How to make fragrant salted egg soup base with vermicelli, tofu, and napa cabbage

How to make fragrant salted egg soup base with vermicelli, tofu, and napa cabbage

How to make fragrant salted egg soup base with vermicelli, tofu, and napa cabbage

Soup Name: Fragrant salted egg soup base with vermicelli and napa cabbage (optional vegetarian-styled)

Traditional Chinese Name: 鹹蛋集菜 (xián dàn jí cài tāng) – direct translation here is “salty egg vegetable soup”.

Nature:  Neutral

Taste: Salty and sweet

(You can read this article on the impact on your body of different food tastes!)

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

Salted duck eggs were for sale at the supermarket!

And I haven’t had them for awhile, so what better way to use a whole bunch as a soup base?

Part of the reason to mash up the salted duck eggs is so that it blends directly into the soup (so the kids can’t see it- lol).  The salted duck eggs create a flavorful, smooth, and milky broth (because they are pretty salty and the egg yolk dissolves).

This makes for a great soup base so you can add other ingredients on top for a delicious quick boil soup for dinner!

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 25 mins

Total time: 35 mins

Serves: 6 bowls

Ingredients
  • 2 cooked salted duck eggs
  • 3 pieces of garlic, diced
  • 1 fresh whole onion, diced
  • 2 fresh napa cabbage
  • 1 block of soft tofu
  • 2 bunches of dried green bean vermicelli
  • fresh green onions
  • 2 medium sized fresh octopus (optional, I used this as a topping which I pan fried separately in the end.  This just helped keep the soup from tasting a bit fishy)
  • 2 L of water (or 10 cups)
    Cooking Instructions
    1. In your soup pot with a bit of oil, add in your diced onions and garlic and fry on medium heat until slightly browned.
    2. Peel your salted duck eggs and drop into your soup pot.  Using a heat resistant silicon spatula, break up the salted duck eggs into small pieces, especially the egg white.  The yolk itself will begin to melt and this is perfect!
    3. Once most of the eggs are broken up into small pieces, add in your soup water (10 cups).
    4. Cover and allow that to boil on medium heat for 10 minutes.
    5. Add in your chopped napa cabbage and vermicelli.  Be sure to push the vermicelli down into the soup to allow that to be fully covered.  Cover and allow that to boil for 10 minutes.
    6. I’ll then add in the fresh tofu directly on top.  Cover and boil for 5 minutes.  The tofu cooks really fast!
    7. Flavor as needed. I just added a bit of soy sauce and salt, but you can additional add in another 2 fresh duck eggs, halved, so that you can fish them out and eat them with rice!
    8. Serve and enjoy!
    9. I separately fried the fresh octopus because I didn’t want the fishy taste of the octopus in the soup and the family could eat it as a topping with the vermicelli soup dinner!

    Why I love this soup!

    • There are so many reasons that this is absolutely an amazing soup that I will continue to make more of going forward!  It’s quick, easy-to-make, and you don’t need a lot of ingredients.
    • You can’t even taste the salted duck eggs unless you really knew what you were looking for!  It’s smooth, even, and milky in texture and absolutely delicious!
    • LOL, yes, I love my fun salt star wand.  Now I am a fairy… I’ve been using this thing for all my cooking now!  You can also put garlic salt or pepper into these things.  So cute!  So fun!

    For videos, visit us on YouTube.

    • Some or all of these links may contain Amazon product referral links; as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. If you decide to use them, I would be grateful. If not, I am always thankful for your continued support! ❤️

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    Healing Chinese Chicken Herbal Soup with Fish Maw

    Healing Chinese Chicken Herbal Soup with Fish Maw

    Healing Chinese Chicken Herbal Soup with Fish Maw

    Soup Name:

    Healing Chinese Chicken Herbal Soup with Fish Maw

    Traditional Chinese Name:

    花膠雞湯 (huā jiāo jī tāng)

    Nature:  Warming

    Taste: Sweet and savory

    For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

     

    The star of this soup is FISH MAW.  This takes collagen to the next level! 

    This soup is packed with natural collagens that help retain moisture, firmness, and bounce in the skin.

    To make this soup, you’ll need to plan it a few days in advance because of the fish maw preparation.  I would suggest allowing 2-4 days to fully hydrate your dried fish maw.  This depends on the size and quality of the fish maw.

    A few tips for preparing your fish maw:

    • I like soaking them in a glass bowl.  That way, I can see it in the fridge when I open and close the fridge door as it soaks.  You can check for murky water, spots on the fish maw, and generally that it’s soaking cleanly as it should.
    • I use tap water (in Canada), although some people recommend using cold boiled water as it’s cleaner
    • After they’ve soaked, I will also flash blanch them in boiling hot water (after the water boils with my blanching chicken since I’m blanching anyways)
    • Cut the fish maw after soaking them.  They’ll be sufficiently soft.

     

    What makes this soup amazing?

