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An essential ingredient for soups, broths, and Chinese sauces, stock comes from boiling meat bones and mixed vegetables. Chinese herbs with mild flavors can enrich the stock, adding beneficial qualities without adversely affecting flavor. Some common herbs include Huang Qi (Astragalus), Gou Qi (Wolfberry), Bai Shao (White Peony Root), Sha Shen (Glehnia), Shou Wu (fleeceflower), and others.

Here is a basic stock that can help boost the immune system:


  • Nourish Defensive Qi (Immune System)


  • Chicken and/or Pork Bones:    1lb
  • Fresh Ginger Root:    2-3 pieces, cut and unpeeled
  • Whole Green Onions:    2-3 stalks, tied into a bundle
  • Water:    12 cups
  • Rice Wine:    2-3tbsp
  • Huang Qi (Astragalus):    24-48g
  • Gou Qi (Wolfberry):    12-24g


  1. Rinse herbs and soak for 15 to 30 minutes.

  2. Add bones, ginger, and spring onions

  3. Bring to a boil and skim off the froth; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 2-3 hours.

  4. Use a strainer to remove herbs, ginger, spring onions and bones; add rice wine and bring to a boil. Turn off heat

  5. Refrigerate stock; it will keep for 4-5 days. You can also separate into individual portions and freeze.
  6. You can use the stock whenever water is called for in a recipe, but it works quite nicely in soups and sauces.

Avoid if you have a cold with high fever


Huang Qi (Astragalus)is a strong immune booster. Adds a slightly sweet flavor

Gou Qi (Wolfberry) is generally nourishing. It does not affect the flavor of the stock.

Dang Shen (Dang Shen), known as the "poor man's ginseng," boosts the digestive and respiratory systems. It adds a sweet, earthy flavor

Sha Shen (Glehnia Root) is slightly sweet. It moistens lungs and helps with coughs. Great for diabetics

Shou Wu (fleeceflower) helps retain vital energies and adds a bitter sweet flavor.