with boiled water and take them up immediately. Use a bamboo strainer to scoop them up and place them in a sifter. Let them cool down. Add some puffy salt (songyan松鹽) to them and stir. Contain them in a bottle. Then add dried, cold vegetables. Pour the brine on them and wrap them tightly. Place the bottle on the cold floor.


Steamed wilted vegetables (zhenggancai蒸乾菜)


Use large, fine vegetables. Pick, wash, clean, and dry them. Boil them briefly in boiled water till they are fifty to sixty percent cooked. Dry them in the sunlight. Boil them with salt, soybean sauce, dills (shiluo蒔蘿), Chinese pepper, granulatedd sugar, and orange peels till they are fully cooked. Then dry them in the sunlight again. Steam them for a while and preserve them in a porcelain container. When using them, rub them with sesame oil and add some vinegar. Steam them over rice [when cooking rice].


Quail-like eggplants (anchunqie鵪鶉茄)


Pick tender eggplants and cut them into slim threads. Boil them with boiled water and strain them. Blend them with salt, soybean sauce, Chinese pepper, dills (shiluo蒔蘿), fennels, liquorice, preserved orange peels, apricot kernels, and ground red beans. When they are evenly flavored, dry them in the sunlight. Then steam and gather them. When using them, soak them in boiled water till they turn soft. Dip them in sesame oil and quickly fry them in oil.  [The resemblance to quail is hard to find; possibly the spicing was that used for quail in those days.]


Good-tasting gourds and eggplants (shixiang guaqie食香瓜茄)


Use any amount of [gourds or eggplants] and cross-cut them into pieces. For every jin of them, use eight liang of salt. Blend “taste-good” (or “eating fragrance”; shixiang食香)[57] and the gourds evenly. Salt them in a jar for one or two days. Then take them out and dry them in the sunlight. At night, place them in the brine again. On the next day, take them out and dry them in the sunlight again. Repeat this three times; do not let them get too dry. Keep them in the jar for future use.


Gourds and eggplants in dregs (zaoguaqie糟瓜茄)


For every five jin of gourds or eggplants, use ten liang of salt. Blend them with brewing dregs (zao) evenly. Spread fifty bronze coins on every layer of gourds or eggplants. After ten days, take away the coins. Do not replace the dregs.  Keep all in a bottle. They will keep as green as if fresh for a long time. [Not to be recommended; the green would come from copper salts, which are poisonous.]


Salted wild rice stems (jiaobaizha茭白鮓)


Cut fresh wild rice stems (jiaobai茭白) into slices. Boil them briefly and strain them. Blend them with finely sliced green onion, dill seeds, fennel, Chinese pepper, ground red yeast (hongqu紅麴), and salt. Eat them after two hours. Use the same method to make salted lotus root tips (ousaozha藕梢鮓).


Sugar-and-vinegar eggplants (tangcuqie糖醋茄)


Cut fresh eggplants into triangular pieces. Boil these in water and strain them. Wrap them in cloth and extract the water. Salt them for one night. Then dry them in the sunlight. Blend them with sliced ginger and perilla (zisu紫蘇). Fry them and pour the mixture of sugar and vinegar on them. Then place them in a porcelain container. The same method can be applied to gourds.


     Ginger in dregs (zaojiang糟薑)


     Use any amount of tender ginger before the Spring or Autumn Festival for the Earth God[58]. Remove the leaves and clean them. Blend them with liquor, dregs, and salt. Place them in a porcelain jar and add one block of granulated sugar (shatang沙糖) on top. Wrap the jar with bamboo leaves and seal it with mud. After seven days, they can be eaten.


Pickled and salted vegetables (yanyancai醃鹽菜)


Remove the roots and yellow, old leaves of bok choy (baicai白菜). Wash and strain them. For every ten jin of vegetables, use ten liang of salt and several pieces of liquorice. Place them in a clean jar. Spread the salt into the leaf junctions of the vegetables and place them in the jar. Add a small amount of dill seeds (shiluo蒔蘿). Press tightly with hands. When half of the jar is filled, add more several pieces of liquorice. When the jar is full, press the vegetables with bricks and stones. Salt them for three days and then pour the vegetables out. Squeeze the brine out and place the vegetables in another clean container. They should be kept from contact with unboiled water. Pour the brine over the vegetables instead. After seven days, follow the previous step and pour out the vegetables and soak them in the brine that is newly squeezed out. Keep pressing bricks and stones on top of them. The leaves will be delicious and crisp. For those that have not been used up, blanch them in boiled water and dry them in the sunlight and preserve them. In the summer, soak the vegetables in warm water and squeeze them till they are dry. Add sesame oil to them and blend. Put in a porcelain bowl and place the bowl over rice. Eat them after steaming.


Wax gourd with garlic (suan donggua蒜冬瓜)


Choose large ones and remove the peels and pulp. Cut it into pieces as wide as one finger. Add alum and calx (baifan shihui白礬石灰) to boiled water. Blanch the vegetables in the water. Then take them out and strain them. For every jin of vegetables, use two liang of salt and three liang of garlic. Mash the garlic and put together with the wax gourd in a porcelain container. Soak in boiled fine vinegar.


Recipe for making salted, pickled leek (yanyanjiufa鹽醃韭法)


Before frost comes, choose large leeks without yellowish tips and wash them. Then strain them. Place one layer of leeks in a porcelain basin and then spread one layer of salt till the leeks and salt stuff the basin. Salt them for one or two nights. Stir them for several times and then place them in a porcelain container. Use the original brine. It will be even better if a small amount of sesame oil is added. One can also salt small cucumbers and small eggplants with the leeks. Salt them to extract the water and then blend them with the leeks. Put in a jar and preserve them.


Recipe for making vegetables with grains (zao gucai fa造穀菜法)


Use spring stalks of caitai [a mustard-green-like vegetable] that are not yet old (chunbulao caitai春不老菜苔) . Remove the leaves and wash them. Mince them into bits as big as the hole in a coin. Dry them in the sunlight and let the vapor go off. Do not let them get too dry. Add fried soybean halves (huangdouban黃豆瓣) with sliced ginger. For every jin of vegetables, use one liang of salt. Add the same amount of “taste-good” (see above; shixiang食香)[59]. Knead the vegetables with the salt (rouhui luxing揉回鹵性). Keep in a jar. Use them when they are ready (houshu suiyong候熟隨用).


Yellow sprouts of vegetables (huangyacai黃芽菜)


Cut the stalks and leaves of bok choy and keep only the hearts. From two cun away, pile earth (fentu糞土, wet soil) around the hearts, as high as they are piled. Cover with a large jar and pile soil outside of the jar tightly. Do not let gas in. After half a month, pick it and it tastes the best. The same method can be used to produce yellow sprouts of leeks, ginger, turnips, and Sichuan rhizome (Cnidum, chuanxiongya川芎芽)[60].


Recipe for making fermented soybeans in liquor (jiu douche fang酒豆豉方)


Use one dou five sheng of yellow bits (huangzi黃子)[61] and sift them to remove the flour. Use five jin of eggplants, twelve jin of gourds, one jin fourteen liang of ginger, sliced oranges as much as one wants, one sheng of fennel (xiaohuixiang小茴香), four jin six liang of stirred-and-baked salt, and one jin of green pepper. Blend them and place them in a jar. Press them tightly. Pour the Jinhua liquor (jinhuajiu金花酒) or fermented rice (jiuniang酒娘) into it till the liquor is about two cun higher than the vegetables. Wrap the jar with paper and bamboo leaves and seal it with mud. Place it outside for fort- nine days. Write down something[62] on the jar and mark it (tanshang xiedongxi zi jihao壇上寫東西字記號). When they have been dried for enough days, pour the vegetables into a large tub. Dry them in the sunlight and cover them with a mat made from yellow grasses.


Red salted beans (hongyandou紅鹽豆)


First, place a flowering-apricot fruit frosted with salt (yanshuangmei鹽霜梅) at the bottom of a wok. Use large green beans (qingdou青豆) that have been washed, to cover the apricot. Make a pit in the middle of the peas and add salt to it. Add a small amount of alum (baifan shihui白礬) to boiled water that is cooked with sapanwood (sumu蘇木). Pour the water around the rim of the wok till it is as high as the beans. Heat it till the water is gone. When the beans are fully cooked, the salt will not be visible, and they turn red.


Five-beauties ginger (wumeijiang五美薑)


Slice one jin of tender ginger. Mash half jin of white flowering-apricots (baimei白梅) and remove the kernels. Add two liang of stirred-and-baked [rock] salt to it and blend them. Dry them in the sunlight. Then add to it one qian of nard/spikenard (gansong甘松), five qian of liquorice, and two qian of sandal powder (tanxiangmo檀香末). Again blend them and dry them in the sunlight for three days. Then take and contain them.


Salted mustard greens (yanjiecai醃芥菜) (the principle is to use eight liang of salt for every ten jin of vegetables)


Use fresh, tender mustards that are picked in the tenth month. Mince and blanch them in boiled water. Scoop them up with the boiled water in a basin. Blend them with raw lettuce (celtuce, i.e. thick-stemmed lettuce; woju萵苣), cooked sesame oil, mustard flowers (jiehua芥花), sesames, and salt. Pack them in a jar. After three to five days, eat them. They will not spoil till spring.


“Taste-good” (“eating-fragrance,” shixiang食香)[63] turnips (shixiang luobo食香蘿蔔) (use eight liang of salt to salt every ten jin of turnips)


Cut the turnips into dice-like squares. Salt them with sea salt (dayan大鹽) for one night. Then dry them in the sunlight. Slice ginger and oranges. Blend them with aniseeds and fennel (daxiao huixiang大小茴香). Boil vinegar and pour it onto the vegetables. Contain them in a porcelain bottle and place the bottle in the sun. Preserve them after they are dried.


Turnips, wild rice stems, bamboo shoots, gourds, eggplants, and so on in dregs (zao luobo jiaobai suncai gua qie糟蘿蔔,茭白,筍菜,瓜,茄等物)


Add alum and calx (baifan shihui白礬石灰) to boiled water and let it cool down. Soak above vegetables in it for one day and one night. Warm up liquor and add salt to dregs. Also add one or two bronze coins to them. Measure out the dregs and add them to the vegetables. After ten days, take up the vegetables and replace the previous dregs with fine dregs. Add salt and liquor to them. Blend them and place them in a jar. Wrap it with bamboo leaves and seal with mud.


Recipe for making five-spice vinegar (wula cu fang五辣醋方)


Use one spoon of soybean sauce, one qian of vinegar, one qian of white sugar, five to seven Chinese peppers, one or two peppers, and one fen of raw ginger. It would be even better if one or two cloves of garlic.




WILD VEGETABLES (yesulei野蔌類) (new section)


What I have selected is totally different from what Wang Pan[64] has done.  I dare record only those that people recognize and are edible, not what Mr. Wang has selected. This is because I want to accomplish something.  [The hapless Wang must have recommended some pretty inedible items.]


Yellow fragrant daylily (Hemerocallis flava, huangxiangxuan黃香萱)


Pick the flowers in the summer and wash them. Blanch them in the boiled water and then they can be eaten when blended with spices. If they are added to vegetarian food that have been boiled in flavored sauce (aosupin熝素品), such as Toufu, the taste is very good. If one wants to eat this wild vegetable, he should wash it and make it clean. He should still look for small worms hiding on the back of the leaves and not eat them by mistake. First, prepare a flavored sauce (liaotou料頭). For every large cup of vinegar, add three fen of liquorice powder, one qian of white sugar frost (baitangshuang白糖霜), and half cup of sesame oil. Blend them and use this as a flavored sauce to stir with the vegetables. Adding some mashed ginger to it gives another recipe. For flowers that have picked and cleaned, blanch them in boiled water and rinse them in water for two hours. Then take them up and squeeze them till they are dry. Blend them with spices and then they can be served. Their color will not change and be as if fresh. At the same time, they are crisp, tender, not mashed, and have more flavor. The same method can be applied to domestic vegetables. As for the roasted, the quickly-fried, and the minced (zhibozuoji炙煿作齏), they are included in this recipe.  [Daylily flowers are still a common food in China, and are excellent eating.  The buds or just-opening flowers are used.  These have to be gathered early, since, as the name implies, the flower opens, blooms, and fades in a day.]


Chamomileshoots (“sweet chrysanthemum,” ganjumiao甘菊苗)


Pick tender tips of well-grown chamomile shoots in the spring and summer. Blanch them in the boiled water as previous recipe. Then eat them. If they are coated with the mixture of liquorice liquid (gancaoshui甘草水) and yam powder (shanyaofen山藥粉) and then deep-fried, they will be extremely delicious.


Wolfthorn heads (gouqitou枸杞頭)


Use tender wolfthorn leaves and sprouts. Follow the above cooking method. They will taste even better if they are used in cooking conjee. Of the four seasons, eat only in winter.


Water caltrops (lingke菱科)


Pick them in the summer and autumn. Remove the leaves and roots and only keep the round clusters on the stalks (gengshang yuanke梗上圆科). Use the above method. It tastes delicious when fully cooked. It tastes even better when blended with dregs (zaoshi糟食). It is of the first rank in the wild vegetables.


Water shield (Brasenia, chuncai蓴菜)[65]


Pick [shoots] in the fourth month and blanch them in the boiled water. Then rinse them in water for future use. These can be eaten with ginger and vinegar. They can also be used in cooking meat conjee (rougeng肉羹[66]).


Wild amaranth (yexiancai苋菜)


Pick it in the summer [when young] and eat it when fully cooked. It can also be blended with pices or fried. It is more delicious than domestic amaranth.


Wild white mustard (Sinapis alba or Brassica hirta, yebaijie野白芥)


Pick [sprouts] in the fourth month. The tender ones can be eaten when they are raw or fully cooked.


Wild radishes (yeluobo萝卜)


The vegetable is like the radish [or turnip]. One can pick the root and shoots. Fully cook it and then it can be eaten.


India wormwood herb (Artemisia selengensis /Artemisia absinthium /Artemisia vulgaris, louhao蒌蒿)


Pick the hearts in the early spring. These are most fragrant if added to tea. The leaves are edible when fully cooked. In the summer and autumn, the stalks can be used to make a minced mixture (ji)[67].


Chinese goldthread heads (Coptis, huangliantou连头)


It is the same as the huanglian used for medical purposes. Pick the heads and salt them. Dry them in the sunlight. It tastes best when added to tea. It is also delicious when fully cooked.


Bengal water-dropwort herb or water-cress (shuiqincai水芹菜)


Pick them in the spring months and boil them in boiled water. Blend them with ginger, vinegar, and sesame oil. it is very delicious. Or one can also add salt to the boiled water and blanch the vegetables in it. Dry them in the sunlight. It is also good if it is added to tea.


Jasmine leaves (moliye茉莉葉)


Pick tender jasmine leaves and wash them clean. Boil them with toufu in the flavored sauce (lushi熝食) and it is of the best grade of food (juepin絕品).


Goosefoot flower (ejiaohua鵝腳花) [an unidentified plant called “goosefoot” in Chinese, not the familiar plant called “goosefoot” in English]


Pick the univalve [?  Obscure character, hard to understand] flowers, which are edible. The multivalve flowers are harmful. Blanch them in the boiled water. Add salt and blend them with spices. It can also be boiled in flavored sauce (lushi熝食). [If like the modern lushi, this is a rich stock.]  It can also be fried with minced gourds. In the spring, the sprouts are edible.


Gardenia (zhizihua栀子花), also called yanpu檐葡


Pick the flowers and wash them clean. Rinse them in water to remove the smell (xing). Add sugar and salt to flour and make it into a paste. Coat the flowers in the paste and deep-fry them and then they can be eaten.


Cassia seeds (jindour金豆儿); the same as juemingzi决明子


Pick the beans (dou) and blanch them in boiled water. They can be added to tea and taste delicious and sweet.


Broom flowers (jinqiaor金雀兒)


Pick the flowers in the early spring. Blanch them in salted boiled water. They can be added to tea. They can also be blended with spices and become a dish.


Purple flowers (zihuar紫花兒) [unidentified]

Both the flowers and leaves are edible.


Cedrela sinensis A. (a.k.a. Toona sinensis; xiangchunya香春芽)


Pick the heads and sprouts and blanch them in the boiled water. Add a small amount of salt and dry them in the sunlight. They can be preserved for more than one year. Blend them with sesame and serve. The fresh ones can be added to tea. They are most suitable for adding to fried gluten (chaomianjin炒麵觔). Toufu and vegetables can also be added.


Penghao(a sagebrush; 蓬蒿)


In the second or third month, pick the tender heads and wash them clean. Salt them in a small amount of salt. Blend them in flour and make them into cakes. Deep-fry them and they are delicious.


Grey amaranth (huixiancai灰莧菜)


Pick the whole plant and boil it. It can be boiled or fried (jianchao煎炒). It is more delicious that the domestic amaranth.


Ear fungus on mulberry and agaric growing on willow (sangjun liujun桑菌柳菌)[68]


Both of them are edible. Pick them and boil them with vegetarian food in flavored stock (lushi熝食).


Aquatic malachium herb /Malachium aquaticum Moench /(echangcao鹅肠草)


Use the thick ones.  Pick them and blanch them in boiling water. Blend them with spices and then they can be eaten.


Eritrichium pedunculare(jichangcao鸡肠草) can also be cooked in the same way as the above.


Cotton fiber tips (mianxutou綿絮頭) [unidentified]


These are white and grows on the field levee (tiangeng). Pick them and wash them clean. Mash them till they are like cotton. Add them into flour or powder and make cakes with them.


Buckwheat leaves (qiaomaiye荞麦叶)


In the eighth or ninth month, pick the newly growing tender leaves . They can be eaten after being fully cooked.


Western ocean great purple (seaweed? xiyangtaizi西洋太紫)


In the seventh and eighth month, pick the leaves. Use them to boil toufu in the flavored soup. It is wonderful.


Mushroom (mogu蘑菇)


Pick and dry them in the sunlight. When raw or made into a thick soup, these are so delicious that they cannot be described in words. This is the best among vegetarian foods.


Dictyophora (zhugu竹菇)


This is even more delicious.  [Than the best?]  It can be eaten when fully cooked.


Trollius chinensis Bunge? (jinlianhua莲花; the name now refers to nasturtium, but that flower was unknown to China in Ming)


In the summer, pick the leaves and stalks that are floating above the water. Blanch them and blend them with ginger, vinegar, and oil. Then they can be eaten.


Solanum indicum L. (tianqier天茄兒)


Blanch them in salted, boiled water. Add them to the tea. It can also be made into a dish after being blended with ginger and vinegar.


Alopecurus aequalis Sobol (Amur foxtail, kanmainiang看麥娘)


It grows along with wheat in the field. Pick it in the spring. Eat it after fully cooked.


Cochinchina leaf-flower herb (goujiaoji狗腳跡)


At frost time, its leaves are like the footprints of a dog. Pick them and eat when fully cooked.


Xie artemisia (xiehao斜蒿)


It grows in the third and fourth month. For the small ones, the whole plant can be used. For the large ones, pick the tender tips. Blanch them in boiling water and dry them in the sunlight. When eating them, soak them in boiled water and blend them with spices.


Potamogeton distinctus (pondweed, ganzicai眼子菜)


Pick them in the sixth and seventh month. It grows in the water and marsh. The leaf is green and the back is purple. The stalk is soft, smooth, slim, and as long as several chi. Pick it and blanch it in the boiled water. Eat it when fully cooked.


Nostoc commune /T.japonicum (Bluml)Makino (ditaye地踏葉) [an alga]


It is also called di’er地耳. It grows when it rains in the spring and summer. Pick it after the rain. Fully cook it and blend it with ginger and vinegar. When the sun is out, it disappears and withers.


Snail mustard (woluojie窩螺芥)


In the first and second month, pick it and fully cook it.


Purslane  (Portulaca oleracea, machixian馬齒莧)


Pick it in the early summer. Blanch it in the boiled water. Dry it in the sunlight. Eat it when the winter comes.


Kalimeris indica heads/sprouts (malantou馬蘭頭)[69]


It grows in clusters in the second and third month. Fully cook it. It can also be made into a minced dish (ji).


Artemisia apiacea (yinchenhao茵陳蒿) it is the same as qinghaor青蒿兒


Pick it in the spring. Add it to flour and make it into cakes.


Wild goose intestines (yanrchang雁兒腸) [unidentifiable]


It grows in the second month. It is like green bean sprouts. Fully cook it. It can be eaten when it is raw.


