Chinese Super Foods

Make Chinese Pearl Barley, Mung Beans, and Daikon Radish your new best friends!  For thousands of years the Chinese have used food for its healing properties, these three give you the most “bang for your buck!”  In general, barley and mung beans have a neutral flavor and can be seasoned / spiced any which way to stand alone or accompany other fruits and veggies.

Chinese Pearl Barley or Job’s tears

Not all barley is created equal.  You must buy Chinese Pearl Barley.  This can be purchased off Amazon or at a Chinese Grocery.  Barley supports the Stomach, Heart, and Kidney energy.  It is especially excellent for building up Stomach energy and releasing a challenging condition known as dampness that can reduce the function of many organs.  Chinese Pearl Barley also is empowered with anti-cancer properties and is the current subject of much research in China.

Barley can be added to any soup, spiced up as a grain side dish or a “salad," and eaten with mung beans or alone as a breakfast meal.  Make it sweet, make it spicy.  Add cooked fruit, fresh fruit.  Get creative.

Rinse 1/2-1 cup pearl barley and soak several hours to overnight in 6-8 cups of water.  Bring to a boil (in water it has been soaking in).  Lower to a simmer and partially cover.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Watch closely as barley tends to be frothy like a boiling volcano.  

Mung Beans:  

Oh humble mung bean.  Tiny and green but ooooohhhh so mighty.  Your Liver loves them.  They help detox your Liver, clear “heat” from the body (such as a fever, rash, itching).  Mung beans help your body to separate what it needs from what it is ready to let go of.  Click here to read more on the TCM love for the might mung bean: part 1 and part 2.

If you only cook to the Lentil state you can add to soups, make into a spicy “mung bean hash” (scallions, cajun spice, I’ve even added in avocado!) or if a mushy soup it mixes well with the barley for a breakfast soup.    

Rinse 1/2-1 cup of mung beans.  Add to a large stock pot and add 6-8 cups of water.  Bring to a boil then simmer.  How long you simmer determines they’re character.  For 15 minutes/less and you have the quality of a lentil or for 20-30 and you have a mushy soup.

Cick here for Mung Bean and Barley Recipe ideas

Daikon Radish:


Daikon is an excellent food to support the Lung (especially when Raw) and Kidney energy.  In addition, it helps support the digestive system (Cooked) and boosts overall immunity.  Daikon has anti-cancer properties and is a very powerful tool for helping release the side-effects of chemotherapy and radiation.

Click here to read more on the TCM appreciation of the Daikon.

Daikon can be sauteed with other veggies, roasted, or made into a soup.  Recently I have enjoyed boiling the daikon and then mixing in a saute with spices, a balsamic vinegar glaze, or even mole!  When eaten raw as a salad or juiced it helps to clear heat from the body that can occur with radiation or even a sun burn.

Check out Indy Healing Center’s recipes and the extensive database at TCM World!  

Organ Function, Emotion, & Spirit: Five Element Consciousness  Melissa Laborsky, MD 2014