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Cordyceps Recipe (Dong Chong Xia Cao)


Cordyceps - Dong Chong Xia Cao

In the world of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Cordycep or its mandarin name “Dong Chong Xia Cao”, has been a well known remedy for respiratory system disorder like chronic bronchitis and asthma. TCM practitioner believes Cordyceps rejuvenate a person’s inner chi.

It’s reported that Cordyceps captured the attention of the Western world in 1993 during the Chinese National Games. A team of women runners were reported to have shattered some world records and their coach have attributed their superb performance in part to the use of Cordyceps (Steinkraus et a. 1994).

I’ve asked a lot of people throughout the years, what exactly is Cordyceps? The common answer I get was “its a worm in winter and grass in the summer.”

Some even made it simple by saying Cordyceps is worm in winter but undergoes a metamorphosis through spring to become a plant in summer.

On general term, Cordyceps is a fungi that lives inside of a host, mostly insects. Affected host or insects normally will exhibit a behavioral change, leading the scientific communities to believed this fungus has some mind controlling ability. An interesting behavioral is that, infected host or insect would move to a place where its environment are suitable for the grow and the spread of Cordyceps fungus spores.

Cordycep Unilateralis, is another species of the cordyceps family that attack ants. Infected ants would climb to a high place where the ant would attach itself before dying. Once death, the fungus would grow and burst out from the ant’s head to spread its spores and quickly infecting any ants nearby.

There is another type of Cordyceps that attack caterpillar or commonly known as Cordyceps Sinensis. This is the most well known and valuable Cordyceps because of its used in the Chinese Traditional Medicine as herbs.

It’s been almost like a culture for the Chinese to include Cordyceps in herbal soup to maintain general health or as a remedial to strengthen the lungs when weather is cold and dry. Other benefits of Cordyceps include curing cough and phlegm, short of breath, bronchial discomfort, asthma, blood-tinged sputum, rising resistance against infections, and nourish the kidneys.

Cordyceps is also believed to strengthen bone marrow and skeletal muscles and in China it’s a common practice to prescribe as medicine to elderly to ease general aches and pains.

In fact, the Cordyceps that was used in Chinese herb starts its live as worms. It’s said during the winter, these worms live underground. It’s during spring that grass grow on the surface of the soil and these worms would come on to the surface for foods, thus picking the spores of Cordyceps. The fungus live and grow inside the worm and when the time is ripe, bursting out from the worm’s head, spreading its spores once again in summer.

In recent years, the price of Cordyceps has rise so much, if it’s still a regular on your diet, you’re one of the few lucky one.

I wonder, are there anyone out there that could probably have lots of Cordyceps but doesn’t have a recipe for it? If you do, let him/her know I’ve a Cordyceps Recipe here to share with you.

Option 1 – Prepare Chicken soup a day earlier.

Chicken Soup Ingredient
One whole chicken about 800 to 1 kilogram.

Chicken Soup Preparation method
1. Wash and clean Chicken.

2. Use a pot, big enough to place whole chicken in it. Add water level just enough to cover Chicken, bring to boil.

3. Let it simmer for 1 hour, turn off heat. Let it cold down, drain chicken soup and store in fridge. Frozen fats is all on the surface layer, skim off before use.

Option 2 – Use block of lean pork meat for your soup
300 – 400 grams of lean pork meat.

Ingredients for Cordyceps herbal soup recipe
30 to 50 grams Cordyceps.
15 grams of Wai San.
20 grams of wolfberries (Ji Zi/ Kei Zhi).
Pork lean meat or Chicken soup.
1 tbsp salt.

Preparation method
1. Place all ingredients in a pot.

2. Add in about 600ml to a liter of water. Water level should cover all ingredients.

3. Bring to a boil and lower heat to minimum. Simmer for 1 and a half hours, add salt to taste and its ready for serving.

You may also find other interesting ways to prepare a Cordyceps recipe


Cordyceps Sinensis

Herbal wonder where Cordyceps are prepared along with some other simple and easy to get herbal.


cordyceps recipe with pork soupCordyceps Pork Soup recipe another easy to follow cooking method combining other Chinese herbal and fish maw or with cod fish maw.


Spareribs cordyceps recipeDouble Boiled Silkie Chicken with American Ginseng ,Cordyceps Sinensis and Dried Scallop a recipe combining more Chinese herbs and an exotic flavoring, “Dried Scallop”.

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  1. Paolo says:

    Surprising facts about this herb. I’ve seen it in London Chinatown shop but wasn’t sure what it was back then.

  2. Juan says:

    Gift from mother nature. Wonder these worms can be cultivate elsewhere around the world.

    thank for the recipe.