Wild rice stem (yejiaobaicai野茭白菜)


In the early summer, it grows in the marsh. It is the same as jiaoyar茭芽兒. Fully cook it.


Shepherds’ purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris, daoguanji倒灌薺)


Pick it and fully cook it. It can also be minced for eating.


(kumatai苦麻台) [unidentified]


Pick it in the third month. Mash the leaves and add it to flour. Make cakes with it and eat.


Cole flowers (huanghuar黃花兒)[70]


Pick it in the first and second month. Fully cook it.


Wild water chestnuts (yebiqi野荸)


Pick them in four seasons. They can be eaten when they are raw or fully cooked.


Wild green beans (yelüdou绿豆)


Its leaves and stalk are like those of green bean but smaller. It grows in the wild field and has many vines. It can be eaten when it is raw and fully cooked.


Lustrous herb (youzhuozhuo油灼灼) [unidentified]


It grows by the water. The leaves are glossy (guangze光澤). It can be eaten when it is raw or fully cooked. It can also be salted and then dried. Steam it when eating.


Bannqiaoqiao(板蕎蕎) [unidentified]


Pick it in the first or second month. When eating, cook it. It cannot be eaten in the third or fourth month.


Cardamine hirsuta L. /(suimiji碎米薺) [a small mustard of good flavor]


Pick it in the third month. It can be eaten only when it is minced and mingled with spices.


Heavenly lotus roots (tian’ou’r天藕兒)


Its root is like that of the lotus but smaller. It can be eaten after it is fully cooked and blended with spices. The leaf cannot be eaten.


Broad bean (Vicia faba) sprouts (candoumiao蠶豆苗)


Pick it in the second month. Fry in sesame oil and then boil it with soybean sauce and salt. Add a small amount of ginger and green onion.


Broad cocklebur leaves (Xanthium sibiricum, cang’er cai蒼耳菜)


Pick tender leaves and wash them clean. Blanch them in the boiled water. Blend them with ginger, salt, and bitter liquor (kujiu苦酒). It cures the rheumatism/wind-damp illness (fengshi风湿). The seed can be blended with rice powder and made into dry provision (qiu)[71].


Lotus flower (furonghua芙蓉花)


Pick the flowers and remove the pistil and petal. Blanch it once or twice in boiled water. Blend it with toufu and add a small amount of pepper. It is red and white and lovely.


Mallow (?Althaea rosea or Malva spp.; kuicai葵菜) this is the Sichuan mallow (shukui蜀葵). The cluster is short and leaves are larger. Its nature is mild (xingwen性温).

Pick the leaves. it can be eaten when cooked in the same way as cooking thick vegetarian soup (caigeng菜羹).


Osmanthus (danguihua丹桂花)


Pick the flowers and spread liquorice liquid on it. Blend it with mashed rice and make it into cakes (gao). Its pure fragrance will fill the mouth.


Lettuce stem (wojucai莴苣菜)


Pick the stem and remove the leaves and skin. Cut it into pieces one cun in length. Soak them in boiled water. Add ginger oil, sugar, and vinegar to them and blend them.


Great burdock (Arctium lappa Linne, niupangzi牛蒡子)


In the tenth month, pick the root and wash it clean. Avoid to boiling it too much. Take it up and mash and flatten it. Press it till it is dry. Blend it with salt, soybean sauce, dill (luo), ginger, Chinese pepper, cooked oil. Soak it in the spices for one or two days. Then take it and bake it till it is dry. It tastes like dried meat.


Pagoda-tree Pod (Sophora japonica L)  leaves (huaijiaoye槐角叶)


Pick narrow, clean, tender leaves and mash them till the juice comes out. Blend it with flour [and make it into flour food]. Rinse it in the mixture of vinegar and soybean sauce (xijiang) . Add fully cooked, minced food to it and it can be eaten.


Cedrela chinensis root (chunshugen椿樹根)


Pick the root before the autumn. Mash and sift it. Blend it with flour and make it into small dough/patches. Boil it in pure water and eat it.


Lily bulbs (baihegen百合根)


Pick the bulb and dry it in the sunlight. Blend it with flour and make it into noodle. Steam the noodle and eat it. It enhances the qi and blood.






Snake gourd (Trichosanthes kirilowii Maximovich) root (kuolougen括蔞根)


Dig deeply to get the large root. Peel it till it is white. Cut it into pieces one cun in length and soak them in water. Change the water every day. After five to seven days, take them and mash them into pulp. Use a piece of thin silk to sift through thin pulp and powder [sic; “powder” here seems likely a scribal error of anticipating the next sentence]. When it is dried, it turns into powder. Mix it with non-glutinous rice powder (jingfen粳粉) and make it into conjee. If it is added with cheese, it will be very tonic (bu).


Few-flowered wildrice fruit (diaogumi調菰米)[72]


Few-flowered wildrice is now called Barbarian Rice (huji胡穄). Dry it in the sunlight. Hull and wash it. Steam it and its fragrance cannot be expressed in words.


Weigela florida (jindaihua錦帶花)


Pick the flowers and use them to make a thick soup. They are soft, crisp, and edible.


Sweetgrass Acorus calamus and/or Acorus tatarinowii  Schott,changpu菖蒲)


Boil sweetgrass (shichangpu石菖蒲) with atractylodes (Atractylodes macrocephalaor A. ovata, baishu白術) together till they turn into paste. Use three jin of Chinese yam rhizome (shanyao山藥) for every jin of this powder. Add honey water (mishui蜜水) to the flour and make cakes with it. Steam the cakes and eat.  [This would be a medicinal recipe. Presumably the rhizome of the sweetgrass is used; the leaves do not cook down to pulp.]


Plum (lizi李子)


Take large plums and remove the pits. Take white mei (baimei白梅) and liquorice and soak them in boiled water. Blanch the plums in the boiled water. Add white sugar to ground pine nuts (songzi松子) and terminalia (Terminalia superba or T. catappa L., lanren欖仁). Stuff them in a steamer and eat it when it is fully cooked.


Yam tubers (shanyutou山芋頭)


Pick yams and slice them. Boil them with torreya nuts (feizi榧子). Make bitter apricot seeds (kuxingren苦杏仁) into powder. Add a small amount of soybean, water, and salt to the bitter apricot seed powder and make into a paste. Dip the sliced yams in the paste. Then deep fry them and eat.


“East-wind vegetable” (dongfengji東風薺) [the author’s note:] it is the same as shepherd’s purse (jicai薺菜)


Pick one or two sheng of shepherd’s purse and wash them clean. Add three he of taomi(淘米), three sheng of water, and one ginger sprout to them. Mash them and blend them in a pot till it are even. Pour one clam shell (xianke蜆殼) of sesame oil to it. Then do not move it any more. Boil over fire. If it is moved, there will be a greasy flavor. Do not add any salt or vinegar. If one tastes this, he will feel that the eight precious foods of seas and lands (hailubazhen海陸八珍) are as nothing.  [Hyperbolic praise for a boiled-down weed.]


Plantain lily (Hosta fortunei, yuzanhua玉簪花)


Pick the half-blossoming flowers and split them into two pieces or four pieces. Dip them in paste and deep fry them. If add a small amount of salt and white sugar to the paste and blend them evenly. It is very delicious after being dipped in the paste [and deep fried].


Gardenia (zhizihua梔子花) [the authors’ note:] another recipe, recorded for a second time.


Pick the half-blossoming flowers and blanch them in alum water (fanshui礬水). Add thinly sliced green onions, aniseeds and fennel (daxiaohuixiang大小茴香), Chinese pepper, red yeasts (hongqu紅麴), and yellow steamed rice (huangmifan黃米飯) to them. Grind them till they are mashed. Blend evenly with salt. Salt it for half a day and eat. When it is blanched with alum water and soaked in honey, it is very delicious.


Wood fungus /timber fungus (mujun木菌)


            Use decayed mulberry wood (sangmu桑木), camphor wood (zhangmu樟木), and Persea nanmu Oliver/phoebe zhennan wood (nanmu楠木). Cut them into pieces one chi in length. In the twelfth month, sweep decayed leaves and choose a rich and shady place (feiyindi肥陰地). Bury the wood and leaves deeply at the place, using the same method of planting vegetables. In the spring months, irrigate it with water that has been used to wash rice. Soon, fungus grows. Irrigate it three times every day. Then it will grow as large as a fist. Pick it and fry it with vegetarian food. It is also delicious when withered. It grows on the wood and is not harmful.


            Sollya (Wistaria?)  (tenghua藤花)


            Pick the flowers and wash them clean. Pour salted water on them and blend them evenly. Steam them in a steamer till they are fully cooked. Then dry them in the sun. They can be used to make a stuffing. It is delicious. When it is mixed with meat, they are also delicious.


            River Shepherd’s-purse (jiangji江薺) [Presumably a riparian form of, or close relative of, shepherd’s-purse]


            It grows in the twelfth month. It can be eaten raw or fully cooked. Do not eat the flower. However, the flower can be made into minced dish (ji).


            Poke Phytolacca arinosa Roxb. Or Phytolacca esculenta van Houtte (shanglu商陸)


            Pick the seedling and stalk. Wash them clean and steam them till fully cooked. Add salt and spices to them. The purple ones are tasty.


            Achyranthes spp. (?) (niuxi牛膝)


            Pick the seedlings using the same method of cutting leeks. It is edible.  [Achyranthes is a genus of rather small, tender herbs.]


            Lotus rhizomes growing in a lake (hu’ou湖藕)


            Pick raw lotus rhizomes and cut them into pieces about one cun in length. Blanch them in boiled water. Then salt them to remove some water. Add a small amount of green onion, oil, sliced ginger roots, sliced orange peel, aniseeds, fennel, and yellow steamed rice (huangmifan黃米飯). Mash them and blend them carefully. Wrap them with lotus leaves tightly. Leave overnight, then eat.


            Ledebouriella seseloides (=Saposhnikovia divaricata) (fangfeng防風)


            Pick the seedlings. These can be made into vegetarian food. Blanch them in boiled water and blend them with spices. It is very good at removing the wind (qufeng去風).


            Plantain/Chinese banana (bajiao芭蕉)


            There are two kinds of plantains (jiao). Those having sticky fruits (gen) are glutinous plantains (nuojiao糯蕉). They are edible. Pick the fruits and cut them into pieces about the size of a hand. Boil them in the ash-liquid (huizhi灰汁)[73] till they are fully cooked. Remove the ash-liquid and boil them in clean water. Replace the water twice till the smell of ashes disappears. Take the leaves and press them till they are dry. Grind salt, soybean sauce, aniseeds, fennel, Chinese pepper, dried ginger roots, and cooked oil, carefully. Blend them with the plantains. Salt them in a jar for one or two days and then take them out. Bake them for a while till they are almost cooked and turn soft. When one eats it, it tastes exactly like fatty meat (feirou肥肉).


            Water cress (shuicai水菜)


            Its shape is similar to bok choi (baicai白菜). It grows in the seventh and eighth month, in the field or on the water bank. It grows in clusters and its color is dark green. Blanch it in boiled water. Boil it with soybean sauce and then it can be eaten.


            Lotus seed pod (lianfang蓮房)


            Pick the tender ones. Remove the peel, seeds, and stalks. Boil it with ashes and boil it in clean water in order to remove the taste of ashes. Bake them with the plantains till they are dry. Flatten them with stones. Then slice them and eat.


            Sesame leaves (kupencai苦盆菜) [the author’s note:] it is also called huma胡麻


            Pick the tender leaves and make them into thick soup. It is large, sweet, crisp, and smooth.


            Pine-needle-shape vegetable (songhuarui松花蕊)


            Pick it and remove the red skins. Use the tender and white ones and soak them in honey. Bake them for awhile till the honey is fully cooked. But do not let it be overcooked. It smells good and it is crisp and tasty.


            Angelica dahurica Benth. et Hook (baizhi白芷)


            Pick the tender roots. Soak them in honey or preserve them in dregs. Then they can be eaten.


            Ledebouriella sprouts (fangfengya防風芽)


            Pick the scarlet-colored sprouts (yanzhi胭脂). Blend them with spices like normal vegetables and eat.


            Lilyturf  (ophiopogon) sprouts (tianmendongya天門冬芽)


            Use ligusticum sprouts (chuanqiongya川芎芽), sokji (Cassia?) sprouts (shuizaoya水藻芽), Achyranthes sprouts (niuxiya牛膝芽), chrysanthemum sprouts (juhuaya菊花芽), and Villarsia nymphaeoides (? Or Nymphoides spp.) sprouts (xingcaiya荇菜芽). Blend them with spices. Eat it when fully cooked.  [The identification of these wild sprouts is dubious.]


            Sphagnum moss? (shuitai水苔)


            In the early spring, pick the tender tips. Wash and trim them till they are very clean. Wash away any sand, gravel, and worms. Press them with stones till they are dry. Add salt, oil, Chinese pepper, and minced leeks. Blend them and place them in a bottle. Add vinegar and ginger. It is very delicious. It can also be fried with oil. It is also good when it is added with salt and soybean sauce.


            Pulu sprouts (puluya蒲蘆芽)[74]


            Pick the tender sprouts and cut them. Blanch them in boiled water and wrap them in cloth. Press them till they are dry. Then add spices. It tastes like dried fish and it is very delicious.


            Garden Balsam (Impatiens balsamina)stalks(fengxianhuageng鳳仙花梗)


            Pick the thick stalks and peel them. Peel them till they are clean. Add them into dregs in the morning and eat at noon.


            Safflower seeds (honghuazi紅花子)


            Pick the seeds. Soak them in water and remove those floating on the surface of the water. Mash them in a pestle and soak the mashed material in boiled water to get the liquid. Mash it again. Boil the mash and liquid. When the water is boiled in the pot, add vinegar into it in order to let it coagulate. Use a piece of thin silk cloth to strain it. What has been obtained [i.e., the residue after straining] is like fatty meat. If it is added to vegetarian food, it will be extremely delicious.


            Golden-bird flower (jinquehua金雀花) [broom]


            It blossoms in the spring. The appearance of the flower is like a golden-bird (siskin, canary or goldfinch; jinque金雀). Each flower is worthy of being picked. Blanch them in boiled water and they can be served as tea food (chagong茶供). If it is blended with frost sugar [fine crystallized sugar], oil, and vinegar, it can be served as a dish. It is very pure (qing).


            Cold bean sprouts (handouya寒豆芽) [presumably a kind of pea, not literally cold sprouts]


            Wash peas till they are clean. Wrap them in the container made from cattail (pu) leaves when they are still wet. In the spring and winter, place them near the kang (raised household platform, ), where is close to fire. In the summer and autumn, this is not necessary. Spray water on it every day. When the sprouts grow, remove the shells and wash them till they are clean. Blanch them in boiled water and serve them as tea food. If the sprouts are long enough, they can be made into a regular dish.


            Soybean sprouts (huangdouya黃豆芽)


            Use large soybeans and follow the above method. When the sprouts grow a little bit, take them and remove the shells. Wash them till they are clean and fully cook them. Add Arthraxon hispidus (?) (xiangjin香藎), sliced oranges, wood-ear fungus (muer木耳), and sliced Buddha’s-hand citron (foshougan佛手柑) to them. Blend them till they are even. Add as much as possible of sesame oil and frost sugar. Then add vinegar. Serve it after blending them.

            BREWS (niangzaolei釀造類)


            These are liquors made in the families of Mountain Persons [i.e. immortals, hermits, or the like; shanren山人] for the purpose of nourishing life. Either they are sweet, or they are medicines. They are very different from those tasty foods. Those who booze [lit. “drink immoderately”] should not join our conversation here.

[These are basically medicinal or herbal ales.  Most old brewing recipes are hard to follow, and translations below are highly tentative. One often suspects that our author had not tried these himself. A brewing expert would have to look at them and try them before serious translation.]


            Liquors (jiulei酒類)


            “Peach flower stream” liquor (taoyuanjiu桃源酒) [The name refers to Tao Yuanming’s famous story of a fisherman who followed a trail of peach flowers up a stream and found a land of Mountain Folk]


            Use twenty liang of white yeasts (baiqu白曲) and cut them into almond shape[75]. Soak them in one dou of water and let them ferment (fa). Wash one dou of sweet rice till it is very clean. Steam it till it is mashed. Spread the rice and let it cool down. Add it to the yeast liquid according to the changing weather of the four seasons (yi sishi xiaoxi qihou toufang quzhi zhong以四時消息氣候投放曲汁中). Stir it and make it into a thick conjee. When it ferments, add two dou of steamed rice. if it does not [yet] taste like liquor, one should not feel surprised. Let it ferment and two more dou of steamed rice. Then the liquor is ready. If the weather is warm, there will be clean liquid emerging in the jar three to five days after it is ready. Take the liquid and drink it. Even if one boozes this liquid, it will not be harmful. This recipe was originally [hyperbolically said to be] obtained at Peach Flower Stream, Wuling. Then it was recorded in Qimin yaoshu齊民要術. Neither entry catches the full wonder of this liquor. This recipe is the only true version. Now I think that it will be even better if one uses only water to soak the rice. When making the liquor, boil one dou [presumably of sweet rice][76] and then take one sheng of clean liquid. Then soak the yeast in it. One day after it ferments, steam rice and let it cool down. Take [the rice] out of the jar and mix it with yeasts. Then place it back into the jar. Repeat this step for every time of brew (dou). For the third and fifth brew, place the rice in the jar one day after liquor emerges. When it has been moved for five times, press it one or two days after liquor emerges. Then more than half of the rice has transformed into liquor. If the taste is hard (ying), steam three sheng of sweet rice for every dou [of rice]. And use a large spoon of yeasts made from shoots growing from old barley (damai niequ大麥櫱曲) and a large fen of white yeast powder. Blend them evenly and place them in a cambric bag. Contain it in a liquor jar. When it becomes sweet and tasty, remove the bag. However, since it is cold in the north, it is proper to brew at one’s will. Since it is warm in the south, it is proper to make liquor when the weather is extremely cold [otherwise it goes off to vinegar easily]. 


            Fragrant-snow liquor (xiangxuejiu香雪酒)


            The requires one shi of sweet rice. First, use nine dou of sweet rice and wash it till it is very clean and there is no sediment in the water that was used to wash the rice. Contain the carefully measured sweet rice in a barrel. Add the same amount of water to the sweet rice. It is proper to add one more dou of water in order to compensate the washed-away sediments of sweet rice. Soak the sweet rice in a jar. Then use one dou of sweet rice. Wash it as previously it has been done. Steam rice and place it on the sweet rice. Cover the jar with grasses. After more than twenty days, [the steamed rice] floats [indicating top-fermentation here, as in ale]. Take the steamed rice dregs (fanke飯殼) first and then the sweet rice. Let them dry. Then steam the rice and use it when it is just fully cooked. Use the water that was used to soak the rice and remove the sediments in it. Use twenty jin of white yeasts that have been cut into small pieces. Blend them. Place the steamed rice dregs (mike米殼) at the bottom of the jar. If it is warm, let the warmth [of the steamed rice] come out for awhile and then stir and blend them till they are even. Then cover the jar. After one day and one night, rake over the rice for the first time and do not cover the jar. After one day or one night, rake it over for the second time. If it is warm, one should rake it to let the warm gas get out. Rake it thoroughly for the third time. Then cover the jar and wait till it is ready. If one uses a normal recipe, the rice must normally be fine and white. The rice should be washed and clean. When raking over, the warm gas should be let out completely and then the rice will not spoil.


            Greenish-and-Fragrant liquor (bixiangjiu碧香酒)


            Use one sheng of sweet rice and wash it till it is clean. Use nine sheng of the sweet rice and soak them in a jar. Use one sheng of steamed rice and blend four liang of white yeast power with it. Bury a bamboo sifter (chou) in the soaked rice. When the steamed rice floats, dredge it out [with the sifter]. Steam nine sheng of rice and blend sixteen liang of white yeast powder with it. First, place the clean steamed rice at the bottom of the jar. Then place the soaked sweet rice and steamed rice in the jar. Use ten jin or twenty jin of the liquid that was used to wash the rice. Use four or five layers of paper to seal the jar tightly. In the spring, it takes several days. If the weather is cold, it will be ready in one month.


