Nothing kills an appetite faster than a muggy summer day, but not eating will only make one feel more sluggish, missing out on the summer pool days, beach nights, and weekend escapes.
Traditional Chinese eating practices call for consuming foods with cooling properties, such as melons and cucumbers, in the scorching summer months. These foods counteract the effects of rising temperatures and help cool a person down, without cranking up the air-conditioning. At Four Seasons Hotel Pudong, Shanghai, Executive Chinese Chef Simon Choi of Shàng-Xí is an expert on Chinese food therapy, and he recommends four summer ingredients for both taste and seasonal health benefits.
Winter melon has cooling properties, which makes it the perfect addition to summer dishes. It helps remove toxins, which build up in the winter months, and promotes digestion to help one feel refreshed in the sultry summer heat.
- Braised assorted fungus soup, served in winter melon – a soup with a light, fresh taste made with braised mushrooms and served in a winter melon
- Steamed cod fillet, rolled with organic winter melon and caviar – fresh cod filled with tender winter melon and buttery caviar, steamed to perfection
Mushrooms help one look and feel their best at the beach by lowering cholesterol and preventing weight gain. They also give the immune system a boost, so as not to feel under the weather on a summer getaway.
- Tofu skin roll with sautéed organic mushrooms, fungus, lotus and asparagus – delicate, crunchy tofu skin rolls filled with fresh, lightly sautéed vegetables
Bitter melon is another cooling food that takes the bite out of summer heat. Want skin to glow in beach photos? This gourd clears acne and reduces bloating.
- Wagyu beef, sautéed with bitter melon and garlic – succulent wagyu steak delicately sautéed with bitter melon and garlic for a unique, tangy taste
Spend too much time in the sun? Seafood softens skin and helps prevent signs of ageing. It also clears sinuses and promotes spleen functioning.
- Assorted seafood baked in organic baby pumpkin – fresh seafood, lightly seasoned and baked inside a tender baby pumpkin
Starting in July, Chef Simon Choi prepares a selection of special healthy summer dishes for the Shàng-Xí menu. Come cool off with a luxurious, modern take on classic Chinese dining.