Korean dashi soup (base) for making any soups!

Korean dashi soup (base) for making any soups!

Korean dashi soup (base) for making any soups!

Tea Name:

Korean dashi soup (base) 

Nature:  Cool

Taste:  Sweet, Salty

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

I learned this from a Korean Auntie that I have in Toronto, which has a huge and beautiful Korean community in the area I live in.  And even if you go to the Korean supermarkets nearby, you’ll find a lot of these aunties combing the fresh goodies and meats and ask them!!  The knowledge in there is amazing!

I actually learned this because I wanted to learn how to make a Tofu Kimchi soup and Koreans will start with a soup base first and then span out to the various types of Korean soups available such as: spicy beef soup with vegetables, any kimchi soup, kimchi tofu soup, any tofu soups, rice soup cake, and more!

 

There are also a few variations of this Korean dashi, but the key really is the anchovies and seaweed.  Some will add fresh onions, fresh white radish, fresh garlic, fresh scallions, or fresh ginger or dried shiitake mushrooms.  Dashi is actually a Japanese name for soup broth and is also recognized in Korean cuisine as dashi.  It’s so commonplace that it’s the equivalent to chicken broth in powdered and canned form.  You can also buy dashi in both prepared powdered and liquid form so you don’t have to prepare it yourself and have readily available soup at your disposal!

What’s involved?

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 40 mins

Serves: 10 bowls of dashi (soup broth)

Ingredients
  • 5 L of fresh water
  • 25-30 dried anchovies, heads removed
  • 1 large sheet of dried kelp 
  • half fresh white radish, with skin peeled and thinly sliced
  • optional, 2-3 fresh slices of ginger (which can help remove some of the fishy flavours and scents from the soups – this is a Chinese trick that we use for fish soups, too!)

     

    Cooking Instructions
    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.

    I made this kimchi and soft tofu soup served on rice for dinner after making my dashi and it was amazing! 

    There are so many soups now that you can extend from your dashi soup base, changing up the protein or vegetables or spice levels!

    The great thing with the dashi is that I made a small pot of this kimchi and soft tofu soup for 1 person (using this super cute ceramic pot) and customized the level of spicy, kimchi, and other ingredients.  So I basically made 3 of these little portions for the family to pick and choose from!

    For example, the kids didn’t want that much spice or cabbage, so I added some bak choy (OK, my Chinese fusion again), slice sausages, and some instant noodles!  You can totally get creative with these little pots!! 

     

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    Green Radish and Carrots Chinese Chicken Soup

    Green Radish and Carrots Chinese Chicken Soup

    Green Radish and Carrots Chinese Chicken Soup

    Soup Name:

    Green Radish and Carrots Chinese Chicken Soup

    Traditional Chinese Name:

    青紅蘿蔔雞湯 (qing hóng luóbo yù mǐ jī tāng)

    Nature:  Cooling

    Taste: Sweet and savory

    For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

    Traditionally in the Cantonese soup repertoire, this green radish and carrot soup is cooling and often recommended if you’re feeling heaty, want to cool the body, or it’s hot and humid in the summer and autumn months.

    It is also commonly found as a dinner soup, where restaurants will serve it at the beginning of the meal known as “lai tong” (or aka, free soup).  You’ll find the bits of carrots and green radish chopped up and along with pork (or chicken).

    This soup is delicious, hearty, and tastes like home!  My family often prepares this and my (grown) children will always ask for it when I ask them what kind of soup they want 🙂

     

    What’s involved?
    Prep time: 20 mins

    Cook time: 2 hours

    Total time: 2 hours and 20 mins

    Serves: 6 bowls

    Ingredients
    • 3 pieces of boned chicken thighs, sliced, pan fried
    • 2 fresh green radishes, quartered and in 1-inch thickness
    • 3-4 small fresh carrots, sliced into 1-inch pieces
    • 1 handful of dried scallops
    • 7-8 dried longans
    • 5-6 dried red dates
    • 3 L of water
    Cooking Instructions
    1. Begin to boil your soup water
    2. Optionally slice up your chicken thighs, I do this so that it cooks faster and there are smaller pieces in the soup to be served
    3. In a shallow pan, fry the chicken thighs under cooked and a lot of the skin and fat should render out
    4. Peel and chop up your radish and carrots.  I’m using a smaller cut this time around as I’m not boiling as long, but still want them relatively soft to be eaten
    5. Once your soup boils, drop in the meats, chopped vegetables, and herbs
    6. Cover and boil on medium heat for 2 hours
    7. No salt needed, serve and enjoy!
    If you’d like to quick boil this faster, I’d suggest cutting up the pieces smaller, almost cubed.