            The twelfth-month liquor (lajiu臘酒)


            Use two shi of sweet rice, two hundred jin of yeast-in-water (shuiyujiao水與酵)[presumably concentrated starter liquid] in full measure (zucheng足秤), forty jin of white yeast in full measure, two dou of sour steamed rice (suanfan酸飯) or two dou of fermented rice. The liquor tastes thick (nong) and spicy. It is made in the twelfth month. When boiling it, use two baskets with large meshes to hold liquor bottles and place them in the boiled water. When the liquor is boiled, take them out.


            Red liquor from Jianchang (jianchang hongjiu建昌紅酒)


            Use one shi of fine sweet rice and wash it clean. Place the sweet rice in a jar and make a small pit in the middle of the sweet rice. Pour one shi and two dou of water in the jar. Use another two dou of sweet rice and boil it till it is fully cooked. Spread it and let it cool down. Make it into a ball and place it in the pit. Then cover the jar. After more than twenty days, the cooked rice starts to float and the liquid in the jar becomes sour. Remove the floating cooked sweet rice and dredge out the soaked sweet rice. First, wash five dou of rice till it is clean and spread it at the bottom of a steamer. Place wet rice on it. Spread a little bit the cooked rice and let the gas out. Then cover the jar. Use eight dou of the liquid that was used to soak the rice and one liang of Chinese pepper that is fried and just comes out of pan. When [the Chinese pepper] is cooled down, use three jin of white yeast, three bowls of finely mashed yeast (jiaomu酵母), and proper amount of rice just as in brewing normal liquor. Do not make it too thick. If it is very cold, place it in a warm place. Wrap it with grass for one night. Divide the cooked rice into five portions in the next morning. Place each portion in one small jar and use one sheng of red yeast, half sheng of white yeast. Divide the yeast (jiao) into five portions too. Blend each portion with each portion of the cooked rice till they are even. Force them down in the jar and place the remaining cooked rice on top of it. Then cover the jar. After two days, beat and rake over it. If the surface is thick and it cannot be thoroughly beaten in three or five days. After being beaten, the surface will float and puff up. Then beat it one more time and still cover the jar. It will be ready in twenty days if it is in the eleventh month, in one month if it is in the twelfth month, and in twenty days in the first month. In the other months, it is not appropriate to make this liquor. Squeeze it and let it settle down. Then add a small amount of white sandalwood (baitan白檀). Wrap [the jar and seal it] with mud. Use boiled water for the original dregs (touzao頭糟) and add any amount of dregs to it at will. After two nights, the mixture can be squeezed.


            Five-flavor distilled liquor (wuxiang shaojiu五香燒酒)


            For each brew, use five dou of sweet rice, fifteen jin of thin yeast, three large jars of white distilled liquor, sandalwood (one liang) and five qian of muxiang (木香), frankincense (ruxiang乳香), ligusticum (chuanxiong川芎), and myrrh (moyao沒藥) respectively, five qian of cloves (dingxiang丁香), four liang of ginseng, fifteen jin of white frost sugar, two hundredwalnut kernels, and three sheng of red jujube with the seeds removed. First, steam the rice till it is fully cooked. Let it cool down. Follow the normal way to make liquor and stuff the jar with the rice till it is almost to the brim. Seal the jar tightly. When it starts to spread heat slightly, add sugar, distilled liquor, spices, walnuts, jujubes, and so on, to it. Seal the jar with thick wrappers. Do not let the gas out. Open it for every seven days. Seal it for forty-nine days. Squeeze it as in the above method. When one drinks one or two cups and eats the foods soaked in it, it feels like the genial wind in the spring.


            Yam liquor (shanyujiu山芋酒)


            Use one jin of yams (shanyao山藥), three liang of ghee (suyou酥油), three liang of lotus seed pulp (lianrou蓮肉), and half fen of borneol (bingpian冰片). Grind them together and make them into pills. For every bottle of liquor, throw one or two pills in it. It is good for health if one drinks it when it is warmed up.


            Grape wine (putaojiu葡萄酒)


            Use one dou of grape juice and four liang of yeast (qu). Blend them evenly and place them in a jar. Seal the jar and it will become wine naturally. It has a special fragrance.

            Another recipe: use three jin of honey and one dou of water. Boil them together and then pour them in a bottle. When it is mildly warm, add two liang of yeast powder (qumo曲末) and two liang of white yeast (baijiao白酵) to it. Seal the bottle with wet paper and place the bottle in a clean place. In the spring and autumn, it takes five days. In the summer, it takes three days. In the winter, it takes seven days and it is also good. When one is practicing kongfu and doing exercises of guiding qi and stretching the body (xinggong daoyin行功導引)[77], he should drink one or two cups. Then he will feel dozens of pulses grow fluid and open, and will feel the qi move without obstruction. The wine is what one should not abandon if he wants to take care of his own health.  [Excellent advice.]


            Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum spp.) root liquor (huangjingjiu黃精酒)


            Use four jin of polygonatum root, three jin of Chinese asparagus (tianmendong天門冬) with the hearts removed, six jin of pine needles (songzhen松針), four jin of Atractylodes macrocephala (baishu白術), and five jin of wolfthorn [presumably berries]. All of them should be raw. Contain them in a pot and add three shi of water to it. Boil it for one day and remove the dregs. Use the liquid to soak yeast (qu) as homemade brews. When the liquor is ready, use the clean liquid. One can eat at will. It cures the hundred illnesses, prolongs life, changes one’s beard and hair [i.e. from gray back to black], and makes teeth grow. It has wonderful functions that cannot be exhausted.  [The ingredients are particularly famous “Mountain Folk” medicinal foods.]


            Atractylodes macrocephala liquor (baishujiu白術酒)


            Use twenty five jin of Atractylodes macrocephala. Slice them and soak them in two shi and five dou of flowing water (shuliushui束流水) in a jar for twenty days. Then remove the dregs and pour the juice into a large basin and place it in the inner yard (tianjing天井) at night. After five nights, the juice turns blood-colored and then it can be used to soak yeast. Make it into liquor and drink it by itself. It cures illnesses and prolongs life, changes hair and strengthens teeth, and makes face radiant. One will live longer if he drinks frequently.


            Rehmannia glutinosa Libosch liquor (dihuangjiu地黃酒)


            Use a large dou of thick, large rehmannia roots. Mash them. Cook five sheng of sweet rice, use a large sheng of yeast (qu). Knead these three materials in a basin till they are evenly mixed. Pour it into a jar and seal it with mud. In the spring, it takes twenty-one days. In the autumn and winter, it takes twenty-five days. When the date comes, open the jar and take a look. There will be a cup of green liquid on the surface, which is the essence. Drink it first. Squeeze the remaining material with a piece of new cloth (shengbu生布) in order to get the liquid. Preserve the liquid. It tastes sweet and delicious. It has functions as the above.


            Sweetgrass liquor (changpujiu菖蒲酒)


            Use sweetgrass (Acorus calamus) with nine nodes (jiujiechangpu九節菖蒲) and squeeze out five dou of raw juice by mashing it. Cook five dou of sweet rice and blend five jin of thin yeast (xiqu細曲) with it evenly. Place them in a porcelain jar and seal it for twenty one days. Then open the jar and drink it after warming it up. Drink it three times a day. It will open veins and pulses, nourish stomach, cures the illness of migratory arthralgia/”wind and numbness” (fengbi風痹), the illness of being as thin as “standing bones” (guli骨立) and the illness of losing functions for some part of body and being yellowish (weihuang痿黃). It cures those that cannot [otherwise] be cured. If one takes one prescription [every day], after one hundred days his skin will have brighter color and be radiant, his feet will have strength several times than they had previously, his ears will be able to catch subtle sounds and his eyes become brighter, his white hair will turn black, his falling teeth will grow again, he will have brightness at night (yeyouguangming夜有光明; see clearly at night?) , his lifespan will be extended and he will achieve longevity. Its functions cannot be totally described here.


            Lamb liquor (yanggaojiu羊羔酒)


            Use one shi of sweet rice and soak it [in water] to get the liquid following the normal method. Use seven jin of fat lamb, fourteen liang of yeast (qu), one jin of apricot-red (xinghong杏紅; apricot flowers?), which has been boiled in order to remove the bitter liquid. Then boil it with the lamb in plenty of water till the meat can be easily mashed. Keep seven sheng of the soup and blend it with the sweet rice mentioned previously. Add one liang of muxiang(木香) to it and brew them together. Do not let water get into it. After ten days, it can be eaten. It tastes sweet and smooth.


            Lilyturf liquor (tianmendongjiu门冬酒)


            Use one dou of ripe liquor (chunjiu醇酒), one sheng of yeast powder (qumo曲末) [made on] the sixth day of the sixth month, and five sheng of sweet rice.  Make them into a drink. Boil five sheng of lilyturf root. The rice should be washed and dried in the sunlight. Use the boiled soup of lilyturf root to soak the rice. First, soak the rice in the liquid with yeast as the normal recipe. When it is ripe, cook rice and blend the cooked rice with the boiled liquid according to proper heat so that [their flavors will] penetrate each other. In the spring and summer, it takes seven days. One should frequently check it because it can easily get too warm. In the autumn and winter, it takes ten days to be ripe. Su Shi’s poem reads: “when the lilyturf [liquor] is ripe, a happy new year comes. The yeast and rice are so fragrant that they can be smelled all over the house.” This is true.


            Pine blossom liquor (songhuajiu松花酒)


            Use pine blossoms [pollen cones] like mouse tails in the third month. Scrape and use one sheng.  Place in a bag made from thin silk cloth. When one makes distilled liquor (baijiu白酒) and it is ready, place the bag in the middle of the liquor and then place [the liquor jar] in a well. Soak it for three days and then take it out. Pour out the liquor and drink it. It tastes pure, fragrant, sweet, and delicious.


            Camomile liquor (juhuajiu菊花酒)


            Pick camomile (ganjuhua甘菊花) in the tenth month and remove the petals. Use only two jin of the flowers and trim them. Then them in liquor in which dregs have not been removed (pei) and blend them evenly. In the next morning, it is fragrant and limpid after being squeezed. For flowers having fragrance, such as osmanthus, orchids, and wild roses (qiangwei蔷薇), liquor can be made with them in the same way.


            Brewed-three-times liquor with wujia bark (Acanthopanax spinosus) (wujiapi santou jiu五加皮三骰酒)


            Use a large sheng of wujia roots and stalks, Achyranthes (niuxi牛膝), red sage root (danshen丹参), wolfthorn roots, honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica Thunb.) (jinyinhua银花), turpentine (songjie), orange (zhike枳壳, referring to various citrus spp.) branches and leaves, respectively. Boil three large shi of water in a pot and use six large dou of it. Remove the sediments and let it settle down in order to get the pure water. Then soak yeast (qu) in the water for several times. Cook five large dou of rice. Then use one dou of raw rehmannia roots (dihuangjiu地黃) and mash all till it is like mud. Blend it with the rice and place it in a jar. For the second time, cook five dou of rice. Then use two dou of finely minced great burdock (niupangzi牛蒡子) roots and mash it into mud-like stuff. Blend it with the rice and place it in the jar. For the third time, cook two dou of rice and boil one dou of bimazi蓖麻子; lit. “castor bean fruits” but these are poisonous, so something else must be implied). Then finely mash the castor beans and blend with the rice and place in the jar. Follow the normal recipe when it becomes too cold or too warm. The taste of the liquor is good. One should drink it after removing the dregs. If the liquor is too cold to be fermented, add yeast powder (qumo曲末) into it. If the taste is bitter and thin, cook another two dou of rice and brew it. If the rice is too dry to be fermented, boil those herbs (yaowu药物) and receive the liquid and add them to the rice when they are still warm. When the liquor is ripe, the dregs should be removed. If one drinks it for a long time, the flavor of the liquor will not disappear (時常飲之多少,常令有酒氣). Both men and women can drink it. There is no food that he cannot eat because of drinking it. If one drinks, it can remove the wind, the tiredness, and the cold qi (qufenglao lengqi去風勞冷氣). It cures illnesses that have accumulated and persisted in the body for a long time. It makes people gain weight and health, and walk as does a running horse. Its functions and benefits are numerous.





            Whether the liquor tastes good or bad is determined by the fineness of the yeast and the purity of water. Therefore, yeast is an important material (yaoyao要藥). If the yeast is not good, how can the liquor [that is produced with it] be good? So I record wonderful recipes of making the yeast, below.


            White yeast (baiqu白曲)


            Use one dan of white yeast and one dou of sweet rice powder (nuomifen糯米粉). Add water to it and stir it till it is evenly wet. Sift it and tread (ta) it into cakes. Wrap it with paper and hang it in the wind. After fifty days, take it down. In the day, dry it in the sunlight; at night, place it outside and let the dew fall on it. For every dou of rice, use ten liang of yeast.


            Secret recipe of making yeast, from the royal inner palace (neifu michuan qufang內府秘傳曲方)


            Use one hundred jin of white flour (baimian白麵), four dou of yellow rice (huangmi黃米), and three dou of green beans (lüdou綠豆). First, grind the green beans till their shells are peeled. Toss them and remove the shells. Soak [the shells] in water for future usage. Second, grind the yellow rice and add it into the flour and the green bean powder. Place the soaked green bean shells into the mixture of rice, flour, and green bean powder. Blend them. If the mixture is dry, add more soaked green bean shells till it can be twisted together into dough. Tread it into square yeast (fangqu方曲). [I.e. press into square yeast cakes?] The more solid (shi), the better. Dry it in the sunlight on a rough board? (cuzhuo粗卓). It would be wonderful if it is made in the third hottest period (sanfu三伏). When one makes liquor, add seven jin of yeast to every shi [of rice]. Do not add too much yeast into it. Then the liquor will be pure (qinglie清冽).


            Lotus yeast (lianhuaqu蓮花曲)


            Use three jin of lotus blossoms, one hundred fifty liang of white flour, three dou of green beans, three dou of sweet rice (author’s note: all should be ground into powder), and eight liang of Sichuan pepper. Make and tread it (zaota造踏) as normal.


            Dew-on-the-golden-stalk yeast (jinjingluqu金莖露曲)


            Use fifteen jin of flour, three dou of green beans, and three dou of sweet rice. Make them into powder and tread [the powder].


            Xiangyang yeast (xiangyangqu襄陽曲)


            Use one hundred fifty jin of flour, three dou of sweet rice (author’s note: make it into powder), five jin of honey, eight liang of Sichuan pepper.


            Red-and-white liquor-making material (hongbai jiuyao紅白酒藥)


            Use five tsaokou cardamoms (caoguo草果), two jin of green tangerine peel(qingpi青皮), royal cinnamon (guangui官桂), large cardamoms (sharen砂仁), galangal (liangjiang良薑), cornel (or evodia; zhuyu茱萸), and (guangwu光烏) respectively, one jin of dried orange peels (chenpi陳皮), Amur cork tree bark (Phellodendron amurense; huangbo黃柏), Cyperus rotundus Linn. rhizome (xiangfuzi香附子), atractylodes (cangshu蒼術), dried ginger (ganjiang乾薑), camomile (ganjuhua甘菊花), and apricot kernels respectively, half jin of turmeric (jianghuang薑黃) and mints (bohe薄荷) respectively. For one jin of such a mixture, add one dou of sweet rice, three to five jin of smartwee (laliao辣蓼), two jin of mashed water ginger (shuijiang水薑), and one jin four liang of French chalk/talcum powder (huashifen滑石粉). Put in jar as usual. Add spices such as long pepper (bibo蓽撥), clove (dingxiang丁香), asarum (wild ginger, xixin細辛), four liang of Alpinia oxyphylla (yizhi益智), (dingpi丁皮), and large cardamom (sharen砂仁).


            Dongyang liquor yeast (dongyang jiuqu東陽酒麴)


            Use one hundred jin of white flour, three jin of walnut kernels (taoren桃仁), three jin of apricot kernels, one jin of aconite (caowu草烏), three jin of aconite [presumably a second species, but we have no way to tell what two species are meant here] (wutou烏頭)—if it is peeled, the amount can be reduced to half, and five sheng of green beans. Cook them till they are fully cooked. Use four liang of muxiang (木香), eight liang of royal cinnamon, and ten jin of smartweed (laliao辣蓼). Soak them in water for seven days and then let them dry. Use ten jin of mother’s vine (muteng母藤), cocklebur (cangercao蒼耳草) (author’s note: wrapped with two pieces of mulberry leaves, alongside with the previous prepared three kinds of spices: smartweed (蓼草) [why the different Chinese name here from the above?  We do not know], royal cinnamon, and muxiang (木香). Boil them together with the green beans. Add one jin of yeast to every shi of rice. It will not be good if one adds too much of yeast.


            Smartweed (Polygonum) yeast (liaoqu蓼曲)


            Use any amount of sweet rice and soak it in the juice of smartweed for one night. Take the rice out of the juice and blend it with flour. After a while, sift it and remove the extra flour. Kep it in a thick paper bag. Hang it in a windy place. In the summer months, it can be used after two months. If one uses it to make liquor, the liquor will taste very delicious.






SWEETS (tianshilei甜食類)—author’s note: fifty-eight sorts


            Recipe for making sugar syrup (qi tanglu fa起糖鹵法)


            [Author’s note:] Whenever one makes sweets, he should prepare sugar syrup first. This is a secret recipe coming from the Imperial inner palace (neifu內府).


            Use ten jin of white sugar (author’s note: or one can use any amount of sugar. I now use ten jin as a standard). Use a movable stove/hearth (xingzao行竈) to set up a large boiler. First, use two and a half scoops of cold water. If the scoop is small and the sugar is too much, add the proper amount of water. Stir it and break the sugar into pieces. Boil it with mild fire. Pour (dian)[78] two scoops of water that has been mixed with milk into it. If there is no milk, water mixed with egg white is also fine. When it is boiled, add the milk liquid (or egg white liquid) to it. Remove the firewood and quench the fire. Cover the boiler with a lid for enough time to eat a meal. Remove the lid and then set up the fire in the stove. When it is boiled, pour [the liquid] into it. After it is boiled for several times, one should have poured [the liquid] like this. If the foam in the sugar floats, use a skimmer to take it off. Be careful and do not let it burn. Use a brush to dip in the previously prepared liquid and brush [the boiler]. For the second time that the foam gathers, use the skimmer to get it out. For the third time, use high fire and pour pure water to the foam. The milk will be boiled and separated [from the foam]. When [the foam] gathers for the time that one meal takes, all the foam should be picked out. When the black foam is removed and white flower-like stuff can be seen, it is good. Use clean cotton cloth to sift it and contain it in a bottle. The utensils should be clean and avoid grease and pollution. Whenever one makes sweets and uses black granulated sugar (heishatang黑砂糖), he should boil it—no matter how much of it—thoroughly. Then use fine ramee cloth (xixiabu細夏布) to sift it. Otherwise, it is not good for making sweets. If one uses white granulated sugar, he should first dry it in the sunlight.

[The milk and/or egg are used to clarify the sugar—to get out any protein and other materials other than pure sucrose.  They clump with it and can be skimmed off.]


            Recipe for roasted flour (chaomian fang炒麵方)


            Sift white flour for three times. Place it in a large wok. Use a wood rake (mupa木耙) to stir it till it is fully browned. Place it on the table and grind it into fine powder. Then sift it again. Thus it can be used to make sweets.

Whenever one uses ghee, the ghee should be fresh. If it is old, it cannot be used.


            Recipe for pine-nut cookies (songzibing松子餅)


            For one serving of pine-nut cookies, use six liang of ghee, six liang of white sugar syrup, and one jin of white flour. First, melt the ghee and put it in a porcelain container when it is still warm. Pour the white sugar into it and rub it evenly. Then add white flour into it and blend them. Knead and rub it till it is even. Place it on the table and mould the dough (ganmian擀面) into a flat shape. Use bronze circle molds to print on it and make it into round pastes. Spread pine nuts on them and then place them in a tray, which is used to bake them.  [This is strikingly similar to New Mexico’s “pine-nut shortbread,” and must be a western recipe, almost certainly from the Near East—a rare bit of western borrowing in this book.]


            Recipe for oil-harmonized-with-flour [candies] (mianheyoufang面和油方)


            Use any amount of [flour]. Use a small pan, two scoops of sugar sauce, and any amount of ghee. Fry the sugar sauce in shallow ghee in the small pan. Sift it with thin cloth. Add uncooked flour (shengmian生面) to it with one’s hand till it is neither thin nor thick. Use a small rake to stir it till the flour is fully cooked. First, cook the sugar syrup over slow fire till one can draw threads of sugar from it. Use a stick to dip in it and test it. Add proper amount of the flour that has been fried in ghee. Stir it and then remove it from the pan. Spread it on the board when it is still hot. Mould it [with a rolling pin] and cut it into eye-shaped [or eye-sized] pieces (xiangyankuai象眼塊).  [This and several following recipes look suspiciously like Near Eastern halwah recipes.]


