Traditional Postnatal Ginger Chicken Recipe

This is my modified version of a tasty recipe which is traditionally cooked for mums who are home with their brand new baby and are in labour recovery mode. (My mum showed me how to cook this for Em.)

The Chinese medicine perspective regarding the postnatal period is that women are recovering from a deficiency of blood and qi, both of which are expended in great amounts during labour, even if there is little bleeding. The opening and expansion of the uterus can also present a new mum with “wind and cold invasion in the uterus” which can lead to a number of complications and painful symptoms.

This recipe helps to expel internal wind, warm and nourish the uterus and boost blood, qi and yin. All are good things for a healthy recovery and benefit the breast feeding relationship. Inadvertently, via the breast milk, this recipe also helps babies with a sensitive gut in the first few weeks of life.


Ingredients (roughly 6 servings)

1 whole chicken

Lots of ginger

Olive oil & sesame oil

Benedictine D.O.M. (don’t worry the alcohol is cooked off)

Black fungus (these usually come dry and will need to be soaked in hot water for at least 2 hours prior until soft)

Shiitake mushrooms (these also need to be soaked for 2 hours unless bought fresh)

Soy sauce

Bone broth

1 cup rice per serving



  1. Bone the chicken and cut into bite sized pieces. Don’t throw away the bones!
  2. To make the bone broth – in a large pot boil the chicken bones in water, scooping unwanted fat from the surface.
  3. Start the cook for the desired amount of rice. I like the absorption method!
  4. Thinly slice a fist sized bulb of fresh ginger into strips. Fry in a large saucepan or wok until golden brown and curling with olive and sesame oil.
  5. Add the chicken pieces to the mix and stir through sealing the meat on a high heat.
  6. Add 1/4 cup of Benedictine D.O.M. to flavour and a dash of soy sauce to your taste. Bring to a fierce sizzle and then turn down the heat to a simmer.
  7. Add 1 cup of bone broth and simmer for 15-20 minutes depending on how long the chicken takes to cook. Now the rice should be just about done.
  8. While the chicken is simmering away, chop the shiitake and black fungus into bite sized pieces. Add to the dish 5minutes before serving.

Most times people will use a thickening agent added at the end for a saucier dish, such as corn flour, although there are healthier alternatives such as tapioca flour and potato starch.

Serve with rice and a small bowl of clear chicken broth!

Hugh Hayward – Chinese Medicine Doctor, Acupuncture & Chinese Herbalist, An Mo Tui Na and Qi Nei Tsang