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December 24, 2020 – 1:14 pm | 3,848 views

Soup Name:  Basic Chinese Chicken Soup Stock (Soup Base)

Traditional Chinese Name: 清雞湯 (qīng jī tāng)

Introduction: This is the base Chinese Chicken Soup stock that …

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Home » Ingredients, Seeds

Apricot Kernals

Submitted by on January 1, 2009 – 6:20 am5 Comments | 92,418 views

Ingredient Name:  Sweet-bitter Apricot Kernals (also known as bitter almonds or apricot almonds)

Traditional Chinese Name: 南北杏 (nán běi xìng)
This ingredient is also a must have in your soup pantry.  It’s used in a variety of soups that help relieve heatiness and are good for coughs.  You can also use this in a few sweet soups, so it makes the apricot kernal a versitile seed indeed!
What is this?
  • The apricot kernal is literally the seed kernal of the apricot fruit
  • They can be very strong tasting and bitter
  • The Chinese name reflects the tastes of the apricot kernal: Sweet (南) -bitter (北) Apricot Kernals (杏)
  • They are durable goods and can be stored in the fridge or freezer for at least 12-18 months

How do I prepare it?

  • Wash before usage

Where can I buy this?

  • In Asian supermarkets, you can purchase them prepackaged
  • You can also purchase them from Chinese speciality stores (pharmacies) in bulk by weight

What is the cost?

  • Apricot kernals packages cost around $2.00 – $3.00 CAD / 8 oz package

Any benefits?

  • Apricot kernals are known to target and benefit the lungs
  • They are best used as a cough remedy

Any precautions?

  • Excess consumption may produce symptoms of cyanide poisoning such as nausea, fever, rash, headaches, insomnia, thirst, weakness, lethargy and various aches in pains



  • babyblue says:

    Hello. Someone Told me that when making soup you must have Both sweet and bitter aprocot kernal or else there will be poison. Have you heard of this. I wonder what the ratio would be.

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear babyblue,

    The direct translation is “South” Apricot Kernals (which are sweet) and “North” Apricot Kernals (which are bitter). Only the bitter ones are poisonous. In general, the combination is 3/4 “south” or “sweet” and 1/4 “north” or “bitter”. The south or sweet ones are often the ones that are ground up for consumption. There is no harm to using only “South” or “sweet” kernals, but for soups, the Chinese usually combine both. I hope this helps. Lisa

  • lilacs says:

    Hi there,

    I am curious if they are safe to add to soups or sweet soups (tong sui) during pregnancy. I had no idea that the the north ones are poisonous! I always knew that both must be added to together so that’s what I did with a tong sui that I made a couple nights ago. I also did not know that there should be ratio! I always did equal ratio of both. A little worried about it being not safe for pregnancy now!

  • If I were a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, now I’d say “Kowabunga, dude!”

  • Mary says:

    Would it be safe to add Apricot Kernals to soups during pregnancy??? I always knew that both must be added to together. A little worried about it being not safe for pregnancy now!
    Can you response as soon as possible?

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