    • For starters, it’s collagen packed!  Interesting fact though is that fish skin has more collagen than fish maw (according to this one study [source 1])!!!  I guess I’m going back to fish skin as an ingredient as it’s also way cheaper!
    • You don’t need salt or any other flavoring for this soup.  Don’t even think about adding chicken broth (I usually don’t for Chinese soups)!
    • This is a great soup base for other vegetables or additives should you choose to embark on this mission.
    • It’s a hearty soup which can double as a meal (just add rice!)
    • It’s PERFECT for postpartum, as it’s a warm soup with healing ingredients.

    For videos, visit us on YouTube. 

    What’s involved?

    Pre-work: 2-4 days to soak & hydrate the fish maw

    Prep time: 30 mins

    Cook time: 120 minutes 

    Total time: 150 mins

    Serves: 8 bowls

    Ingredients

    Cooking Instructions

    1. With the pre-soaked and re-hydrated fish maw, I will remove them from the fridge, strain out the water, and slice into 1-inch thick pieces (or however you’d like to eat them basically)
    2. At this time, you can prepare your chicken however you’d like.  I usually save the 2 breasts for a meal, keeping only the bones and thighs and feet.  
    3. In a separate blanching pot with cold water, add in as much water to fully cover the chicken and 2 slices of fresh ginger and add in your fresh chicken (there is much debate about whether to blanch in cold or hot water, but I have found it!  Incoming post!).  Use high heat to bring to a full boil.  You’ll begin to see the foam, debris, blood, and bones surface.  Just be careful it doesn’t overboil!
    4. As your blanching water comes to a boil, flash boil your sliced fish maw by dropping them in and fishing them out right away(just to be sure all the impurities are boiled out)
    5. At this point you can set your blanching pot aside and strain
    6. In your soup pot, add a teaspoon of oil and panfry a few slices of ginger with your fresh (or defrosted) abalone on med heat until they are golden brown.
    7. I will also throw in largely cut potatoes at this time and brown them a bit as well.
    8. Add your soup water and turn this on high heat
    9. Then add in the rest of the ingredients:  dried red dates, dried longans, dried sugar dates, dried Chinese Yam (or fresh), and dried scallops.  Cover and continue to boil on high heat for 30 minutes.  Once this is bubbling along nicely, I’ll reduce to a med high boil, still covered. 
    10. Boil for another 1.5 hours.
    11. At this point, you can drop in your prepared fish maw and let that boil for another 30 minutes on med high heat.
    12. Serve and enjoy!
    1. Cruz-López, Honorio et al. “Comparison of collagen characteristic from the skin and swim bladder of Gulf corvina (Cynoscion othonopterus).” Tissue & cell vol. 72 (2021): 101593. doi:10.1016/j.tice.2021.101593

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    Hot and slightly spicy Korean Kimchi and Tofu Jjigae (soup)

    Hot and slightly spicy Korean Kimchi and Tofu Jjigae (soup)

    Hot and slightly spicy Korean Kimchi and Tofu Jjigae (soup)

    Soup Name:

    Korean  Kimchi and Tofu Jjigae (Soup)

    Nature:  Cool (although could be warmer depending on how spicy you make it, but this is driven by the cooling white radish and tofu)

    Taste:  Sweet, Salty

    For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

    I know there’s a thought that this is a fusion (and not completely authentically Korean) of Chinese and Western elements, and you’re right! 

    The Korean soup dashi base though, I can assure you is completely authentic!  You can find the full post and video available for you to start this amazing soup.

    The great thing about this soup base is that you can make so many soups with this base!  And today, I really wanted a kimchi and tofu soup (usually served with rice!). 

    Once you have the soup base, you can craft or create the soup you want.  I’ve gone with a simple combination that is less spicy and a bit untraditional in that it’s more like a Chinese fusion version with the Korean dashi soup base.

    Some key ingredients in Korean spicy stews is the pepper flakes.  This is what makes it bright red and spicy!  

    What’s involved?

    Prep time: 5 mins (with 40 mins from dashi prep)

    Cook time: 10 mins

    Total time: 15 mins

    Serves: 1 L individual pot of stew (or soup)

    Ingredients

    Optional:

    • 20 g of Korean pepper flakes (gochugaru)
    • 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil
    • 1 raw egg

     

    Cooking Instructions

    To make the Korean dashi (soup base), you can follow these instructions below (and also following this post):

     

    1. Remove the heads from your dried anchovies and put them into your soup pot.  No washing or cleaning is needed, just simply remove from the bag.
    2. Remove the dried seaweed sheet from the packaging and snap into pieces to fit into the pot and put into the pot
    3. Peel your white radish (enough to remove all the skin if you plan to eat it, as the skin can be quite tough and unpleasant to eat) and slice into 1 cm thick slices (or any thickness you’d like)
    4. Put everything into your soup pot
    5. Add in the water
    6. Boil on high for 10 minutes, covered
    7. Reduce boil to another 20 minutes
    8. Strain all the ingredients, separating the liquid from the soup goodies 
    9. This strained soup is your dashi!  You can use directly as is into your soup of choice or put into mason jars and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