    Be sure to also buy fresh, firm green radish.  You’ll know they’re fresh because they are super hard to touch and you can’t really squeeze them.  When they get soft, squishy (but not leaky), they’re already drying out and aging.

    This combination of green radish and carrots are amazingly delicious!  Some people will also add white radishes, which makes the soup even more cooling, and corn is also a nice addition!  Enjoy!

     

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    Healing Chinese Herbal Soup

    Healing Chinese Herbal Soup

    Healing Chinese Herbal Soup

    Soup Name:

    Healing Chinese Herbal Soup

    Traditional Chinese Name:

    北芪黨參消腫養陰湯 (běi qí dǎngshēn xiāo zhǒng yǎng yīn tāng)

    For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

    This soup is perfect for anyone who wants to replenish and strengthen blood and qi, has poor circulation, relieve fatigue, or reduce pain and inflammation.

    I call this my Healing Chinese Herbal soup and want give a shout out to Tash from SouperWell for this partnership!  Hi Tash!

    What’s involved?
    Prep time: 20 mins

    Cook time: 3 hours

    Total time: 3 hours and 20 mins

    Serves: 4 bowls

    Ingredients

       

      Cooking Instructions
      1. You can pre-soak your tangerine peel (to soften) and dried Chinese yam (to wash off any sulphur usually used in the drying process)
      2. Prepare the protein by quartering your chicken
      3. Prepare 2 pots, one is the soup pot (add your 2 L of water) and one pot is for blanching the chicken
      4. Once your blanching pot boils, drop in your chicken and boil on high for 5-7 minutes, allowing the foam, fat, and bones come to the surface
      5. You can turn off your blanching heat and once your soup water boils, transfer the blanched chicken over and let that boil on high
      6. Add in your sliced lotus root and dried ingredients
      7. Cover and boil on high for 30 minutes
      8. Reduce to a low boil for another 3 hours
      9. Salt as needed

      CHECK OUT OTHER SIMILAR HEALING HERBAL SOUPS

      Learn more about how these types of teas and soups can help improve your overall blood circulation and how you actually know that it's working?

      It's not a perfect science (still working to perfect it), but I'd say the methodology and thinking is sound 🙂

      Would love to hear your thoughts!

       

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      ABC Chinese Soup (with a Fancy Lobster Soup Base)

      ABC Chinese Soup (with a Fancy Lobster Soup Base)

      ABC Chinese Soup (with a Fancy Lobster Soup Base)

      Soup Name:

      ABC Chinese Soup (using a Lobster Base Soup)

      Traditional Chinese Name:

      ABC湯 (ABC tāng).  The easiest name in the Cantonese repertoire for ABC vegetable soup is 雜菜湯 (zá cài tāng), which literally translates to mixed vegetable soup.

      This soup is warming in nature and sweet to taste.

      To start, you can check out this video here where we explore this concept of “ABC” soup.  There are as many iterations of this soup that you can permutate the number of vegetables you can find!  

      What makes this soup so special is I used the leftover water when I boiled 2 whole lobsters for another meal.  Lobsters were on sale at the supermarket, thought it would be amazing to eat fresh lobster in the evening, so also decided to not waste the delicious seafood goodness and made a soup for dinner as well.

      ABC soup is a traditional favourite in Chinese households and most recipes are hand down from generation to generation with their own variations! 

       

      What’s involved?

