Forever young

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We all love to hear the phrase: "Your skin is smooth like a child's." But if we want that healthy, youthful skin, we'll have to eat right, as our diet is probably the number one factor in determining the constitution of our skin.

Here are some little-known all-natural concoctions for beautifying the skin, brought to you by herbalist Bang Cam.

Hi sâm (sea cucumber) with bamboo shoot

* Ingredients:

- 200g of dried sea cucumber, 100g fresh bamboo shoots, 100g of lean pork meat and soup powder (packages are sold in markets and supermarkets).

* Preparation:

- Soak the dried sea cucumber in water for 30 minutes until they expand, then wash and slice them into long pieces.

Wash the bamboo shoots and meat, and slice into medium pieces. Put the sea cucumbers, bamboo shoots and meat in a pot along with enough water to stew the ingredients over a low flame. Season with sugar, a little alcohol and soup powder. Add tapioca starch to the water so that it becomes viscid. Then serve the dish hot. The soup will relieve your skin of the stress it experiences during the hottest and sunniest months. Soon, it will glow, shiny and smooth.

Duck and bí Ä‘ao (winter melon) soup

* Ingredients:

- 200g of pork lean meat, one duck, 200g of winter melon and 100g of sea cucumber.

* Preparation:

Wash the meat, duck and sea cucumber, and slice them into medium sized pieces. Peel the winter melon and slice it into medium sized pieces. Boil all the ingredients together in a pot. Lower the flame and stew them until the duck pieces are soft. Season with salt and sugar. The soup will nourish your skin and protect it from scorching weather.

Pork liver and soy bean

* Ingredients:

- 200g of soy bean, 200g of pork liver, oil, ginger, onion and alcohol.

* Preparation:

- Wash the soy beans and roast them over a low flame. Wash and slice the pork liver into medium sized pieces. Wash ginger and onion, cut ginger into long pieces, cut onion into medium sized pieces. Put a pan on the stove, add oil, ginger and onion for a stir fry until the scent of the ingredients becomes strong.

Then add the pieces of pork liver to fry, and pour a little alcohol and add sugar and salt for seasoning. After just a few minutes, remove the liver and throw all the other ingredients into a pot with the soy beans to boil until the beans are well done. Add the liver to the boil and cook for just a few minutes more. Season with sugar and salt.

The soup is for those with rough and unsmooth skin. It helps protect the skin. People with high cholesterol or obesity problems, however, should not eat much of the soup.

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