            Recipe for pine nut hailuo (松子海羅[口幹]) [hai luo, literally “sea radish,” clearly a transliteration of halwah]

One can also use both walnut kernels and gourd seeds (guaren瓜仁)


            Put sugar syrup in a small wok. Cook over slow fire for one meal’s time. Stir it till it is cooled down. Add fried flour to it with one’s hand. Then add chopped pine nut kernels and stir them till it is even. Spread ghee on the board and place [the dough] on the board. Mould it with a rolling pin and cut it into eye-shaped pieces. When one cuts the dough into pieces, he should do it when the dough is still warm. If the dough is cold, it is hard. It would be difficult to cut and one would be afraid of breaking it into crumbs.  [Again this looks like a Near Eastern recipe—and the transliteration clinches it.]


            Recipe for white and moist [candy] (bairunfang白閏方)


            Add a small amount of ghee to the sugar syrup and cook over slow fire. Add fried flour to it conveniently (suishou隨手) and stir it evenly. Place it on the board and flatten it with a rolling pin. Cut it into eye-shaped pieces. If one uses bronze circles as molds, it will be called Sweet-Dew Gluten (ganlujin甘露筋).  [It is sweet and looks like gluten cakes.]


            Recipe for snow-flake shortbread (xuehuasu雪花酥)


            Melt ghee in a small pan and sift it. Add heated flour to it with the hand. Stir it till it is even, neither thin nor thick. Then remove the pan from the fire. Spread white sugar powder on the mix and stir it. When they are mixed together, place it on the board and mould it with a rolling pin. Cut it into eye-shaped pieces.


            Recipe for Manchu candied fritter (shanshima fang芟什麻方)[79], called “poured-and-cut” in the south


            Cook sugar syrup in a small pan over slow fire till one can draw threads of sugar from it. First, peel sesame seeds and dry them in the sun light. Or bake them briefly and grind them into powder. Add them into the sugar conveniently. Stir and make it mix together, while it should be neither thin nor thick. Spread sesame powder on the board in advance and let it not be sticky. Place [the dough] on the board when it is still warm. Spread sesame powder on the dough, which will keep it from being sticky. Mould it with a rolling pin and cut it into eye-like pieces.  [This is straightforward sesame halwah!]


            Recipe for yellow and moisturized halwah (huangrun fang黃閏方)


            [It is] the same as the homemade (jiachang家常) ones. Sift black [dark brown] granulated sugar. Cook it along with sugar syrup over slow fire. Add a small amount of honey. Then let it cool down. Add toasted flour conveniently. Still spread ghee on the board. Mould it with a rolling pin and cut it into eyelike pieces.


            Recipe for slices with mint (boheqiefang薄荷切方)


            Dry mints in the sunlight and grind them into fine powder. Put sugar syrup in a small pan and cook over slow fire till one can draw threads of sugar from it. Add a small amount of toasted flour in advance. Then add mint powder and mix them together. Spread mint powder on the board in advance and place [the dough] on the board when it is still warm. Spread more mint powder on the dough. Mould it with a rolling pin and cut it into eyelike pieces.  [These mint candies look, once again, Near Eastern.]


            Recipe for a nest of threads [taffy] (yiwosi fang一窩絲方)


            [Author’s note:] prepare a piece of fine stone as a board and spread cooked sesame oil on it. Sift toasted flour till it is pure. Prepare them in advance.  [All candy makers will recognize this!]

            Fully cook sugar syrup over slow fire till one can draw threads of sugar from it and it is slightly burned (aocheng laosi熬成老絲). Pour it on the stone board. Use two chopping knives to scrape it up alternatively (zhuanzao lueqi轉遭掠起). When it is cooled down and gets thicker, pull (ba) it with hands till it is elongated. Fold it in half [and pull it again]. When it is pulled for more times, it becomes whiter. If it is cold and hard, bake it on fire. Stretch it for dozens of times and make it into a double-circle shape (shuangquan雙圈) and place it on the board. Spread toasted flour on it. Then it requires two persons, face to face, to pull it in opposite directions and turn it around clockwise (erren duiche shunzhuan二人對扯順轉). Pour toasted flour on it at his convenience. Pull it for dozens of times till it turns into thin threads. Sever them with knife, separate and make them into small nests. When one pulls the sugar and place it on the board, he should fold it in half and make it into a circle. Then pull it, fold it and make it into a circle. Repeat this for dozens of times and it will become thin threads.


            Recipe for comb-print crisps (su’eryin fang酥兒印方)


            Use uncooked flour and add soybean powder (doufen豆粉) to it. [add water to them and blend them](tonghe同和). Knead it into bars (tiao) as large as the tip of a chopstick (jintouda筋頭大). Cut it into pieces as long as two fen. Use a small comb to print patterns on them separately. Contain them and deep fry them with ghee till they are fully cooked. Pick them up with a sifter. Then spread white granulated sugar over, and mix.


            Recipe for puffed buckwheat (qiaomaihua fang蕎麥花方)


            First, bake buckwheat till it is puffed into flower-like [popped] kernels. Measure it. Add a small amount of honey to sugar syrup and put in a wok. Do not move them. Cook them till one can draw threads from it. Then [let the fire] higher (luedaxie略大些). Add the puffed buckwheat into it at one’s convenience and stir it evenly. Do not let it become thin. Spread puffed buckwheat on a board, which will prevent stickiness. Move the puffed buckwheat with sugar from the wok to the board and spread it. Mould it with a rolling pin and cut it into eye-like pieces.  [This is similar to Mexican “alegria”—a rather striking parallel, and again there must be some link via the Near East.]


            Recipe for goat marrows (yangsui fang羊髓方)


            Use half a bottle of goat/sheep milk (yangruzi羊乳子) or cow milk (niuruzi牛乳子) and add half a cup of water to it. Add three pinches of white flour to it. Sift it and place it in a wok. Cook over slow fire. When it is boiled, add white granulated sugar or sugar syrup at one’s convenience. Then use high fire [to cook it]. Beat it with a wood rake. When it is fully cooked, sift it and place it in a bottle. Pour it out in a bowl and serve it.  [This is evidently a form of the various milk sweets of India.]


            Recipe for black and moist [candy] (heirun fang黑閏方)


            Cook black granulated sugar with slow fire and sift it till it is pure. Add the same amount of sugar syrup and mix them. place them in a wok. Cook them for one-meal’s time, add half a bottle of ghee to it. Cook and add fried flour and Chinese pepper powder to them at one’s convenience. Blend them into one piece. Then place it on the board and knead it till it is flattened. Cut it into eye-like pieces.


            Recipe for (saboni fang灑孛你方)


            Cook material that has been used to cook mushrooms (aomoguliao熬磨古料) with slow fire. Do not use walnuts. Scoop it out and spread it on a board. Circle and fix it with sweet rice (jiangmi江米). Print it with bronze circles. This is saboni灑餑你. When one cuts it into eye-like pieces, it is called white sugar squares (baitangkuai白糖塊). [Saboni looks like a transcription.]


            Recipe for pepper-and-salt cookies (jiaoyanbing fang椒鹽餅方)


            Use two jin of white flour, a half jin of sesame oil, a half liang of salt, and one liang of good pepper peels [sic, probably a miswriting], a half liang of aniseeds (huixiang茴香). Divide [the flour] into three equal portions. For each one of them, use only oil, pepper, salt, and aniseeds to mix with the flour. Then make them into the stuffing (rang). If one adds some coarse sesame crumbs to it, it would be even better. For each cookie, insert one piece of the stuffing. Knead the cookie till it become thinner. Then place them in the oven. Another recipe: mix the same amount of boiled water and oil. For the stuffing, use sugar and sesame crumbs and the oil [mixed with boiled water].  [This is a thoroughly Near Eastern recipe; cf. kourabiyeh.  The lack of sugar in the dough is evidently a mistake; probably the “good pepper peels” were sugar until a bad copyist got at this recipe.]


            Recipe for crisp cookies (subing fang酥餅方)


            Use four liang of ghee, one liang of honey, and one jin of white flour. Blend them into pastes. Place it into molds and make it into cookies. Then bake them in a oven. Otherwise, one can also use lard. If he uses two liang of honey, it will be even better.


            Recipe for wind-dissolved cakes (fengxiaobing fang風消餅方)


            Use two sheng of sweet rice and mash it into very fine powder. Divide them into four portions. One portion is used to make a dough (米孛). Another portion is mixed with water, made into cakes and fully cooked. Blend the remaining two portions [of sweet rice powder]. Use a small half cup of honey, two pieces of fermenting liquor in which the dregs have not been removed (zhengfa jiupei正發酒醅), and white maltose (baixing白餳)[80]. Melt them and then mould it with the sweet rice cakes till it is as thin as a spring [roll] wrapper (chunbing春餅). If the wrapper is broken, there will be no problem. Bake it on a tray and do not let it burnt. Then hang it in a windy place. Measure how much [sweet rice] has been used, deep fry it in lard. When one deep fries it, use chopsticks to stir it. At the same time, mix white sugar and fried flour. Then use raw hemp cloth (shengmabu生麻布) to rub the mixed crumb onto the wrappers.  [I.e., thin tortilla-like cakes have crumbs shaken over them as topping.]

            Another recipe: use only a small amount of fine and cooked powder and boil it. Then spread it on a sifter and dry it one hundred percent in sunlight. For every dou of sweet rice powder, use twelve liang of yam powder (yumo芋末). This recipe is simple and wonderful.


            Recipe for meat-and-oil cake (rouyoubing fang肉油餅方)


            Use one jin of white flour, one liang of cooked oil, one liang of sheep and pig fat respectively ([the author’s note:] cut them into small-pea-like pieces). Use two cups of liquor that comes out in the summer (dajiu大酒)[81] and blend it with the flour. Divide it into ten pastes. Mould it into wrappers and wrap lean meat in the wrapper. Bake the pie in an oven till it is fully cooked.  [This rather resembles a moon cake.  Possibly an ancestral form.]


            Recipe for vegetarian oil cake (suyoubing fang素油餅方)


            Use one jin of white flour and one liang of real sesame oil (zhenmayou真麻油). Blend them and make them into pastes. Insert granulated sugar stuffing at one’s convenience. Then print patterns on the cake and bake them in an oven.  [Same comment.]


            Recipe for snow-flake cakes (xuehuabing fang雪花餅方)


            Use one hundred percent snow-white flour that has been sifted thoroughly when first sifted (shifen touluo xuebaimian十分頭羅雪白面). Steam it till it is fully cooked and it is one hundred percent white. For every jin of flour that has been used, use six liang of lard and half jin of sesame oil. Cut the pig grease into dice-like squares and mix it with a small amount of water and cook them with slow fire. When the grease is about to disappear and there is yellowish and burnt stuff, use a skimmer [scoop, sifter] to pick [the yellowish and burnt stuff] out. If [the grease] does not disappear, one should continue to cook it and then pick [the yellowish and burnt stuff] out with the skimmer. When one has done this, the lard will be white. Mix the lard with the flour and make it as the foundation of the wrappers (bingdi餅底). Place some grass and wood ashes (caochaihui草柴灰) on the bake tray and then place a piece of paper on it. Place the wrapper on [the paper] and bake it.


            Recipe for taro cake (yubing fang芋餅方)


            Mash raw taro (yunai芋奶)[82] and blend it with sweet rice powder and make into cakes. Deep fry them. Or one can stuff them with sugar and bean paste (dousha豆沙). Or one can stuff them with walnut and sliced orange peels that has been mixed with pepper, salt, and sugar.


            Recipe for leek cake (jiubing fang韭餅方)


            Use pork with fat and make it into ground meat (saozi臊子). Fry oil till it is half cooked. Use raw leek and mince it. Mince goat fat. Blend Chinese pepper, Amomum villosum cardamoms (sharen砂仁), and soybean sauce evenly. Mould [the dough into] two thin cakes. Stuff them with the stuffing and bake them. When one uses shepherd’s purse (jicai薺菜), the recipe is the same.


            Recipe for white crisp cakes (baisu shaobing fa白酥燒餅法)


            Use one batch of dough (mianyige面一個), two liang of oil, and good liquor in which dregs have not been removed. Use the liquor as yeast. When the dough is one hundred percent leavened, knead it. Make exactly as with sesame and sugar (zhimatang芝麻糖) above. When one uses one batch of dough and two liang of sugar, he can make sixteen baked cakes.


            Recipe for Solomon’s-seal cakes (huangjingbing fang黃精餅方)


            Steam Solomon’s seal root till fully cooked. Remove its peels and fibrous roots. Mix it with baked and fully cooked peeled soybeans. Mash them in powder. Then add white sugar sauce to it and make them in dough. When one uses it to make cakes, it tastes pure.


            Recipe for fried rolls (juanjianbing fang卷煎餅方)


            This wrapper is the same as a thin pie (baobing薄餅). For the stuffing, one should use two jin of pork, one jin of pig fat or chicken. It is similar to the stuffing in a bun (mantou饅頭) and uses a lot of green onion whites or withered bamboo shoots and so on. Wrap it in the wrapper and make it into a roll. On both ends, [seal the holes] with paste. Deep fry it and let it float on the surface of the oil (fuyou浮油) till it turns reddish and slightly burnt. Or one can just bake it till it is fully cooked. Serve it with five spices and vinegar (wulacu五辣醋). The vegetarian stuffing is made with the same recipe.  [Note that mantou still meant a filled dumpling at this time, as in earlier centuries.  Today it means an unfilled steamed bread roll, and filled dumplings are jiaozi.]


            Recipe for sugar Torreya nuts (tangfei fang糖榧方)


            Add yeast to white flour and leave it for leavening. Add boiled water to [the flour] and make it into paste. Cut it into pieces that look like Torreya nuts (feizi榧子). Place them in completely boiled oil and deep fry them. Then pick them out and wrap them in the mixture of sugar and flour (chan). The mixture is made by mixing the same amount of sugar and flour.


            Recipe for meat cake (roubing fang肉餅方)


            Use one jin of flour and six liang of oil. The stuffing is the same as that for the fried rolls (juanjianbing卷煎餅). Bake them in a tray. Cook maltose (xingtang餳糖) [till its color changes] and brush it on the paste to color it.


            Recipe for oily shilai (youshilaierfang[食夾]兒方) [meaning unclear; lit. “oil eat come-lets” but surely another transliteration]


            Use flour to make paste. Stuff it and make it into shilaier [食夾]. Deep fry in oil. The stuffing is the same as that for the meat pie.


            Recipe for sesame-butter cakes (mani bingzi fang麻膩餅子方)


            Use a fat goose. Fully cook it and remove its bones. Cut the fat and lean into strips. Place blanched leek, sliced raw ginger, blanched and sliced wild rice stems, sliced fungus (mu’ersi木耳), and sliced dried bamboo shoots in bowls respectively. Steam sesame butter (mani麻膩) till it is fully cooked. Pour the hot soup that has been used to boil the goose onto the sesame butter (mani麻膩). The cake is like the spring cake (chunbing春餅) but a little thicker and smaller. Wrap the prepared materials and eat it.


            Recipe for five-spice cake (wuxiang gao fang五香糕方)


            Use two portions of the best white sweet rice (shangbai nuomi上白糯米) and six portions of non-glutinous rice (jingmi粳米), one fen of dried foxnuts (qianshi芡實),ginseng, Atractylodes macrocephala (baishu白術), tuckahoe (Poria cocos, fuling茯苓), and Amomum villosum cardamoms (sharen砂仁), one fen in total. Grind till the powder is very fine and sift it thoroughly. Blend [the rice with] white granulated sugar and boiled water till it is even. Place in a steamer. For one dou of powder, use four liang of foxnutd (qianshi芡實), two liang of Atractylodes (baishu白術), two liang of tuckahoe (fuling茯苓), one liang of ginseng, and one qian of the cardamom (sharen砂仁). Grind them into fine powder and blend it with the powder. Then blend one sheng of white sugar wit it.


            Recipe for fluffy cake (songgao fang松糕方)


            Use one dou of old non-glutinous rice and three jin of granulated sugar. Wash the rice till it is very clean and bake it till it is dry. Mix it with sugar and spread water on it. Then mash it in a mortar. Keep two fen of rice to blend with [the mashed rice]. Mash [the rice] till any coarse grains disappear. Or one can add honey to it. Or one can use the pure powder and pick out the blackish rice. When one makes fluffy cakes, he should wait till the water is boiled and add the powder to it gradually. So the steam will move upwards. Do not let the steam out. Do not stop [the process] in the middle. It is fine to place the cakes sparsely in the steamer. Or one can spread straws in the steamer.


            Recipe for wrapped cake (guogao fang裹糕方)


            Steam sweet rice till it is soft and fully cooked. Blend it with sugar till it is even. Wrap it with bamboo leaves and make it into small-corner shape (xiaojiao’er小角兒). Then steam it again.


            Recipe for ground spices (fanyong xiangtou fa凡用香頭法)


            Use one jin of granulated sugar, three garlic (for the large ones, cut them into pieces as long as three fen), seven stalks of green onion white with roots, seven slices of raw ginger, and a piece of muskiness (shexiang麝香) as large as a pea. Place them at the bottom of a steamer. Then place sugar on them. First, wrap it with bamboo leaves ?? (huaruo花箬). Then seal it with a single piece of oilpaper. Then steam it for one day and one night (chongtang重湯). It will not spoil for years. When one uses it, use a small amount of it and [the food] will be delicious.


            Recipe for round dumpling (rice ball or sweet soup ball pudding) (zhushatuan fa煮砂團法)


            Add granulated sugar to red beans or green beans. Boil them till they become a dough. Wrap it with raw sweet rice paste and make it into large balls. Steam them. or one can boil them in boiled water.


            Recipe for sticky rice dumplings (zongzi fa粽子法)


            Wash sweet rice till it is clean. Add jujubes, chestnuts, dried persimmon (shigan柿幹), ginkgo biloba/gingko (yinxing銀杏), and red beans to [the rice]. Wrap [the mixture] with wildrice (Zizania aquatica/Z. latifolia) leaves (jiaoye茭葉) or bamboo leaves. Another recipe is to soak rice and wormwood leaves (aiye艾葉) in water and wrap [the rice]. This is called wormwood-rice dumpling (aixiang zongzi艾香粽子). When one boils rice dumplings, he should use the liquid that has been used to wash straw or fire wood ashes. Sometimes people also add some lime (shihui石灰) to the water when they boil rice dumplings. [By doing this,] they want to keep the greenness and fragrance of the wildrice leaves (jiaoye茭葉). [These are still made, and resemble contemporary Korean dumplings made of powdered wormwood leaves mixed with sticky rice.  Sumei Yi remembers bathing in wormwood-infused water, and putting wormwood branches in front of the house to drive off insects.]


            Recipe for the Jade-Filled-Lung (yuguanfei fang玉灌肺方)


            Use zhenfen (真粉, unclear), oily pies (youbing油餅), sesame, pinenuts, walnuts, and aniseeds. Blend these six ingredients and make them into rolls. Steam them in a steamer till they are fully cooked. Cut them into squares. It is very delicious. There is no need to add oil. If one uses powders and flours of every kind and blend them and steams them, it is also wonderful.  [Again this is basically a Near Eastern recipe.]


            Recipe for ground pork paste (saoziroumian fa臊子肉面法)


            Use tender pork and remove the tendons, skin, and bones. Use the same amount of fat and lean meat and cut them into dice-like pieces. Use proper amount of water and liquor to boil [the pork] till it is half cooked. Grind the fat (yizhi胰脂) into paste. Then blend it with soybean sauce and afterwards add fragrant pepper (xiangjiao香椒) and Amomum villosum cardamom (sharen砂仁) to it. Use the spices to flavor it. Do not use too much water and liquor. Place the fat pork [into the boiler] first. Then add green onion whites. Do not add green leaves of green onion. Blend green bean powder [with water] to make a paste (jiang).


