Pigeon and ginger soup

Zou yue zi  (坐月子) is the traditional Chinese post confinement. The Mandarin term Zuo Ye Zi is roughly translated to English as “sitting the month,” which refers to the traditional Chinese custom of having new mothers rest for a month or up to 42 days at home after giving birth. During this period new mothers were supposed to eat certain foods and herbs that, according to traditional Chinese medicine, are supposed to help with the mother’s recovery.

Zuo Yue Zi also involves a number of  rules that deny many activities and foods and require others. Exercise and going outside are not allowed for up to a month after delivery. Washing hair and eating anything cold is not allowed. The main goal is for the mother to rest and regain the nutrients that she has lost during childbirth.

With the recent arrival of our daughter cooking to Zue Yue Zi meals has fallen to me. This is another popular Zuo Yue Zi soup, very simple and quick to make.


  • 1 Pigeon
  • 1 small leek
  • A few slices of ginger


Chop the pigeon into large pieces, put in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once it has reached a rolling boil take off the heat and replace the dirty water with clean water.

Add the chopped leek and the slices of ginger, leave to simmer for 40 minutes or until tender.

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