Modified Si Shen soup (四神汤)

Alicia hasn't been eating so well lately - ok, she picked up a bit since Saturday - so I decided to make this si shen soup. It is well-known for improving appetite and is commonly given to children with poor appetites. I think the main herb that does this is fu ling as research has shown that it strengthens the body, improves body weight and improves appetite. I wouldn't encourage parents with big babies/toddlers or babies/toddlers with an already hearty appetite to serve up this soup to your darlings as si shen soup is probably the equivalent of the Western appetizer.

Alicia guzzled down this 100ml of soup at one go last night! :D

The 四神:

  • 5g huai shan (淮山)
  • 10g dried foxnuts (qian shi) (芡实)
  • 20g fu ling (茯苓)
  • 40g dried lotus seed (lian zi) (莲子)
  • 250g pork rib
  • 6 chicken thigh bones
  • 1 soup pot of water

For added taste I added these ingredients:
  • 4 dried figs (无花果)
  • 3 candied dates (金丝蜜枣)
  • 1 big red apple (cut into quarters)

  1. Rinse the chinese herbs.
  2. Blanch the ribs and bones.
  3. Place all the ingredients into the soup pot and bring to a boil.
  4. Simmer on low heat for 3 hours.
  5. Sieve the soup and serve only the soup.


  1. I love this soup! I ate almost everything up except Fu ling


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