            Recipe for wonton (huntun fang餛飩方)


            Use one jin of white flour and three qian of salt. Blend them for a continuous dough sheet (luosuomian落索面). Add water to it frequently and knead it into paste. After a while, knead it for one hundred times. Twist and break it into small pieces. Mould it with a rolling pin. Use green bean powder as wrapper? (bo[米孛]). The four margins should be thin. Stuff [the wrapper] with the stuffing. The wrapper should be strong. No fat should be mixed with the lean meat. Fry [the meat] with green onion white and oil till it is fully cooked. Then [the meat] will not have a rank smell. Use proper amount of Chinese pepper, minced ginger, apricot kernels, Amomum villosum (sharen砂仁), and soybean sauce and blend them. It will be even better if one adds it with deep-fried bamboo shoots (suncai筍菜), or any kind of radish (laifu萊菔), or shrimp meat, crab meat, Wisteria (Sollya; tenghua藤花), or any kind of fish. When one places the dumplings in a wok and boils them, he should stir the soup and place a bamboo utensil (zhuxiao竹篠)[83] in the boiled soup. Stir [?] frequently and let the soup be boiling as if fish are making bubbles. The wonton will not be broken and the wrapper will be strong (jian) and smooth.


            Recipe for water-smooth pastry (shuihuamian fang水滑面方)


            Use one hundred percent white flour. Knead it into paste. For one of flour, make it into more than ten pieces. Place them in water. When the dough is fully leavened (houqi mianxing fade shifen manzu候其面性發得十分滿足), stretch and pull (chouzhuai抽拽) it off piece by piece and place it in boiled water. Fully cook them. It will be good if the stretched-and-pulled pieces are broad and thin. Use sesame butter (mani麻膩), apricot kernel butter (xingrenni杏仁膩), salted dried bamboo shoots, pickled gourd (jianggua醬瓜), salted eggplants (zaoqie糟茄), ginger, salted leek (yanjiu醃韭), and sliced cucumber. Make them into minced sauce (jitou齏頭). If one adds fried meat to it, it will be even better. [These “water-smooth” or “water-polished” noodles again seem Near Eastern or Central Asian in ultimate inspiration.  The name, and also the sauce mixture, especially the nut butters, are close to the mysterious and elaborate Central Asian recipes in the Yinshan Zhengyao.]


            Recipe for in-mouth crisp (daokousu fang到口酥方)


            Use ten liang of ghee, seven liang of white sugar, and one jin of white flour. Melt the ghee and pour it into a basin. Add white sugar to it and mix them evenly. Knead it with hands for one hour. Then add it to the flour and blend them into dough. Let it be even. Then mould [the dough] with a rolling pin and make into a long strip. Then divide it into small cakes and bake them in an oven with low fire. When it is fully cooked, one can eat it.


            Recipe for midriff-purifying cakes with persimmon frost(shishuang qingge bing fang柿霜清膈餅方)


            Use two jin four liang of persimmon frost (shishuang柿霜)[84], eight liang of orange peels, four liang of Platycodon root (jiegeng桔梗), two liang of mints, two liang of dried kudzu vine root (gange幹葛), four liang of fangfeng root (Ledebouriella seseloides, 防風), and one qian of (piannao片腦) [an aromatic, almost certainly borneol camphor; see fn 98, p. 101; lit. “sliced brain,” a disturbing image]. Make them into powder. Blend them with liquorice paste (gancaogao甘草膏) and make them into cakes. Then print patterns on the cakes and [cook them and then] eat them. Another recipe: add one liang of Sichuan one-hundred-medicine decoction (chuanbaiyaojian川百藥煎)[85].


            Recipe for chicken-crisp cakes (jisubing fang雞酥餅方)[86]


            Use ten liang of white plum pulp (baimeirou白梅肉), six liang of lilyturf root (maimendong麥門冬), one jin of white sugar, six liang of perilla (zisu紫蘇), four liang of one-hundred-medicine decoction (baiyaojian百藥煎), two liang of ginseng, two liang of black plums (wumei烏梅), and four liang of mints. Make them into powder. Blend them with liquorice paste till the paste is even. Make the paste into cakes. Or one can make it into pills (wan) and coat them with white sugar.


            Recipe for mei and perilla (meisuwan fang梅蘇丸方)


            Use two liang of black mei pulp (wumeirou烏梅肉), six qian of dried kudzu roots (gange幹葛), one qian of sandal wood (tanxiang檀香), three qian of perilla (zisu紫蘇) leaves, one qian of baked salt, and one jin of white sugar. Make all the ingredients into powder. Mash the black mei pulp into mud-like stuff. Blend it with other ingredients and make it into small pills for usage.


            Recipe for watery-and-transparent corners [pointed dumplings] (shuimingjiao’r fa水明角兒法)


            Use one jin of white flour and dust it into boiled water bit by bit. Keep stirring it with hand till it becomes a thick porridge (hu). Divide it into ten to twenty portions and soak it in cold water till it turns snow white. Place it on a table and squeeze it till the water comes out. Add the same amount of soybean powder into it and knead it into thin wrappers (baopi薄皮). Wrap sugar and fruits in it as the stuffing. Then steam it in a bamboo steamer. It tastes very good.


            Recipe for poppyseed curd (zaosufu fa造粟腐法)


            Grind poppy seeds (yingsu罌粟) and water till fine. First, use a piece of cloth to sift through the shells. Then use a piece of silk cloth to sift. Add to boiled water and it will be like the fluid (jiang漿) for making toufu. Place it into a wok and boil it. Then add green bean powder and stir it till it is made into curd (fu). For one portion of poppy seed, use one portion of green bean powder.

Sesame curd should be made in the same way.


            Fish-like-taste bran (fuzha麩鮓)


            Use one jin of bran (fu) and cut it into thin strips.  [The bran is evidently made up into some kind of cake.] Dye them with red yeast powder (hongqumo紅麴末). Use one sheng of miscellaneous spices (zaliaowu雜料物), dried bamboo shoots, carrots, and green onion white (all should be sliced). Use two qian of fully cooked sesame and Chinese pepper, half qian of Amomum villosum cardamoms (sharen砂仁), dill seeds (shiluo蒔蘿), and aniseeds, a small amount of salt, and three liang of fully cooked sesame oil. Blend them till they are even. Then it can be served. It will also be fine if one blend every kinds of ingredients and fry them with oil and make them into a minced dish (ji).


            Fried bran (jianfu煎麩)


            Place bran and germ (fupei麩胚) in a steamer and do not use a rock to press it. Steam it till it is fully cooked. Then cut it into large slices. Fully boil spices (liaowu料物), liquor, and soybean sauce. Dry it in the shade. Deep fry it with oil (fujian浮煎) and it can be eaten.


            Cakes for immortals and rich-and-powerful people (shenxian fugue bing神仙富貴餅)


            Use one jin of atractylodes (baishu白術) and one jin of sweetgrass (Acorus calamus, changpu菖蒲). Soak them in the water that has been used to wash rice. Then scrape off the blackish peels and cut them into slices. Add a small piece of [mineral] lime (shihui石灰) and boil it with them till the bitter flavor is removed. Dry them in the sun light. Then add four jin of yams (shanyao山藥) to them and make them into powder. Blend them with flour and make them into paste. Then steam the paste and make them into cakes and eat them. Or one can add white sugar to it and mould it into thin wrappers. It can be steamed or baked. It originally has a flavor of purity and luxury (fugui富貴).


            Recipe for ghee (zaosuyou fa造酥油法)


            Boil cow milk once or twice in a boiler. Then pour it into a basin. When it is cooled down, the surface will be congealed into a thin skin of cheese (laopi酪皮). Bake (jian) the layer of cheese in a wok till grease (you) comes out of it. Pour the grease into a bowl and it is ghee. [Not a very good description of any normal ghee-making process.]


            Recipe for pure baked cakes (guangshaobing fang光燒餅方)


            For baked cakes, use one jin [of flour] and one and half liang of oil (shaobing meimian yijin, ruyou laingban 燒餅每面一斤,入油兩半). Use one qian of baked salt and blend it with [the flour] and cold water. Knead it into [dough] and mould [the dough] with a rolling pin (guluchui骨魯槌) till it is flattened. Bake it on a pan (ao) till it becomes harder. Bake it with slow fire till what is inside is also fully cooked. When it is tasted, it is very delicious.


            Recipe for twice-oven-baked cakes (fulu shaobing fa複爐燒餅法)


            Use one jin of peeled walnut kernels and mince them. Add one jin of honey to [the minced walnuts]. Make one jin of ghee cakes baked in an oven (lushao suyoubing爐燒酥油餅) into crumbs. Blend them till they are even and make them into small balls (xiaotuan小團). Use the ghee cake crumbs to wrap [these] and make them into cakes. Then place them in an oven and bake them till they are fully cooked.


            Recipe for thin-and-crisp caramel (tangbocui fa糖薄脆法)


            Use one jin four liang of white sugar, one jin four liang of vegetarian oil (or clear oil; qingyou清油), two bowls of water, and five jin of white flour. Add a small amount of ghee, pepper, and salt to them. Knead them into dough. Then mould it into thin pies as large as the mouth of a liquor cup. Evenly spread peeled sesame on them. Place them in an oven and bake them till they are fully cooked. It tastes delicious and crisp.  [Another shortbread recipe of obvious Near Eastern origin; similar cookies are made in the Middle East today.]


            Exclusive recipe for the yellow crisp (suhuang dufang酥黃獨方)


            Slice fully cooked yams (yu). Make apricot kernels and Torreya nuts (feizi榧子) into powder. Blend them with flour and make them into a paste. Dip the yam slices into the paste and deep fry the yam slices with oil. It is delicious.


            Recipe for Koguryo chestnut cake (gaoli ligao fang高麗栗糕方)


            Use any amount of chestnuts. Dry them in the shade and remove the shells and mash them into powder. Use one third of it and blend it with sweet rice powder till they are even.[87] Blend honey liquid with it and moisturize it. Steam it till it is fully cooked. It is very good if one adds white sugar to it.  [Similar recipes still exist in Korea.]


            Recipe for catnip candy (jingjie tang fang荊芥糖方)


            Use thin sticks of catnip (Schizonepeta) and bundle them up like flowers. Dip them with one layer of sugar sauce and then one layer of sesame. Bake them till they are dry. They can be eaten.


            Recipe for crabapple cakes (huahong bing fang花紅餅方)


            Use large crabapples (Malus asiatica) and remove the peels. Dry them in the sun for two days. Flatten them with hands. Then dry them in the sun again. Steam them till they are fully cooked. Then contain them. the large and hard ones are good. One should a knife to carve ridges [on the cakes].


            Recipe for soybean paste cake (dougaobing fang豆膏餅方)


            Bake and stir large soybeans and then remove the peels. Make them into powder. Then add white sugar, sesame, ground spices (xiangtou香頭). Blend evenly. Then make them into cakes and print patterns on them. Then these can be eaten.


FORMULATED MEDICINES (fazhi yaopin lei法制[88]藥品類), twenty-four kinds


            Recipe for processing Pinellia ternata Breit. (fazhi banxia法製半夏)



            [it] opens the stomach and strengthens the spleen. It ends throwing-up. It removes phlegm congested in the chest. It also helps letting the lung qi.


半夏 八兩圓白者切二片  晉州絳 四兩

            丁皮 三兩  草荳蔲 二兩  生薑 五兩切成片

            Use Pinellia ternata Breit rhizome ([the author’s note:] eight liang. Use the round and white ones. Cut them into halves.) , four liang of the reddish alum (jiangfan絳[89]) from Jinzhou晉州[90], three liang of (dingpi丁皮), two liang of tsaoko cardamom (caodoukou草荳蔲), and five liang of sliced ginger.



Wash the materials mentioned on the right. Remove the smooth part (quhua去滑) of the Pinellia rhizome and bake it till it is dry. Roughly cut the three kinds of medicines and contain the sliced ginger in a large bottle. Use three sheng of good liquor to soak the medicines. In the spring and summer, it takes three to seven days. In the autumn and winter, it takes one month. [When it is ready,] take out the Pinellia. Wash it with water and bake it till it is dry. Do not use the remaining medicines. Whenever one has time, chew slowly one or two pieces. When he has taken it for half a month, his throat will be naturally fragrant and sweet.


Recipe for processing orange peels (fazhi jupi法製橘皮)



Rihuazi said, “[orange] peels are warm. It removes phlegm and stops coughing. It cures the illness of having moving or fixed hard tumor in the stomach. It cures the illness of having a tumor in the groin. And it cures the illness of having a tumor in the chest. (po zhengjia xuanpi破癥瘕痃癖)”[91]


橘皮 半斤去穰  白檀 一兩  青鹽 一兩 

茴香 一兩 

            Use half jin of orange peels ([the author’s note:] remove the pulp.), one liang of white sandalwood (baitan白檀), one liang of greenish salt (qingyan青鹽), and one liang of aniseeds.



Use two large bowls of flowing water to boil the four materials mentioned on the right. When the water is out, it is ready. Then pick the orange peels out and place them in a porcelain container. Use something to cover it and do not let the gas come in or out. Every day one should eat three to five pieces with pure boiled water (baitang白湯), chewing carefully.


Recipe for processing apricot’s seeds (fazhi xingren法製杏仁)



[it] cures the qi in the lung. It kills coughing. It terminates short and fast breath. It cures congestions in the stomach and spleen. It cures anxiety and depression.


 板杏 一斤滚灰水焯過,晒乾.麩炒熟.煉蜜拌杏仁勻,用下藥末拌. 
 茴香 炒  人參  砂仁 各三錢    粉草 三錢 
 陳皮 三錢 白荳蔲 木香 各一錢 

            Use one jin of flat apricots’ [seeds] (banxing板杏). Blanch them in boiled limewater, and then dry them in the sun. Then stir and bake [them with]the bran till they are fully cooked. Then blend the apricot’s seeds with refined honey (lianmi煉蜜) till they are even. Then add the powder medicine of lower rank (xiayaomo下藥末) [to it] and blend them. Use three qian of baked aniseeds, ginseng, and Amomum villosum seeds (suosharen砂仁) respectively, three qian of (fencao粉草), three qian of preserved orange peels, one qian of white cardamom (Elletaria cardamomum, baidoukou白荳蔲) and muxiang(木香) respectively.



            Grind the ingredients mentioned on the right into fine powder and blend it with the apricots’ seeds till they are even. Every time eat seven pieces. Eat them after meal.


Recipe for making crisp apricot seeds (su xingren fa酥杏仁法)



Use any amount of apricot seeds. Fry them with sesame oil till they are slightly burnt. Make a string bag with iron wires and put the seeds in it. When they are cooled down, one should eat them. they are very crisp and delicious.


Recipe for processing Amomum villosum cardamom fruits (fazhi susha法製砂)



It helps digesting liquid and grains. It warms up the spleen.


 砂 十兩去皮,以朴硝水浸一宿, 䀶乾.以蔴油焙燥,香熟為度. 
 桂花  粉草 各一錢半,已上共碾為細末.

            Use ten liang of fruits. Peel them and soak them in the liquid dissolved with rough nitre (poxiaoshui朴硝水) [92] for one night. Then dry them in the shade. Then bake them with sesame oil till they smell good and are fully cooked. Use one and a half qian of osmanthus (guihua桂花) and (fencao粉草). Grind all the materials mentioned above into fine powder.



Blend the materials mentioned on the right and make them into pills. One should chew it carefully after he drinks liquor or eats.


Precious crumb in the “drunken town” (for a drunken man) (zuixiang baoxie醉鄉寶屑)



It sobers [the drunken man] up. It broadens/relaxes the internal organs (kuanzhong寛中). It dissolves phlegm.


 陳皮 四兩  砂 四錢  紅豆 一兩六錢  粉草 二兩四錢 

生薑 三錢  丁香 一錢剉  葛根 三兩已上共㕮咀 
 白荳蔲仁 一兩剉  鹽 一兩  巴豆 十四粒不去皮殻,用鐵絲穿.

Use four liang of preserved orange peels, four qian of Amomum villosum (suosharen砂), one liang six qian of red beans (hongdou紅豆), two liang four qian of (fencao粉草), three qian of raw gingers, one qian of ground clove (dingxiang丁香), more than three liang of kudzu root (gegen葛根) ([the author’s note:] carefully chewed.[93]), one liang of ground white (small) cardamom (baidoukouren白荳蔲仁), one liang of salt, fourteen croton beans (badou巴豆) ([the author’s note:] do not peel them. piece them together with a iron wire)



Boil the ingredients mentioned on the right with two bowls of water till the liquid is gone. Then remove the croton and dry [the remaining ingredients] in the sun. [when they are dry,] one can chew them carefully and eat them with pure boiled water.


Boiled muxiangjian (木香煎)



Use two liang of muxiang. Mash them into fine powder and boil them with three sheng of water till the liquid reduces to two sheng. Then add a half sheng of milk and two liang of honey to it. Boil it in a silverware or stoneware till it turns into a thin glutinous mush. Then add one dou one he of sifted non-glutinous rice powder. Boil it again till the rice is fully cooked and [the paste] turns thicker and harder. Then mould them into thin cakes and cut them into chess-piece-like pieces. Dry them in the sun till they are dry.


For processing quince (fazhi mugua法製木瓜)

Use freshly picked quinces and blanch them in boiled water till they turn white. Then take them out and let them cool down. Then cut one piece of skin from the base of the fruit and use the cut piece as a lid. Use a sharp knife to remove the pulp (rang) and add a small spoon of salt. When the liquid comes out, add spices and medicines (xiangyao香藥): royal cinnamon (guangui官桂), Angelica dahurica Benth. et Hook root (baizhi白芷), (gaoben藁本)[94],  Asarum sieboldii Miq (xixin細辛), ageratum (huoxiang藿香), Ligusticum Wallichii (or Conioselinum univittatum Turcz) (chuanxiong川芎), pepper, Alpinia oxyphylla fruit (yizhi益智), and Amomum villosum seeds (sharen砂仁).

Mash the medicines mentioned on the right into fine powder. Place a small spoon of the medicine into each quince and blend [the medicine] with the salty liquid inside the quince. Then dry them in the sun. When the liquid is gone, stuff with cooked honey (shumi熟蜜). Then dry it in the sun again till the honey is dry.  [Quince-honey syrup is still a standard, and very effective, cough medicine and throat soother in China.]


Recipe for processing shelled shrimps (fazhi xiami法製蝦米)





Use one jin of shelled shrimps. Stir and bake them with blackish-salt liquor (qingyanjiu青鹽酒). When the liquor is dry, add liquor to [the shrimps] and stir and bake them again till [the shrimps] smell good and are fully cooked. Roast real gecko (zhengejie真蛤蚧)[95] with the blackish-salt liquor till it is crispy. Stir and bake four liang of aniseeds with the blackish-salt liquor. Stir and bake four liang of pure Chinese pepper skins (jingjiaopi淨椒皮) with the greenish-skin liquor (qingpijiu青皮酒)[96] and [the liquor] should not be too turbid. Boil about two sheng of liquor and blend it with blackish salt.



For the ingredients mentioned on the right, first use the three ingredients of gecko, pepper skins, and aniseeds to process the shrimps. When the liquor is gone, [the shrimps] are ready. When [the shrimps] smell good and are fully cooked, blend [the shrimps] with the three ingredients previously mentioned till they are even. Then blend them with two liang of coarse powder of southern muxiang(南木香) [unclear]. Place them into a container when they are still warm. When they are cooled down, one should eat one liang of them. Eat them with empty stomach (kongxin空心) and chew them with the salty liquor. It benefits the essence and strengthens the yang (yijing zhuangyang益精壯陽). [Its benefits] cannot be fully described.
Delicious tea cakes (xiangcha bingzi香茶餅子)




Use four qian of cutch (hai’rcha孩兒茶) and sprout tea (yacha芽茶)[97], one qian two fen of sandalwood (tanxiang檀香), one qian half fen of white cardamom (baidoukou白荳蔲), one fen of musk (shexiang麝香), five qian of Amomum villosum cardamom seeds (sharen砂仁), one and a half fen of Aquilaria agallocha Roxb. (lignaloes) (chenxiang沉香), four fen of borneol camphor (piannao片腦)[98], liquorice paste (gancaogao甘草膏), and sweet rice paste (nuomihu糯米糊). Blend them and make them into cakes.


Recipe for processing sprout tea (fazhi yacha法製芽茶)



Use two liang one qian of sprout tea as the base (zuomu作母). Use one qian of white cardamom(doukou荳蔲), one fen of musk (shexiang麝香), one and a half fen of borneol camphor (piannao片腦), and one qian of fine powder of sandalwood (tanxiang檀香). Add them into liquorice and mix them.