    To make the rest of the kimchi tofu soup:

     

    1. In a separate individual pot, scoop the Korean dashi soup to start this dish.  For mine, I’m using ox tail and fresh white radish, so I’ve scooped healthy amounts as part of my meal.  Scoop in ONLY HALF the volume of the pot as you’ll want to save space for the additional ingredients
    2. Turn that on to a medium boil
    3. Add in the fresh kimchi, soft tofu (in the middle), fresh cabbage and any meats
    4. Cover and let that boil for 10 minutes to allow all the ingredients to soften together
    5. Once soft, you can garnish with green onions
    6. Serve while still bubbling and enjoy!

    EQUIPMENT USED

    To answer your questions on what equipment I'm using, I've built a section here where you can find and explore what I'm using to make soups.  Ingredients are a little harder, but I will do my best as I source them around.  However, you can always message me on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or Facebook, and I will reply and try to point you in some direction!  

    A great help for fish or small bones in soups, including small ingredients such as barley, fox nuts, spices just to keep everything together.

    A MUST HAVE in the kitchen!  Energy saving, cost effective, and perfect for busy chefs!  Check out my article here that explains it.

    Another MUST HAVE in the kitchen for soups!  It's so fine that it will scoop off the top oil and foam layer when using meats in your soup!

    I use these types of stove top safe tea pots to make most of my herbal teas!

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    Heat Clearing Sugarcane and Water Chestnuts and Imperatae Root Herbal Tea

    Heat Clearing Sugarcane and Water Chestnuts and Imperatae Root Herbal Tea

    Heat Clearing Sugarcane and Water Chestnuts and Imperatae Root Herbal Tea

    Soup Name:

    Heat clearing sugarcane and water chestnuts and imperatae root herbal tea

    Traditional Chinese Name:

    竹蔗茅根馬蹄湯 (zhú zhè máogēn mǎtí tāng)

     

    For videos, visit us on YouTube. 

    A traditional Chinese drink which helps cool the body, reduce heatiness, and clear phlegm and unwanted body fluids. It’s natural sweetness is perfect for hot summer days and this can be drank cold or hot. It is commonly found as a drink in most herbal dessert shops and is even bottled commercially.

    The key to this heat clearing tea is the water chestnuts.  I don’t use them often as this version also uses corn, carrots, or corn silk, but I’ve kept it simple for heat clearing only.  The water chestnuts are a very cooling ingredient and combined with the imperatae (or mao gen) root, is extra potent to clear excess yang.  

    What’s involved?

    Prep time: 10 mins

    Cook time: 30 minutes

    Total time: 40 mins

    Serves: 6 bowls

    Ingredients

     

    Cooking Instructions

    1. Prepare your sugar cane by chopping into smaller 2-inch length pieces
    2. Rinse, peel and rinse the water chestnuts.  You can cut into bite-sized edible pieces if you also like eating them.  
    3. Add to cold water into your soup pot
    4. Boil on medium heat covered for 30 minutes
    5. 5 minutes before serving, drop in your rock sugar.
    6. Serve and enjoy!

    Any benefits?

    • This is a great tea for BBQ’ing or hotpot as it’s cooling and removes heat from the body, especially the stomach
    • It can served as a tea or soup
    • It is vegetarian, so perfect for any soup or tea drinker
    • This can be drank cold or hot (you’ll often find this as a heated drink served in the streets of Hong Kong)
    • You can make a big pot and store in the fridge for one week.  Just be sure to let it sit to room temperature or heat up before consumption
    • You can have a few variations of this soup or tea depending on ingredients at home (such as adding sugared dried winter melon, water chestnuts, or simply using sugar cane and imperatae)

    For videos, visit us on YouTube. 

    Fresh water chestnuts are crispy, firm, and high in water content.  They don’t have the best storage life, so keep them in the fridge as much as you can.  As the water chestnuts “age”, they’ll breakdown and become starchy, have a crumbly texture, and lose it’s moisture content.  Which in turn, makes your soup or tea cloudy, which is still OK, as long as the water chestnuts still hold some of their firmness. 

    For other variations of this tea:

    Sugar Cane and Imperatae Drink

     

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    If you're planning to visit Taiwan, here are a few key things you should look for during your visit.  I've been to Taiwan many times and every time, it feels like the first time!  The food options are many and continue to evolve and change with every visit! For...

    How to soothe a cough with this Chinese orange monk fruit herbal tea!

    Tea Name: Chinese orange monk fruit herbal tea Traditional Chinese Name: 止咳茶 (zhǐké chá) – direct translation here is “anti-cough” tea.  There are many teas that have earned the right to this label, so it’s just easier to use it as such instead of labeling all the...