Index > Authors> beijingkids北京孩子> Zuo Yuezi Menu: Traditional Chinese Meets Western Convenience

Zuo Yuezi Menu: Traditional Chinese Meets Western Convenience

Follow us to get more Beijing essentials, from events to news to community connections.

According to Chinese tradition and beliefs, women need to do zuò yuèzi (sitting the month). This is when new mothers stay at home and recover from childbirth for a month. Tradition has some very strict rules on how the zuò yuèzi should be done: mothers are supposed to rest in bed, avoid water (so no showering or brushing teeth), don’t eat salt, stay away from cold wind (no AC), don’t climb stairs, and avoid heavy lifting even during breastfeeding. This traditional custom is part of the belief that only rest will help close the body after birth and make sure the woman stays healthy later in life.

Meals during this time are supposed to be “warm.” Postpartum women are advised to eat food like liver, kidneys, chicken, ginger, pumpkin, and soups with pigs’ feet and vinegar. Warming foods also include black dates, inner organs, brown sugar, and chicken eggs. Chicken is not a water-bound animal, so this especially keeps the body at the desired temperature, which is how you are supposed to stay during this first month.

I think there’s a ring of truth to this tradition; how I wish I stayed inside for the first 30 days of my daughter’s life and be taken care of. After one week I was roaming the streets of London with a newborn baby, and definitely not staying warm. This zuò yuèzi can be as strict as you would like it to be.

Creating your own version of zuò yuèzi is the modern way to go, adapting it to your lifestyle and family. The cooking part you don’t need to worry about in Beijing, as Tribe Nutrition has a service that delivers tasty meals to your doorstep for a month. Tribe  and the mastermind behind this dish, Chef Zhang Ye, invited us to see how they cook one of their more popular chicken dishes featured on the zuò yuèzi menu. For more information on how to order, check out www.tribenutrition.com.

Ingredients: 

5 grams starch
2-3 grams light soy sauce
15ml yellow wine
2ml olive oil
2 grams salt
1 gram white pepper powder
2 grams spring onion

5 grams starch
2-3 grams light soy sauce
15ml yellow wine
2ml olive oil
2 grams salt
1 gram white pepper powder
2 grams spring onion

 

Step 1 – Cut the chicken and the rest of the ingredients.

Step 2 – Mix all the ingredients together.

Step 3 – Scoop ingredients into lotus leaf.

Step 4 – Fold into lotus leaf.

Step 5 – Steam in the oven on 120 degrees Celsius for 20 min.

Step 6 – Cut open the package and check if the chicken is cooked.

This article appeared on p. 24-25 of beijingkids July issue. Download a digital copy on the Magazine tab in the menu.

Photos: Uni You

Join the conversation by leaving your comments below. Click or tap Read More to access the hyperlinks in this article.