Extremely fragrant pill (toudingxianwan透頂香丸)

Use four qian of cutch (hai’rcha孩兒茶) and sprout tea (yacha芽茶) respectively, one and a half qian of white cardamom (baidoukou白荳蔲), five fen of musk (shexiang麝香), one qian four fen of sandalwood (tanxiang檀香), and liquorice paste. [Blend them and make them into] pills.


orax/sodium borate pill (pengshawan硼砂丸)



Five fen of borneol camphor (piannao片腦), four fen of musk (shexiang麝香), two qian of borax (pengsha硼砂), six liang of calcite(?) (hanshuishi寒水石), and liquorice paste. [Make them into] pills. Use four qian of cinnabar (zhusha硃砂) for coating the pills.


Hawthorn paste (shanzhagao山查膏)



Use large hawthorn paste (shanzha山查) and remove the skins and kernels. For every jin of them, add four liang of white frost sugar. Then mash them into a paste till it is as transparent as amber. Then add one qian of sandalwood powder (tanxie檀屑). It smells good and tastes delicious. It can also be preserved for a long time.


Sweet dew pill (ganluwan甘露丸)

Use one liang of one-hundred-medicine decoction (baiyaojian百藥煎), one qian two and a half fen of spikenard (gansong甘松) and Terminalia chebula Retz fruit (hezi訶子),[99] a half fen of musk (shexiang麝香), two liang of mints (bohe薄荷), one qian six fen of sandalwood (tanxiang檀香), and one liang two qian five fen of liquorice powder. Add water to them and make them into pills. Then add musk into liquorice paste and make it into a coat [for the pill].


Recipe for salted apricot seed (xian xingren fa醎杏仁法)

            Use unpeeled apricot seed and Prepared Salt (qiushi秋石)[100]. Add the Prepared Salt to boiled water and slightly blend it with [the apricot seeds]. Then stir and bake [the apricot seeds] on fire till it smells good and turns dry. It tastes also good.
Delicious orange cakes (xiangcheng bingzi香橙餅子)

Use four liang of yellow fragrant orange peels (huang xiangcheng pi黄香橙皮). Add three qian of muxiang (木香) and sandalwood (tanxiang檀香) respectively, one liang of white cardamom seeds (baidouren白荳仁), one qian of Aquilaria agallocha Roxb. (lignaloes, chenxiang沉香), one qian of cubeb (bichengqie蓽澄茄)[101], and five fen of borneol camphor (bingpian冰片). Mash them into powder. Blend it with liquorice paste and make them into cakes. Then it can be eaten.


Lotus seed twist (lianzichan蓮子纒)

Boil one jin of lotus seeds till they are fully cooked. Remove the peels and hearts. Then blend two liang of frosted mint (boheshuang薄荷霜), two liang of white sugar. Coat the lotus seeds with [the mixture] and bake them till they are dried. Then they can be eaten. Apricot seeds, olive seeds (lanren欖仁), and walnuts can be processed in the same way.
Recipe for processing torreya nuts (fazhi feizi法製榧子)

Use porcelain or tile fragments to scrape off the blackish skins of the seeds (feizi榧子). Use the peeled seeds. Blend them with the syrup made from boiling frosted mint (boheshuang薄荷霜) and white sugar. Stir and bake them till they smells good and are dried. Then they can be eaten.
Recipe for processing gourd seeds (fazhi guazi法製瓜子)

Blend large gourd seeds found in the area of Yan[102] with the liquid made from dissolving Prepared Salt (qiushi秋石) in water. Then stir and fry them till they smells good and are dried. Then they can be eaten.
Canarium album pills (ganlanwan橄欖丸)

Use five qian of one-hundred-medicine decoction (baiyaojian百藥煎), eight qian of blackish (smoked) mei (wumei烏梅)[103], two qian of quince and dried kudzu roots (gange幹葛), five fen of sandalwood (tanxiang檀香), and five qian of liquorice powder. [Blend them] with liquorice paste and make them into pills. Dry them in the sun and then they can be used.


Recipe for processing  white cardamom (fazhi doukou法製荳蔲)

Use one liang six qian of white cardamom (baidoukou白荳蔲), one fen of borneol camphor (naozi腦子)[104], five li of musk (shexiang麝香), seven and a half fen of sandalwood (tanxiang檀香). Use liquorice paste and white cardamom as the base and use the borneol camphor and musk as the coat.

Another recipe for processing orange peels (youzhi juepi又製橘皮)


Use twenty liang of orange peels found in Tangnan塘南[105] ([the author’s note:]boil them with salt), four qian of tuckahoe (fuling茯苓), four qian of (dingpi丁皮), seven qian of liquorice powder, and three qian of Amomum villosum seeds (sharen砂仁). Make them into powder and blend them with the orange peels. Then bake them till they are dried. Then they can be used.
Recipe for decocting liquorice paste (jian gancao gaozi fa煎甘草膏子法)

Use one jin of (fencao粉草)[106]. Mince them and soak them in boiled water for one night. Then pour [the liquid with liquorice] in a boiler. Add water to the boiler till it is full. Then boil it till the liquid is reduced by half. Then sift through the dregs. Twist [the liquorices] till they are dried and take the liquid from them. Then place [the liquid] in the boiler and boil it with slow fire till the liquid turns into the amount of two bowls. Then replace the boiler with a large marmite/casserole (shaguo砂鍋) and boil it with slow fire (burnt from charcoals) till the liquid turns into the amount of one large bowl. When the liquid turns into a paste, it is ready. For the dregs, reduce the amount of water and boil them for two or three times. Then place them in the liquid that has been gathered for the first time and decoct them.


Recipe for decocting the Jade-Dew Frost (shenglian yulushuang fang升煉玉露霜方)
Use half jin of real soybean powder (zhendoufen
真豆粉). Place in a wok and bake till it does not have the smell of beans. First, place one jin of clean borneol camphor (longnao龍腦) and mints in a steamer. Use a piece of thin silk cloth to cover them and then place the soybean powder on it. Cover the steamer and steam it till the top of the steamer is hot. Then the frost is ready. Gather the frost made from the soybean powder. For every eight liang of the frost, add four liang of white sugar and four liang of refined honey. Blend them till they are even. Mash them into butter. Mould them with print mold and make them into cakes or pills. When one place it in his mouth, it can remove the phlegm and reduce the fever. Moreover, it can be used as tea. It also cures the diseases that are caused by fire (huozheng火症).


Methods for taking cinnabar (fushifang lei服食方類) [107]

[Note that most of what follows in this section is traditional alchemy; by this time, “internal alchemy” consisting largely of meditation and herbs was replacing outright use of poisonous metal salts (“external alchemy”), but obviously had not replaced it in Gao Lian’s world.]



Gaozi[108] says, “The recipes and medicines, used and taken by the immortals, that I have recorded, are not ordinary editions. They are the result of what I have learned after dozens of years of longing for and concentrating on the Dao. Some are what I gain from my own experiences. Others are what I learn from senior Daoist priests. Only them dare I record. Otherwise, I am afraid of misguiding people. The wise men should look upon them with insights and cherish them. ”
Method for taking pine resin (fu songzhi fa服松脂法)
採上白松脂 一斤,即今之松香.  桑灰汁 一石.  

Pick one jin of the best white pine resin (shangbai songzhi上白松脂), which is now rosin (dried resin with volatiles evaporated out; songxiang松香). Use one shi of mulberry-ash liquid (sanghuizhi桑灰汁). First, use one dou of the ash liquid to boil the pine resin till [the liquid] dries to the half. Then place the good white rosin floating on the liquid into cold water and let it congeal. Then use another dou of ash liquid to boil the rosin. Then pick the rosin as above. Ask two persons to pull the rosin and let it elongate for more than ten times. Then boil it with the ash liquid. After it has been boiled for ten times, it is ready for use. Grind the white rosin into fine powder. Every time, take one spoon of it and take it with liquor. One should have an empty stomach and take it when it is close to noon or night. Take it three times every day. When one has taken about ten liang of it, he will not feel hungry. And he can see at night with bright eyes. He will not get older for years.

Another method

            Use one jin eight liang of rosin and boil it with water. When the turbid sediments settle down, one should pick the pure and floating stuff and place it in cold water. Then boil it for forty times and replace five dou of water and boil it again. Repeat it for three times and thus boil it for one hundred twenty times in total. One should not be negligent and stop at will. Boil the rosin till it does not taste bitter. Then it is as soft as powder. Make it into powder together with white tuckahoe (baifuling茯苓). Then make them into butter (zhi). Knead it into soft pills as big as peas. Every time one should eat thirty pills. After ninety days, he can stop. When one eats it for a long time, he will naturally stop eating grains. He will not want to eat food by himself.



Another method (steaming)

Use twenty jin of the best white rosin for one dose (ji). Add water to a large boiler. Place a steamer on the boiler. Spread a thick layer of cogon grass (Imperata cylindrica, baimao白茅) in the steamer and then add a layer of yellow mountain earth (huangshantu黄山土) as thick as one cun. Punch the earth and make it tight. Then place the rosin on the earth and cover it with something tightly. Do not let the air come in or out. Use mulberry wood as the firewood. As soon as the liquid in the boiler is dry, add boiled water to it. Steam it for the time of a meal. Then pick the rosin and place it in cold water. When it congeals, steam it again. Repeat it for three times and stop when the color of the rosin is like that of jade. Use ten jin of white rosin, three jin of pine nuts, three jin of cypress nuts (baiziren栢子仁), five sheng of camomile (ganjuhua甘菊), and make them into fine powder. Refine it with honey and make it into pills as large as a tung nut (Aleurites fordii; name also includes Idesia polycarpa fruit) (tongzi桐子). Take ten pills with conjee or soup. Take it three times or one time every day. After more than one hundred days, he will not feel hungry. His lifespan is elongated and he will not turn old. The color of his skin is shiny and moisturized.

Method for taking arsenic sulphide/king’s yellow/realgar (fu xionghuang fa
透明雄黄 三兩,聞之不臭如雞冠者佳.  次用甘草, 紫背天葵,
地胆, 碧稜花, 各五. 四味為末,入東流水,同雄煑砂礶


Use three liang of transparent arsenic sulphide (realgar, xionghuang雄黄)[109] ([the author’s note:]those that do not smell and are in shape of cockscomb are best). Then use five liang of liquorice, Begonia fimbristipulata Hance (zibei tiankui紫背天葵)[110], cantharide beetles (didan地胆)[111], and (bilenghua碧稜花) respectively. Grind the four ingredients into powder and add them into water that is flowing east (dongliushui東流水). Boil them together with the arsenic sulphide in an earthenware pot (shaguan砂礶). After three days, pick them out. Mash them into coarse powder and steam them with pig fat for one day and one night. Take them out and wash them. Then steam them with toufu as mentioned above. Repeat twice. When steaming them, spread a layer of yellow mountain earth as thick as one cun. Then place the pig fat [on top of the earth]. Steam them till they turn yellow. Therefore, the poison is removed. Pick them up and grind them into fine powder. For every liang of the yellow powder, add two liang of the best pine resin. Then make them into pills as large as a tung nut (Aleurites fordii; name also includes Idesia polycarpa fruit) (tongzi桐子). Every time, one should eat three to five pills with liquor. It can enable a person to live longer. It can change one’s white hair into black and make his teeth grow where they fell. He will not have any of the one hundred kinds of diseases. The ghosts and gods will protect him. On top of his head, there is red light. The ghost called “impermanent” is afraid of him and would not approach him.[112] Epidemic diseases would not touch upon him. Those will be matters that he does not have to pay attention to.
Another recipe for preparing arsenic sulphide (you zhixiong fa又製雄法)
用明雄 二兩,  先將破故紙 四兩,  杏仁 四兩,  枸杞 四兩,  地
骨皮 四兩,  甘草 四兩,  用水二斗煎至一斗,去渣留汁.

Use two liang of transparent arsenic sulphide (mingxiong明雄). First, use four liang of old paper (poguzhi破故紙), four liang of apricot seeds, four liang of wolfthorn fruits, four liang of the peels of wolfthorn roots (digupi地骨皮), four liang of liquorice, and boil them with two dou of water till the liquid reduces into one dou. Remove the dregs and keep the liquid. Then use four liang of black beads (heiliuzhu黒流珠)[113] that are taken from the chimney connected to the stove and four liang of frost of one hundred grasses (baicaoshuang百草霜)[114] that are taken from a stove of a household living in mountain area. Grind them into fine powder together with the arsenic sulphide. Then pour it into the liquid and boil it with slow fire till it is dry. Then place it into a Yangcheng pot (yangchengguan羊城礶)[115]. Add water to the upper portion and set on a fire in the lower portion. After burning four sticks of incense [for timing—so presumably these are burned consecutively], take them out and let them cool down. Then put in container.  They can be used to cure heart diseases (xinji心疾), the wind-and-numbness disease (fengbi風痺)[116], the qi in the midriff (geqi膈氣), and coughing. After the patient takes one fen of the medicine, the medicine will have effects.


  Another recipe(又一法)

            Stuff arsenic sulphide into a duck’s stomach. The boil the duck for three days and nights. Then use the arsenic sulphide.

  服椒法 陳恬為之歌 

Method for taking Chinese pepper ([the author’s note:] Chen Yetian composed a song for it)

The Old Man from Qingchengshan (qingchengshan laoren青城山老人)[117] takes Chinese pepper and obtained wonderful ideas about it. He is more than ninety years old, yet does not look like an old man. I saluted him again and again and asked him for the tips. He was glad to tell me:


蜀椒二斤淨(揀去梗核及閉口者.淨秤.) ,解鹽六兩潔 (其色青白,背者良.細研.) 

Use two jin of clean Sichuan pepper ([the author’s note:] pick out the sticks and closed ones. Clean the steelyard.) and six liang of pure salt from Xiezhou ([the author’s note:]the salt is good if it is greenish and white, in shape of a turtle’s back. Grind it finely).


Blend [the Sichuan pepper] with the salt and boil them with slow fire. When [the pepper] is fully cooked, roll it in chrysanthemum powder ([the author’s note:] blend the salt with the Sichuan pepper. Soak the Sichuan pepper with boiled water as high as five cun. After one night, boil it in a silver or stone boiler with slow fire. Then keep a half cup of the liquid. Then sweep the floor and place a piece of clean paper on the floor. Pour the Sichuan pepper on the paper and cover it with a new basin. Then seal it with yellow earth. After one night, place the Sichuan pepper in a basin and blend it with six liang of dry chrysanthemum powder. Let them be even. Then spread the remaining liquid on them. Then spread them in a sifter and dry them in shade. The chrysanthemum is real only when it is with small flowers, being yellow, with thick leaves and purple stalks, smelling good and tasting sweet, called camomile blossoms (ganjurui甘菊蕋), and can be used to make a soup. Dry them in shade and make them into powder).


At first, one should take fifteen grains of [Sichuan pepper]. He should not stop in the morning or in the evening.


He should gradually increase the number of Sichuan pepper grains [small fruits] he eats every month. Gradually he comes to take two hundred [every day]. ([The author’s note:] for the first month, he should take fifteen grains in the morning. At noon and night, it is the same. For the second month, he should take twenty grains in the morning and evening. For the third day[118], add ten more grains. Increase the amount to two hundred grains and then stop increasing.)


Salted liquor or salted soup, drink as you want [when you take the Sichuan pepper].


After you have taken the Sichuan pepper for half an year, you will feel your midriff be slightly stuffed.


Then decrease ten grains every day till you takes fifteen grains every day.

俟其無碍時,數復如前日. (服半年後,覺胷膈間横塞如有物礙,即毎日退十粒,退十五粒止.俟其無礙,所服仍如前.)

When you feel comfortable with this, take the same amount of [the Sichuan pepper] as you did before. ([Author’s note:] after you have taken it for half an year, you will feel stuffing in your midriff. Then decrease ten grains every day and stop decreasing when you take fifteen grains every day. When you feel all right, take the same amount of the Sichuan pepper as before.)

常令氣裏蒸,否則前功失. (須終始服之,令椒氣早晩裏蒸. 如一日不服,則前功俱廢矣.) 

Keep making the qi [of the Sichuan pepper] surround and steam (guozheng裏蒸) you. Otherwise, what you have done before will be wasted. ([Author’s note:] you should keep taking it and let the qi of the Sichuan pepper surround and steam you day and night. If you do not take it for one day, what you have achieved before will be wasted.)


For food and vegetables, you do not have to avoid eating anything or having a diet on anything.


After one year, you will see the result. Your face will turn shiny.


Your eyes will be bright and your ears be alert to any sound. Your beard will turn black and your head hair, too.


[the Sichuan pepper] nourishes the kidney and lightens waist and weight. It solidifies the qi and benefits the essence and blood.


The Sichuan pepper is mild and the salt is mild, too. The nature of chrysanthemum is to reduce anxiety and fever.


One should take it when he is forty years old. And when he takes it, he should not be negligent.


After dozens of years, his efforts will be comparable to those of the nature.

耐老更延年,不知幾歳月.(四十歳方可服. 若四十歳服,至老只如四十歳人顔容.此其騐也.) 

He will not get old easily and his lifespan is extended. He will not feel how many years pass by. ([the author’s note:] one should take it when he is forty years old. When he takes it at forty, he will look like a person of forty years old when he gets old. This is the effect [of this recipe].)


If he could forget desires, the effects will be even better.


I wish people peace and thus compose this song sincerely.

  Method for taking Siegesbeckia orientalis Linn (fu xixian fa服狶薟法)


            S. orientalis Linn (xixian豨薟)[119] is called by the commoners huochuicao火忺草. In the spring, it grows sprouts and leaves. in the autumn, it blossoms. By the end of the autumn, it bears fruits. In recent years, people take it by itself and claim that it is good for the original qi (yuanqi元氣). This is how Shu people 蜀人 take it: on the fifth day of the fifth month, sixth day of the sixth month, ninth day of the ninth month, pick the leaves and remove the roots, stalks, flowers, and fruits. Wash them till they are clean and dry them in the sun. Place them in a steamer and spread liquor on each layer of the leaves. Steam them with honey. After nine times, stop steaming them. They will smell very good. Then boil and mash them. Sift them through and make them into pills with honey. Then they can be taken. It is said that it can cure the wind qi in the liver and kidney (ganshen fengqi肝腎風氣)[120], numbness in four limbs (sizhi mabi四肢麻痺), aches in bones (gujiantong骨間疼), and lack of strength in the waist and knees (yaoxi wuli腰膝無力). It can also make the qi in the large intestine (dachangqi大腸氣) move. Zhang Chuiya[121] submitted a memorial and reported, “who knows that [S. orientalis] is among the things of lowest rank but having extraordinary effects? When I have taken one hundred doses, my eyes turn bright. When I have taken one thousand doses, my beard and hair turn black. My strength is enhanced. Its effects are various.” Chen Shulin陳書林described it in details in Jingyanfang經騐方. It cures every kind of diseases and it can be used for different decoctions. Order someone to pick it. Another method is to pick the branches with [the leaves] after it blossoms and bears fruits. Spread liquor on them and steam and dry them in the sun. Pound them into fine powders with a pestle and mortar. Refine honey and make them into pills. Then they can be taken.
Method for taking mulberry fruit (fu sangshen fa服桑椹法)

            Mulberry is good for the five internal organs and the joints. It opens the blood qi (tong xueqi血氣). After one has taken it for a long time, he will not feel hungry. Pick many of them and dry them in the sun. Then mash them and blend them with honey. Make them into pills. Take sixteen pills every day. It can change white hair and make the person look less old. Use one sheng of black mulberry and blend them with one sheng of tadpoles. Contain them in a bottle and seal the bottle. Hang the bottle in the east side of the house. When they turn into mud, [use the mud] to dye the hair and the hair will be as black as lacquer. Another method: use twenty-seven mulberries and blend them with two walnuts. Grind them into mud-like stuff. Pull out white hairs and [stuff the mixture] in the pores. Then black hairs will grow [out of the pores]. This comes from Bencao shiyi本草拾遺.

  Recipe for baby chick cinnabar (jizidan fa雞子丹法)

黄白,即以上好舊坑辰砂為末. (硃砂有毒,選豆辨舊砂, 豆腐同煑一日,為末.) 

