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December 24, 2020 – 1:14 pm | 3,856 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 » Additives, Ingredients

Night Blooming Cereus (Dried)

Submitted by on May 9, 2011 – 10:14 pm3 Comments | 18,926 views

Ingredient Name: Night Blooming Cereus, Cereus

Traditional Chinese Name: 霸王花 (bà wáng huā)

What is this?

  • The dried plant known to bloom at night
  • There are many species that belong in this category, but specifically one that is used in Chinese medicine and soups
  • It blooms with white flowers (roughly 7-8 inches in diameter) with many petals and blooms for a few hours before dying
  • Extremely fragrant flower once bloomed
  • The flower is grown both in homes and in batches for soup/medicinal consumption
  • The dried plant is tasteless

How do I prepare it?

  • Soak in water for at least an hour, rinsing several times to remove all the bugs (mainly ants)

Where can I buy this?

  • Most Asian supermarkets and herbalists will carry this product dried in packages

What is the cost

  • 1 pack will cost around $20 HKD (about 5-6 flowers)

Any benefits?

  • Excellent for nourishing and detoxifying the lungs
  • Helps moisturize and lubricate the lungs
  • Helps eliminate pathological heat and fire in the body and cool it down

Any precautions?

  • Soak in water for at least an hour – large cultivated batches of this plant will have many bugs, so be sure to wash thoroughly
  • Mildly cooling ingredient (take with caution if in the first trimester of pregnancy or menstruating)
  • Avoid this ingredient is you have hypertension

Additional Information

  • You can store this ingredient in a tight sealed container in a dry place for up to 6 months

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  • humpty says:

    I have been trying to find this for a long time. They serve it in cafes but couldn’t find it in fresh markets. Thanks for this!

    I am also curious to know if this is the same plant giving the dragon fruit ?

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear humpty, no, it’s a different plant from dragon fruit plant. It’s actually really a “flower” plant and doesn’t produce fruit at all. How do they serve it in cafes? In dishes – fried? in soups? It’s more commonly found as “dried ingredients” from the herbalists – not in fresh markets. My mother also grows this at home, so it’s also a houseplant. If you really want to, you can try to grow it at home and then harvest it after the flower blooms and dry it for soups 🙂 Lisa

  • humpty says:

    Thanks, I finally found them at the ‘dried veg’ shops. I love the texture. But if I simmer it for 3 hours, it is soggy. They serve it as soups in the cafes with just the right ‘bite’. I wonder how they do it?

    btw, I got confused searching for it on the internet. There appears to be many species of ‘Night Blooming Cereus’ (Hylocereus undatus). And also found this;
    It looks like that author found the fresh version, it looks more succulent, or maybe I’m wrong.

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