Home> Hangzhou Cuisine

Eat well and stay healthy in the Sanfu month

www.ehangzhou.gov.cn| Updated: July 26, 2023 L M S

The plum rain season bid farewell on July 11, making way for the Dog Days, or the Sanfu month in Chinese. Get ready for an extra-long stretch of scorching heat which is expected to last for about 40 days this year, from July 11 to Aug 20, 10 days longer than usual.

During this period, Hangzhou locals will enjoy seasonal delicacies and seek traditional Chinese medicine therapies for their chronic diseases.


Ham and chicken play key roles in Dog Days cuisine in Hangzhou. [Photo/Hangzhoufeel]

Sanfu diets to relieve summer heat

Hangzhou is renowned for its rich culinary heritage. There is a local saying that during Toufu (the first 10 days of Sanfu), indulge yourself with ham; during the Erfu (the second 10 days), enjoy yourself with chicken; during Mofu (the last 10 days), savor the golden and silver hooves."

Whether boiled, stir-fried, or steamed, ham never fails to rouse the appetite that is suppressed by the summer heat. The term "golden and silver hooves" refers to ham and fresh pig feet stew, as the ham gilds the white pig feet when being cooked. The result is an enticing golden hue for the ham's hooves, while the fresh pig's hooves exhibit a shimmering silver-white color.

There is a veggie version of this saying, "During Toufu, enjoy the wax melons; during Erfu, have some eggplants; during Mofu, indulge yourself with unpeeled pumpkins." It is believed that these juicy vegetables are stomach-soothing, nourishing and energy boosting.


Ham and chicken play key roles in Dog Days cuisine in Hangzhou. [Photo/Hangzhoufeel]

Treating winter diseases in summer

Summer days are also the time to treat "winter diseases" based on the TCM theory of "nourishing yang in spring and summer, nourishing yin in autumn and winter," by taking advantage of the high summer temperatures and abundant yang energy in the body to adjust the balance of yin and yang, treating the root cause and preventing illness.

Winter diseases do not only include respiratory diseases that are more common at this time but also uncomfortable conditions caused by excessive exposure to wind, coolness, and cold food.

The Sanfu paste, or sanfutie, is a treatment method in TCM that adapts to the characteristics of the four seasons by applying herbal medicine to specific acupoints to promote the flow of meridians, balance yin and yang, alleviate cough and asthma, and harmonize the organs during the "Sanfu" period.

1 2 3 4