            Raise pure white cocks and hens and do not let other chickens mix with them. Open a small hole on a raw egg [laid by the white chickens]. Pour out the yolk and white. Then make the best cinnabar found in the old mines in Chenzhou (shanghao jiukeng chensha上好舊坑辰砂)[122] into powder. ([Author’s note:] cinnabar is poisonous. Choose the bean-segment-like old cinnabar bits and boil them with toufu for one day. Then make them into powder.) Blend [the cinnabar] with water and make into a paste. Stuff the paste into the egg. Seal the egg with wax. Still let the white chicken sit on it. When the chicks hatch, the medicine is ready.  [Since the chick in the egg would be killed, this probably refers to other eggs in the clutch—used basically as timers.] Blend it with honey and make it into [pills] as large as peas. Every day take two pills and take them three times a day. After one has taken it for a long time, he will live longer and his lifespan is extended.
  Long-life purple miraculous cinnabars made with pearls nourished by a greenish dragon (canglong yangzhu wanshou zilingdan蒼龍養珠萬壽紫靈丹)

          The method to make the cinnabar: [one should] enter the deep mountain and choose a pine tree big enough that one’s arms can barely reach around it. Pick a day that heavenly virtue, moon virtue, metal, and wood converge (yong tian yue de jin mu bing jiao ri shang用天月德金木并交日上). Dig a square hole on the waist of the tree. The hole should be as large as three to four cun by each side. Dig deeply into the middle of the pine tree and then stop digging. Dig a deep concave place under the hole. Then use one jin of the best cinnabar found in the old mines in Chenzhou and eight liang of transparent arsenic sulphide. Make them into powder and blend them together. Wrap them with cotton paper and seal it with red thick silk cloth. Then place the wrapper into the tree hole and stuff the hole with tuckahoe (fuling茯苓) powder. Cut a wedge with skin as large as the hole and pound it into the hole. Use a piece of black dog fur to cover the hole. Since spirits and gods might come to take the cinnabar, one should ask someone to stay in the mountain and watch over it. This will use the pine resin (songzhi松脂) to boost the miraculous qi [of the cinnabar and arsenic sulphide] and the cinnabar and arsenic sulphide will be cultivated into miraculous cinnabar (lingdan靈丹). After they are inserted into the tree for one year, fluorescence appears on the tree. After two years, the fluorescence becomes larger. After three years, the fluorescence lights up the whole mountain. Take out the two kinds of powder and grind them into dust-like stuff. Blend [the dust] with jujube pulp and make them into pills as large as a Chinese parasol tree fruit (Firmiana simplex, wuzi梧子). First, use one plate of the pills to offer to gods in heaven and earth. Then take ten to twenty pills with well water, which is freshly taken in the morning (jinghuashui井花水), in the early morning. After one month, he can read tiny words in the evening. After half a year, he can walk as fast as riding a horse. After one year, the Three Corpses/Cadavers (sanshi三尸)[123] will be separated out. The Nine Worms (jiuchong九蟲)[124] will flee and hide. The Jade Girl (yunü玉女) will come to protect him and the Liujia God (liujia六甲)[125] will come to do the cooking. If he accumulates hidden merits and virtues (yingong jide陰功積德), at least the position of an earthly immortal (dixian地仙) can be secured for him. The pine tree is the essence of a greenish dragon. The cinnabar is the body of a reddish dragon. They obtain the qi of water and fire that naturally ascends and descends in heaven and earth. Then they become cinnabar. They are not produced by human beings. How miraculous this all is!


Nine cycle longevity miraculous-tripod-and-jade-liquid cream (jiuzhuan changsheng shending yuye gao九轉長生神鼎玉液膏)

白术氣性柔順而補,每用二斤,秋冬採之,去粗皮 赤术即蒼术也。性剛雄而發,每用十六兩,同上。

The qi nature of Atractylodes macrocephala (baishu) is soft and compliant. Use two jin of it and pick it in the autumn and winter. Remove the coarse peels. Atractylodes sinensis (chishu赤术) is the same as (cangshu蒼术).[126] The nature of the latter is hard, male, and (gangxiong er fa剛雄而發). Use sixteen liang of the rhizomes. Repeat the method above [rather unclear which is intended].


Mash these two medicines in a wood or stone mortar and then place them in an urn. Soak them in the One-Thousand-li water (qianlishui千里水)[127] for one day and one night. Mountain spring water is also good. Then place them in a earthenware pot and boil them for liquid. Then contain the liquid. Then boil them again. Use thick silk cloth to sift through the dregs and remove them. Refine the liquid with slow fire by burning mulberry woods. When it is slowly boiled into a cream, contain it in a porcelain jar and seal it. Inter the jar in the earth for one or two days in order to remove the fire qi (chu huoqi出火氣). Take it on a date of Heavenly Virtue (tianderi天德日). Take three qian of it every time with pure boiled water. Or he can also take it in his mouth and let it thaw. After he takes it for a long time, his weight will be lightened and his lifespan be extended. His skin will look shiny. He should avoid eating peach, apricot (li), sparrow (que), clam (ha), and sea food. Moreover, there is a method to enhance the effects of the medicine, which is called Nine Cycle.



The second cycle: add three liang of ginseng. Boil the ginseng twice to get a thick liquid and boil the thick liquid slowly tillit forms a cream. Then add the cream to the previous made cream. This is called Miraculous-Mushroom-for-Longevity Cream (changsheng shenzhi gao長生神芝膏).



The third cycle: add one jin of polygonatum root (huangjing黃精). Boil it and use the liquid to refine a cream. Then add the cream to the previously made cream. This is called the Three-Prime-Minister-Extend-Lifespan Cream (santai yisuan gao三台益算膏).



The fourth cycle: add tuckahoePolygala root (yuanzhi遠志)[128]. Remove their hearts. Use eight liang of them respectively and boil them slowly till they turn into a cream. Add this cream to the previously made cream. This is called Four-Immortal-seek-Cream (sixian qiuzhi gao四仙求志膏).



The fifth cycle: add eight liang of angelica (danggui當歸). Wash it with liquor and boil it into a cream. Then add the cream into the previous made cream. This is called the Five-Old-Men-Paying-Homage-to-the-Premordial-Celestial-Worthy Cream (wulao chaoyuan gao五老朝元膏).



The sixth cycle: add antler velvet of a young deer (lurong鹿茸) and elk’s horn (mirong麋茸). Add three liang of them respectively. Grind them into powder and boil them into a cream. Add this cream into previously made cream. This is called the Six-Dragon-Ruling-Heaven Cream (liulong yutian gao六龍御天膏).



The seventh cycle: add amber (hupo琥珀). The amber that is as red as blood is best. Steam it on rice till the rice is ready. Then grind the amber into fine powder. Use one liang of it and add it to the previous made cream. This is called the Seven-Stars-Returning-Their-Original-Status Cream (qiyuan guizhen gao七元歸真膏).



The eighth cycle: add sour jujube kernels (suanzaoren酸棗仁). Remove the kernels [and evidently grind them to pulp] and use eight liang of the pure pulp. Boil them into a cream and add it to the previously made cream. This is called the Eight-Gods-Protecting Cream (bashen weihu gao八神衛護膏).



The ninth cycle: Add arborvitae seeds (baiziren柏子仁). Use four liang of the shelled seeds and grind them into mud-like stuff. Add it to the previously made cream. This is called the Nine-Dragon-Enhancing-Longevity Cream (jiulong fushou gao九龍扶壽膏).



The cinnabar is made by adding ingredients in nine ways, which are based upon the disease one has and [the ingredients] are added. I am also afraid that if one uses all of them to make the cream at one time and the heat is not reached yet, some effects of the medicine are done and others are not. Therefore, when the ancient sages make a recipe, they must have a wonderful way.


The Mysterious-Origin Protecting-Life Purple-Miraculous-Mushroom Cup(Xuanyuan huming zizhibei玄元護命紫芝)


This cup can cure the Five Strains and the Seven Impairments (wulao qishang五勞七傷)[129], every kind of weakness and one hundred sorts of damages (zhuxu baisun諸虛百損), paralysis (zuotan youhuan左癱右瘓), every kind of wind sickness (fengji風疾)[130], every kind of bad influences and one hundred kinds of illnesses (zhuxie baibing諸邪百病). Once there was a Daoist practitioner Wang Jin who took it. When he was dying, he had a dream, in which two ghosts opened the door and came in. They watched him for a while and then left. Later he had another dream, in which someone told him that, “you should have died at that time. When the two Impermanent Ghosts came to catch you, your face had a red light because you had taken the miraculous cinnabar. Therefore, the ghosts could not approach you. After this event, your lifespan cannot be measured.” Later, this Daoist priest lived for over three hundred years and then achieved transcendence.



Use one and a half jin of transparent and clean pieces of cinnabar (mingjing zhusha明凈朱砂). First, take four liang of them and place them in a water-and-fire Yangcheng pot (shuihuo yangcheng guan水火陽城罐)[131]. Boil them with high fire for one day and one night. Then take them out and grind them finely. Then add another four liang [of cinnabars]. Repeat the process of adding [cinnabars] and boiling [cinnabars] with high fire till the sixth time. Make all the cinnabars into fine powders. Forge the iron lamp into a large liquor cup. Polish it and make it into a mould (zuosu作塑). Then hang it in the Yangcheng pot. Paste five layers of gold foils on the body of the iron cup. Stuff the pot with cinnabars and place the cup on the mouth of the pot. Burn it with high fire for three days and nights. Frequently rub the iron cup with water till [the cinnabars] congeal and form a cup attached to the iron cup. Then take [the cinnabar cup] off. Use three li of good bright arsenic sulphide (mingxiong明雄). Grind it and place it in the cinnabar cup. Pour warm liquor into the cup and drink it. Drink two cups every time and then keep the cup for future use. It is so wonderful that cannot be described.


            The Immortals’ Method for Taking the Miraculous Herb Sweetgrass (Acorus calamus)(Taiqingjing shuo shenxian lingcao changpu fushi fa《太清經》說神仙靈草菖蒲服食法)

The method: pick sweetgrass  (changpu菖蒲)] on the third day of the third month, the fourth day of the fourth month, the fifth day of the fifth month, the sixth day of the sixth month, the seventh day of the seventh month, the eighth day of the eighth month, the ninth day of the ninth month, the tenth day of the tenth month. One should pick those growing in water above clean rocks and it would be better if the stream flows south. It is not good if the stream flows north. Wash the picked sweetgrass till it is clean. Remove all the root hairs carefully. Then contain it in a bag and soak the bag in water. Remove the turbid liquid and hard pieces and slice up. Dry it in the sun.  Pestle it into powder and sift it through to get really fine powder. Select an auspicious day of the Heavenly Virtue and the Yellow Path (huangdao)[132] to make it. The method of making it: soak aged sweet rice in water for one night and then remove the rice wash water (migan米泔). Grind [the soaked sweet rice] in a sandstone mortar and make it into fine powder. Cook [the powder] into conjee on fire. Then blend [the conjee] with the previously made sweetgrass powder. More than two hands are required to make them into pills. Otherwise, it is difficult to make them into pills when [the conjee] is dried. The pill should be as large as a tung nut (wutongzi桐子). Dry them in the sun light and contain them in a box. First, take ten pills every time and then chew one mouth of rice and swallow it with the pills. Later on, drink liquor to swallow [the pills]. It would be even better if he eats [the pills] with some dimsum (dianxin點心). He should not worry about avoiding anything. He will feel his body become warm. Decoct one or two qian of Gentiana macrophylla Pall. roots (qinjiao秦艽)[133] into a soup. Drink it when it is cooled down and [his body temperature] will be normal because the gentian serves as an envoy drug (shi使). After he takes it for one month, his spleen will be pacified and it helps digesting (hepi xiaoshi和脾消食). After two months, any cold diseases (lengji冷疾) will be cured. After one hundred days, one hundred kinds of diseases will disappear. Its functions include pacifying the heart (relieving palpitation; zhenxin鎮心)and enhancing and replenishing qi (yiqi益氣). It strengthens the memory (qiangzhi強志) and the spirit (zhuangshen壯神). It replenishes the marrows (tiansui填髓) and the sperm (bujing補精). It blackens the hair (heifa黑髮) and lets the teeth grow (shengchi生齒) [in place of fallen teeth]. After ten years, one’s skin become fine and smooth. One’s face is like a peach blossom. Thousands of spirits serve and watch over the taker. His essence will never be exhausted (jingxie bugan精邪不乾).[134] He is promised longevity and transcendence (dushi度世).[135]



The Recipe for the Immortal’s First-Rate Yellow-Dragon Cinnabar (shenxian shangcheng huanglong dan fang神仙上乘黃龍丹方)

Ten liang of halloysite (red bole, chishizhi赤石脂)[137], three large sheng of yellow cow [an ordinary cow, as opposed to special cattle such as black cattle or water buffaloes] meat juice (huangniu rouzhi黃牛肉汁)[138], one jin of transparent frankincense (mingruxiang明乳香)[139],one jin of white honey (baimi白蜜), three liang of liquorice powder, and three dou wu sheng of white non-glutinous rice (baijingmi白粳米) ([author’s note:]divide it into five portions to cook with the medicine till it is fully cooked).

赤石脂十兩 黃牛肉汁三大升 明乳香一斤 白蜜一斤 甘草末三兩 白粳米三斗五升,分作五分炊藥,以熟為度


          Use the above six ingredients. Make the red bole into powder. Put it in a raw thick silk bag and soak [the bag] in water which was used to wash rice, for half a day. Knead the medical bag with hands and shake it in water. Take the stone powder that settles at the bottom of the water and place it on a piece of paper to let it dry. Use five liang of clean and fine powder and contain it in a silver box. If there is no silver box, a Blue-and-White porcelain round box (qingbaici yuanhe青白磁圓盒) is also fine. For the first time, on the seventh or eighth day [of the month], wash seven sheng of the rice and place it in a steamer. Then place the box containing the medicines inside of the rice and cook them till the rice is fully cooked. Then remove the cover of the box and place it under the stars for one night. For the second time, on the day around full moon(yuewang月望), cook seven sheng of rice as before. Place the box inside of the rice and steam it. Then remove the cover and place it in the sun light. Therefore, it absorbs the three kinds of lights of the Sun, the Moon, and the stars. For the fourth time, first pour three sheng of cow milk into an earthware pot. Boil it with charcoal fire till the water has bubbles as large as fish eyes. Then add the frankincense powder into it. When this melts, add the red bole powder that has been steamed for three times into the cow milk. Use a willow stick (liutiao柳條) to mix them till they are even. Then pour them into a mortar and grind them thoroughly. Then place them into the previous box again. Steam seven sheng of rice and place the box inside of the rice. Take the box out when the rice is fully cooked. For the fifth time, add two jin of honey into the earthen pot and boil it with slow fire till the boiling water has bubbles as large as fish eyes. Then pour the medicines in the steamed box into the honey and continuously stir it with a willow stick till it is even. Then add three liang of liquorice powder and boil them together till it is wet (daishi帶濕). Then place seven sheng of rice into the steamer and then place the box into the rice. Steam it till the rice is fully cooked. Then take out the box and place it in a basin of water. Soak the box in the water for half day and do not let the water get into the box. Then take the box out and place it in a clean container. When one starts to take it, he should choose an auspicious day having the Heavenly Virtue, the Moon Virtue, and the Yellow Path (tianyuede huangdao jiri天月德黃道吉日). In the early morning, he burns incense and salutes the east for seven times with an empty stomach. Then mix it with a spoon of good liquor [and take it]. This is an immortals’ cinnabar that is precious in this world and can prolong one’s lifespan. It does not have the poison of metals and rocks (jinshizhidu金石之毒). Neither does it have the mechanics that incurs loss in one’s life (wushengzhili誤生之理). After one takes it, the Four Qi is harmonious (siqi tiaohe四氣調和)[140] and the “hundred bones” [the hundreds of bones in the body] are eased (baihai shuchang百骸舒暢). Its wonderful functions cannot be entirely recorded. If he only uses it to help others achieve transcendence and does not make profits from it, its effects will be especially fast. After one takes the pill for about ten days, he will feel his internal organs being opened (zangfu tongkuai臟腑通快) and his spirits pure (jingshen qingshuang精神清爽). All kinds of diseases that are difficult to treat, such as the Wind Diseases [paralysis and the like], the Labor Diseases [tuberculosis?], the Cold Diseases, and the Qi diseases (feng lao leng qi風勞冷氣), will be cured. If he takes double doses, he will live as long as one hundred years. For every person, he should nourish his spleen. If the spleen is nourished, the liver will flourish (piyang ze ganrong脾養則肝榮)[141]. When the liver flourishes, the heart will be strong (ganrong ze xinzhuang肝榮則心壯). When the heart is strong, the lung will be vigorous (xinzhuang ze feisheng心壯則肺盛). When the lung is vigorous, the Original Organ will be solidified (feisheng ze yuancang shi肺盛則元藏實)[142]. When the Original Organ is solidified, the foundation [of the body] is stabilized (yuancang shi ze genben gu元藏實則根本固).Therefore, the way to deeply cultivate and solidify the root as well as a wonderful way to achieve longevity can be found in this medicine. How could it be any ordinary medicine? The vessels used to make the medicine are described as below:



Two silvers: one large silver pot and one small silver box. The smaller one can contain five or six liang of medicine and has a cover. The capacity of the larger one is five dou. If the pot is porcelain inlaid with silver, it is wonderful.



Three unused earthen basins. They should be able to contain one dou of beans.



One wood steamer. It should be able to contain one dou of cooked rice.



One basin that is used to cover the steamer, one set of unused pot and stove, one mortar, two bamboo or wood spoons (large and small), three to five willow forks (liumuqiao柳木鍬), one small bamboo strainer (zhaoli笊籬), and one hundred jin of firewood.




Wolfthorn tea (gouqicha枸杞茶)

Pick red and ripe wolfthorn fruits in the late autumn. Blend with dry flour and make them into a paste. Then mold into thin cakes with a rolling pin and dry in the sun. Then grind them into fine powder. For every liang of river tea (jiangcha江茶), use two liang of the wolfthorn fruit powder. Blend them till they are even. Then add three liang of melted ghee or sesame oil. Then immediately add boiled water and make them into a paste. Add a small amount of salt and decoct them in a pot till they are fully cooked. Then they can be drunk. It is very good for health and brightens eyes. [An interesting contrast with the wild alchemy above.  This is a perfectly practical recipe which would, in fact, work, because of the high vitamin and mineral content of the wolfthorn berries.]


The recipe for the Replenishing-Qi Cow Milk (yiqi niuru fang益氣牛乳方)

Yellow cow milk is best for old men. Its nature is neutral (xingping性平). It enriches the blood and pulses (buxuemai補血脈). It replenishes the heart qi (yixinqi益心氣). It lets the muscles grow (zhangjirou長肌肉). It enables the body to be healthy, strong, radiant, and moisturized (lingren shenti kangqiang runze令人身體康強潤澤). It makes one’s face radiant with good color (mianmu guangyue面目光悅). It makes the memory not decline (zhibushuai志不衰). Therefore, people should take it frequently and make it a daily food. Or one can make milk cakes (rubing乳餅) or milk drinks (ruyin乳飲) as long as he would like to take it and takes plenty of it. This thing is much better than meat. [Again, we are back to perfectly practical advice here.]



The Jade Cream of Mr. Iron Jar (tieweng xiansheng qiongyu gao鐵瓮先生瓊玉膏)

This cream replenishes the essence and marrows (tianjing busui填精補髓). It transforms the intestines into tendons (chang huawei jin腸化為筋).[143] It makes thousands of spirits complete (wanshen juzu萬神俱足) and enriches the Five Internal Organs (wuzang yingyi五臟盈溢). It transforms the white hair into black. It rejuvenates the old man into a childlike condition and enables him to walk as fast as a galloping horse. If he takes it several times a day and does not eat other food, he will not feel hungry. it opens [the body] and strengthens the memory (kaitong qiangzhi開通強志). It enables the person read ten thousand words a day. It makes his spirit superior (shenshi gaomai神識高邁) and enables him not to have dream at night (ye wu mengxiang夜無夢想). After he takes ten doses, he will suppress his desires (jueqiyu絕其欲) and cultivate secret virtues and become an Earthly Transcendent (xiu yingong cheng dixian修陰功成地仙). Divide one dose into five portions and each portion can cure five patients with grievous sores (yongji癰疾). Divide one dose into ten portions and each portion can cure ten patients with the Labor Diseases/phthisis (laoji癆疾). When one makes the medicine, he should take a bath and purify his mind and does not show it to others impudently.



Twenty-four liang of Silla [Korean] ginseng (xinluoshen新羅參) ([author’s note:] remove the leaves?(lu)). Sixteen jin of raw Rehmannia glutinosa Libosch roots (sheng dihuang生地黃) ([author’s note:]take the juice). Forty-nine liang of peeled white tuckahoe (baifuling茯苓). Ten jin of refined and pure white granulated honey (baishami白沙蜜).

新羅參二十四兩,去蘆 生地黃一十六斤,取汁 白茯苓四十九兩,去皮 白沙蜜十斤,煉凈


Make the above-mentioned ginseng and tuckahoe into fine powder. Sift the honey with a piece of raw thick silk cloth. Squeeze the natural juice (ziranzhi自然汁) from the Rehmannia roots. When mashing these, do not use bronze or iron vessels. After taking all of the juice, remove the dregs. Blend the medicines together till they are even and contain them in a silver or stone ware or good porcelain container. Use twenty or thirty layers of paper to seal the container. Place [the container] in boiled water and boil it with mulberry firewood for three days and nights. Then take [the container] out. Wrap the mouth of the bottle with several layers of wax paper. Then place [the bottle] in a well in order to remove the fire poison (huodu火毒)[145]. Take it out after one day and one night. Then place it into the previous boiled water and boil it for one day. Let the vapor out and then take [the bottle] out. Unseal [the bottle] and take three spoons [of the medicine] and contain them into three cups. [Use the three cups of medicine] as offerings to gods in heaven and on earth. He should be pious when he sets up the offerings and salutes.every day, he should mix the medicine with a spoon of liquor and take it with an empty stomach. The original recipe is like this. However, for those who have phthisis and cough, whose qi is high (lao sou qisheng癆嗽氣盛), who have blood deficiency and lung-heat (xuexu feire血虛肺熱), ginseng should not be used.



The Earthly-Transcendents’ Decoction (dixianjian地仙煎)


It cures aches in the waist and knees (yaoxi tengtong腰膝疼痛) and every kind of Cold Diseases in the stomach (funei lengbing內冷病). It makes one’s skin easy on the eyes and moisturized (yanse yueze顏色悅澤). It strengthens the bones and marrows and enables people walk as fast as galloping horses.治腰膝疼痛,一切腹內冷病,令人顏色悅澤,骨髓堅固,行及奔馬。


One jin of yams (shanyao山藥). One sheng of apricot seeds ([author’s note:]soak them in boiled water and remove the peels and tips (pijian皮尖)).two jin of raw cow milk.

山藥一斤 杏仁一升,湯泡去皮尖 生牛乳二斤


Grind the above mentioned apricot seeds finely. Then add cow milk and yams into [the apricot seeds]. Blend them and squeeze them to get the juice. Put [the juice] in an unused porcelain bottle and seal [the bottle]. Boil [the bottle] for one day. Every day one should mix one spoon of the medicine with liquor and take it with an empty stomach.




The Golden-Water Decoction (jinshuijian金水煎) [146]


[it] elongates the lifespan. It replenishes the essence and marrows (tianjing busui填精補髓). If one takes it for a long time, his white hair will change into black and he will be rejuvenated and become like a child.



Any amount of wolfthorn fruits. Pick the red and ripe ones.



Soak the above ingredients in No-Ash liquor (wuhuijiu無灰酒) for six days if it is in the winter and for three days if it is in the summer. Place [the wolfthorn fruits] in an earthen basin and grind them very finely. Then use a cloth bag to squeeze juice [out of the ground wolfthorn fruits]. Then boil [the juice] and the previous used liquor with slow fire till they become a cream. Place the cream in a clean porcelain container and seal it. Then steam [the container]. Every time, take one spoon of it. Add a small amount of sesame oil to it and mix it with warm liquor. Then take it.



Lilyturf Cream (tianmendonggao天門冬膏)


It cures the Accumulated Disease (jiju積聚)[147] and removes  the wind-phlegm (fengtan風痰)[148]. It cures epilepsy (dianji癲疾). It kills the Three Worms and lying corpse (fushi伏尸). It drives off the epidemics (wenyi瘟疫). It lightens the body and replenishes the qi (qingshen yiqi輕身益氣).



Any amount of lilyturf  roots. Peel them and remove the hearts. Wash the roots till they are clean.



Mash the above material and squeeze juice out of them with a piece of cloth. Then sift through [the juice] and take the pure liquid. Pour the liquid in a porcelain, sandstone, or silver pot and boil it with slow fire till it turns into a cream. Every time, take one spoon of it and mix it with warm liquor and then eat it with an empty stomach.



Not-Fearing-Cold Recipe (buweihan fang不畏寒方)


Use lilyturf (tianmendong天門冬) and tuckahoe (fuling茯苓) and make them into powder. Mix them with liquor or water and take them. every day, take them frequently. When it is extremely cold and [one takes it], he will sweat and forget out the coldness even if he wears one-layer clothes.


Sayings about taking Acanthopanax spinosus Miq bark(fu wujiapi shuo服五加皮)


Shun used to climb up [Mt.] Cangwu and said, “This is a Golden-and-Jade fragrant herb (jinyu xiangcao金玉香草).”He is referring to the acanthopanax bark (wujiapi五加皮). If one takes it, he will achieve longevity. Therefore, it is said that, “one would rather have a handful of acanthopanax than a cart full of gold and jade. One would rather have one jin of Sanguisorba officinalis root (diyu)[149] than precious pearls like a bright moon.” In the past, the mother of Lord Dinggong in Lu drank acanthopanax liquor alone and achieved longevity. As for Zhang Zisheng, Yang Shijian, Wang Shucai, and Yu Shiyan, they are ancient persons. They drank acanthopanax liquor and had sex (fangshi房室) frequently. [Wujiapi liquor abounds today in Chinese markets, so the reader can try this.]  All of them achieved longevity and had many children. There are many persons who achieved longevity by drinking acanthopanax liquor. [Author’s note:] this comes from the Perfected East-Flower’s Classic of Boiling Rocks (donghua zhenren zhushijing東華真人煮石經) .



The method of taking pine nuts (fu songzi fa服松子法)


Use any amount of pine nuts and grind them into a cream. Mix one spoon of it with warm liquor and take it with an empty stomach. Take it three times every day. Then he will not feel hungry or thirsty. If he takes it for a long time, he will be able to walk five hundred li every day and his body is lightened and becomes strong. [In spite of the wild exaggeration at the end, the ancient and still-current tradition of eating pine seeds for health is a sound one.  These seeds are extremely rich in vitamins, minerals, and easily digested proteins and oils.]



The method of taking Sophora japonica (pagoda tree) fruits (fu huaishi fa服槐實法)


Soak the pagoda tree fruits in cow gall (niudan牛膽) for one hundred days and then dry them in the shade. Every day, one should take one piece and his body will be lightened after one hundred days. After one thousand days, his white hair will become black. After he takes it for a long time, he will become enlightened (tongming通明).




The method of taking lotus blossoms (fu lianhua fa服蓮花法)


Pick seven fen of lotus blossoms on the seventh day of the seventh month. Pick eight fen of lotus roots on the eighth day of the eighth month. Pick nine fen of lotus seeds on the ninth day of the ninth month. Dry them in the shade and eat them. they will let people not turning old.



The method of taking pine roots (fushi songgen fa服食松根法)


Use pine roots that grows eastwards (dongxing songgen東行松根). Remove the white peelings and finely cut them up. Then dry them in the sun and pestle and sift them. One should eat them till he feels full. Then he will be able to renounce grains (juegu絕谷). If he feels thirsty, he can drink water.



The method of taking tuckahoe (fushi fuling fa服食茯苓法)


Remove the black skins of the tuckahoes and mash them into powder. Fully soak them into good liquor in a earthen ware. Then cover the earthen ware and tightly seal it with mud. After fifteen days, open the earthen ware and make [the tuckahoes] into cakes like making cinnabars (ershi餌食). Eat it three times a day. One can also make them into powder and take one one-cun-square spoon (fangcunbi方寸匕)[150] of it. He will not feel hungry or thirsty. It cures illnesses and helps people achieving longevity.



The method of taking (fushi shu fa服食术法)


Use one shi of Atractylodes macrocephala root found in Yuqian (yuqianshu于潛)[151]. Wash them till they are clean. Then mash them. Use two shi of water and soak in the water for one night. Then boil them till the liquid is reduced to half. Then add five sheng of pure liquor (qingjiu清酒) and boil them again. Take one shi and squeeze them and remove the dregs. Then boil them with low fire. Add two sheng of soybean powder and one sheng of lilyturf root (tianmendong天門冬) powder. Blend and make into pills as large as a bullet. Take three pills in the morning and take one pill during the day. One can also use it to replace food when he lives in mountains or travels. It helps people resist the wind and chill (naifenghan耐風寒). It helps people achieve longevity and make him not affected by any illnesses. This method is invented by Cuiyezi. One should remove the hearts and peels of the lilyturf.


The method of taking Solomon’s seal (fu huangjing fa服食黃精法)


Finely cut one shi of Solomon’s seal. Use two shi five sheng of water ([author’s note:] another saying is six shi) to boil over low fire from the morning to the evening. When they are fully cooked, one should take them out and let them cool down. Then mash them with hands. Use a cloth bag to squeeze juice from them and boil [the juice]. Dry the dregs in the sun and make them into powder. Add [the powder] into [the liquid] in the pot ad boil them slowly. Then make them into pills as large as eggs. Take one pill every time and take three times every day. Then he will not want to eat grains (juegu絕穀). And it cures the hundred diseases. His body will be lightened and become strong. If he takes less of it, he will become normal. But he should not take too much of it or stop taking it in the middle. If he feels thirsty, he can drink water. This method is the best. It comes from the Five Charms五符.


Another method又法


Mash the Solomon’s seal and take three sheng of the juice. If they cannot produce so much juice, pour water on them and then squeeze them to get the juice. Use three sheng of raw Rehmannia glutinosa Libosch roots (sheng dihuang生地黃) juice and three sheng of lilyturf root (tianmendong天門冬) juice. Blend them and boil them with low fire till the liquid is reduced to one half. Then add five jin of white honey into them and boil them again till they can be made into pills. Make them into pills as large as a bullet. Take them three times every day. Then he will not feel hungry and his skin color will be good. One can also merely squeeze three sheng of the juice and boil it till it can be made into pills. Take one pill as large as an egg every day. After he takes it for thirty days, he will not feel hungry and will be able to walk as fast as a galloping horse. One should remove the hearts and peels of the lilyturf.



The method of taking Maianthemum racemosum(fushi weirui fa服食葳蕤法)


Usually pick Maianthemum racemosum [false lily-of-the-valley, a small lily-like plant] leaves on the ninth day of the second month. Then mince the leaves and dry them. Then take one one-cun-square spoon of it every time and take it three times a day. One can also take it as taking the Solomon’s seal [and?] cinnabar. It opens the qi pulses (daoqimai導氣脈) and strengthens the tendons and bones. It cures stroke/the strike of a wind (zhongfeng中風). It cures twisted tendons and muscles (diejin jierou跌筋結肉). It removes wrinkles in the face (mianzou面皺). It makes one’s skin color good. If one takes it for a long time, he will achieve longevity and become a transcendent.



Method of taking lilyturf (fushi tianmendong fa服食天門冬法)

Use ten jin of dried lilyturf root and one sheng of apricot seeds. Mash them into powder and blend (the powder) with honey. Take one one-cun-square spoon full (fangcunbi方寸匕) three times during the day and once at night. This is what Gan Shi甘始[152] took. It is called the Immortals’ Food (xianren liang仙人糧).


Method of taking black sesame (fushi jusheng fa服食巨勝法)

Use any amount of black and thick sesame seeds. Winnow them with a bamboo fan (bozhi簸治) and steam them. Let the hot steam surround them as in cooking rice. Then put them under the sun. On the second day, steam them and place them in the sun again. Repeat the process nine times and then stop. If the sunlight is scorching, one can steam and dry them in the sun three times a day. Thus he can finish the procedure of nine times of steaming and drying in the sun in three days. When they are thoroughly dried, briefly dip them in boiled water and mash them in a mortar till they become white. Then dry them in the sun again and winnow them in order to remove the peels. Then cook them till they smell good. Then mash them quickly and sift them roughly. Take them at will. Take two or three sheng of them one day. One can also make them into honey-blended pills as large as an egg. Take five pills one day. One can also blend them with maltose (yi) or blend them with liquor. Gradually reduce [the dose]. After one hundred days, he will not have any diseases. After one year, his body and face will be smooth and radiant. When he washes [his body and face], the water will not stay on the flesh. After five years, water or fire will not harm him and he can walk as fast as a galloping horse.


The Immortals’ method of taking caltrop (shenxian er jili fang神仙餌蒺藜方)

Use one shi of caltrop (Tribulus terrestris). It is usually ripe in the seventh and eighth months. Pick them then. Then dry them in the sun. First pestle them in a mortar in order to remove the sticks (ci). Then make them into fine powder. Take two spoonfuls of them each time. Blend them with water taken recently (xinshui新水)[153] and eat them. Take them three times a day and do not terminate [the process]. Taking [them] will help one achieve longevity. After taking them for one year, he will neither feel cold in the winter nor feel hot in the summer. After taking them for two years, he will be rejuvenated. His white hair will turn black. His fallen teeth will be replaced by new ones. After taking them for three years, his body will be lightened and he will achieve longevity.


The Immortals’ method of taking Sophora japonica (Chinese scholar tree) seeds and thus achieving longevity and being ageless (shenxian fu huaizi yannian bulao fang神仙服槐子延年不老方)

Usually the seeds should be picked on the third day of the third month.[154] Then place them in a new porcelain container and cover [the container] with a basin. Seal it with mud and do not let the gas come in or out. After twenty one days, open it and remove the peels. Take them in the beginning of a month. Take one pill with water every day. Take one more pill every day till the fifteenth day of the month. Then take one pill less every day. Repeat the process. It will make the person be able to see tiny characters at night. After taking them for a long time, his strength will be enhanced one hundred times.


The method of eating no grains and living and eating (bigu zhushi fang辟谷住食方)

          Use one dou of sorghum rice(or sorghum and rice? shumi秫米),fried with six liang of sesame oil and then cooled down. [It would seem that abstaining from grains is not quite total here!] Use ten liang of salt powder, Sichuan ginger (chuanjiang川薑), and small peppers (xiaojiao小椒) respectively. Use three sheng of turnip seeds (manjingzi蔓菁) and five sheng of large dried jujubes (gandazao乾大棗).

秫米一斗,麻油六兩炒,冷 鹽末 川薑 小椒各等分,十兩 蔓菁子三升 乾大棗五升


Make the above six ingredients into thin powder. Take one large spoon of it with water newly taken (xinshui新水) every time. Take three times every day. One will feel hungry or thirsty (ru jike如飢渴).[155] He will gradually have strength. He can eat every kind of fruits and teas at will. He must not eat meat. It is the greatest taboo.

There are eight great taboos in food:



A horse that dies when walking, a donkey that dies when drinking, a cow that dies when it is overfed, and a ram with red eyes.



A pig that dies by itself, a turtle with eggs,[156] a pregnant rabbit, and a scaleless fish.



In the ancient book, it is said that, “all of them cannot be eaten. If one eats them, he will have one hundred kinds of diseases.”


The method of eating no grains and escaping from famine (bigu bihuang fang辟谷避荒方)

On the seventeenth day of the second month, the second year of the Yongning永寧 Reign (120-121), the Attendant at the Yellow Gate (huangmen shilang黃門侍郎), Liu Jingxian劉景先, submitted a memorial, saying that “I met a hermit from Mountain Taibei and received this recipe. I hear that the price of rice in the capital runs very high. I think that it is appropriate to relieve it by using this recipe. It will let a person avoid feeling hungry. His eyes will turn bright and his ears can hear weak sounds. The color of his skin will be radiant. If I am lying, my whole family should be punished by the law. In the four seasons, use five sheng of black beans. Wash them till they are clean and then steam them for three times. Then dry them in the sun light and remove their peels. Then use three sheng of large hemp seeds (dahuomazi大火麻子) and soak them in boiled water for one night. Then take them out of the water and dry them in the sun. Blend them with the sticky liquid (jiaoshui膠水) and dry them in the sun. Then peel them and wash them till they are clean. Then steam them three times and mash them with a pestle. Then add soybeans to them and make both of them into thin powder. Blend [the powder] with sweet rice conjee and make them into round pills as large as a fist. Then place [the pills] in a steamer and steam them from the evening to the midnight. Then quench the fire. Take [the pills] out [of the steamer] at the three to five o’clock in the morning. Place them in a porcelain container and cover them and do not let them be dried by the wind. Take three pieces every time. Refrain from eating till full. Do not eat any other food. After the first meal, he will not feel hungry for seven days. After the second meal, he will not feel hungry for seven times seven days. After the third meal, he will not feel hungry for three hundred days. His looks will be good and not emaciated. If he feels thirsty, he should grind hemp seeds and drink the liquid, which nourishes the internal organs. If he wants to eat [ordinary] food again, he should mash three he of cluster mallow fruits (kuizi葵子) and boil them into a soup and drink the soup. The soup will open the stomach (kaidao weiwan開導胃脘) and make it peaceful (chonghe冲和). It is harmless.”this recipe is carved in a stone at the Taiping Xingguo Temple太平興國寺 in Mt. Dabieshan大別山, Hanyang Military Prefecture漢陽軍.



The recipe of the Purple-Cloud Cup(zixia bei fang紫霞杯方); this is a wonderful secret recipe.此至妙秘方。

This cup of medicine [helps the person be] in tune with nature (peihe zaohua配合造化) and nurses the yin and yang(tiaoli yinyang調理陰陽). It takes the peaceful qi in heaven and earth and acquires the recipe that saves one from fire and water (duo tiandi chonghe zhi qi, de shuihuo jiji zhi fang奪天地冲和之氣,得水火既濟之方). It is neither cold nor hot, neither slow nor fast. It has the effect of achieving longevity and the anti-aging effect. It has the wonderful effect of transforming one’s inner embryo and bones (tuotai huangu脫胎換骨). It can greatly purify the upper [body] and nourish the lower [body](qingshang buxia清上補下). It makes the yin and yang rise up and fall down (shengjiang yinyang升降陰陽). It opens the nine holes (tong jiuqiao通九竅)[157]. It kills the Nine Worms (jiuchong九蟲). It prevents wet dreams (nocturnal emission, mengxie夢泄). It makes one looking pleasant (yue rongyan悅容顏). It relieves the head wind (jie toufeng解頭風)[158]. It makes the body lighter and stronger. It makes the internal organs work in harmony (zangfu hetong臟腑和同). It opens the chest midriff (kai xiongge開胸膈). It removes phlegm and saliva. It brightens one’s eyes. It moisturizes the skin. It increases the essence (or sperm, tianjing添精). It cures hernia (juan shanzhui蠲疝墜)[159]. It also cures the women’s diseases of weakness and cold in the blood sea (xuehai xuleng血海虛冷)[160]and the gynecological disease of having red and white sticky discharges (chibai daixia赤白帶下). Only the pregnant women cannot use this medicine. For other men and women, the old and young, in the early morning, pour warm liquor into the cup and drink two or three cups of it. It cures one hundred kinds of diseases. Other medicines cannot be better than this recipe. [the author’s note:]when one uses the cup for a long time, it becomes thin. Then take one bowl of bran (kangpi糠皮) and place the cup in the bran. Then pour the liquor into the cup and drink it. If the cup is broken into pieces, take one fen of the medicine in the cup and grind it. Then add it to the liquor and drink it. When the pieces of the cup are used up, make another one.



One qian of pearls (zhenzhu真珠), one qian of amber, one qian of frankincense (ruxiang乳香), twenty pieces of gold foil (jinbo金箔), one qian of arsenic sulphide (xionghuang雄黃), one qian of actinolite (陽起石yangqishi)[161], one qian of fragrant Angelica dahurica Benth. Et Hook (xiangbaizhi白芷), one qian of cinnabar/cinnabaris (zhusha硃砂), one qian of hemonode (xuejie血結), one qian of borneol camphor (piannao片腦), one qian of camphor (chaonao潮腦)[162] ([Author’s note:]add it when the cup is toppled), seven and a half fen of musk, one qian of Kaempferia galanga (sannai三奈), one qian of purple powder (zifen紫粉), one qian of halloysite (red bole, chishizhi赤石脂), one qian of muxiang (木香), one qian of benzoin (anxi安息)[163], one qian of lignaloes (chenxiang沉香), and one qian of myrrh (moyao沒藥).

真珠一錢 琥珀一錢 乳香一錢 金箔二十張 雄黃一錢 陽起石