      Prep time: 30 mins

      Cook time: 2 hours

      Total time: 2 hours 30 mins

      Serves: 6 bowls of soup

      Ingredients

      Cooking Instructions

      1. In your soup pot, add in 4L of water and bring to a boil.  Once that is boiling nicely, gently drop in the lobsters ensuring to cover and cook them quickly.   Boil until the lobster is fully cooked, which is around 7-10 minutes for the first pound, and 2-3 minutes for each additional pound.  I was using ~2 pound lobsters, so that’s around 12 minutes.
      2. Remove lobster from water and set the lobster aside.  Preserve this water for the soup base.  Turn this heat to a medium boil as we’ll begin to prepare the soup.
      3. In a shallow pan on medium heat, add in the chicken thighs and brown all the edges until crispy and brown.  The chicken doesn’t need to be fully cooked (as the soup will do it), but you want enough browning for flavour.  You don’t need to add oil to the pan as the chicken thighs will render out its own oil.  
      4. Once chicken is browned and crispy on all sides, remove from pan and add to your lobster water soup.  Keep this on a medium boil for now.
      5. Prepare all your vegetables into similarly sized pieces.  
      6. Add all the ingredients into your soup.  This includes the vegetables and dried Chinese herbs.
      7. Boil on medium high for 30 minutes.
      8. Reduce to a low boil for another 2.5 hours.
      9. Serve and enjoy!  No salt needed!

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      Chinese Herbal Soup with Abalone

      Chinese Herbal Soup with Abalone

      Chinese Herbal Soup with Abalone

      Soup Name:

      Chicken Herbal Soup with Abalone
       

      Traditional Chinese Name:

      鮑魚清雞湯 (bào yú qīng jī tāng)

      This soup is warming in nature and sweet to taste.

      Visit us on YouTube for more tea and soup videos.

      One of my favourite basic chicken Chinese soups – ever!  And it’s special when I add abalone because it’s delicious to eat as part of the meal and brings a special savory taste to the soup.  You can’t really taste the sea, but it does really accent the soup!  This soup is warming in nature and sweet to taste.  I made this soup for my daughters post menstruation and it’s perfect for cold winter days or when you’d like to replenish qi or blood and have excess yin (feeling cold in the limbs, have a pale tongue, pale complexion).  

      I buy my abalone frozen from the local supermarkets.  These are a little smaller ones and are perfect for soups.  To use, you can thaw the night before or soak in cool water.  Remove from the shell gently, ensuring you don’t break any of it and then you can use a knife or your fingers to gently remove the bottom portion (also the stomach and reproduction parts of the abalone).  Be sure to also wash them.  I’ll use a toothbrush because it’s smaller and can get into the crevices of the abalone.  Some people use a brush as well.  You can also do this under running water.

      What’s involved?

      Prep time: 15 mins

      Cook time: 3 hours

      Total time: 3 hours 15 mins

      Serves: 4 bowls of soup

      Ingredients

      Cooking Instructions

      1. Begin to boil a separate pot to blanch your chicken in
      2. Prepare your chicken (I usually remove the legs and wings and quarter it)
      3. Prepare the abalone by removing it from it’s shell and removing its organs
      4. In the blanching pot, pre-boil the chicken and abalone to remove excess debris, blood, bones, and fat.  Once it boils again for 5 minutes, you can remove it from the hot water.  It doesn’t need to be fully cooked as that will happen in the soup.
      5. Begin to boil your soup water
      6. Once your soup water boils, add all the ingredients together
      7. Boil on high for 30 mins and reduce to a low boil for another 2.5 hours
      8. Serve and enjoy!  No salt needed – try it!  This soup is delicious!!

      Benefits

      Precautions

      • This is a warm soup, so not suggested for those who have yin deficiency (too much yang) in their bodies

      Learn more about how these types of teas and soups can help improve your overall blood circulation and how you actually know that it’s working?

      It’s not a perfect science (still working to perfect it), but I’d say the methodology and thinking is sound 🙂

      Would love to hear your thoughts!

       

      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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      GIVE YOUR LOVE OF SOUP.

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      White Radish with Mushrooms and Vermicelli in Chicken Soup

      White Radish with Mushrooms and Vermicelli in Chicken Soup

      White Radish with Mushrooms and Vermicelli in Chicken Soup

      Soup Name:

      White radish with mushrooms and vermicelli in Chicken Soup

      Chinese Name:

      白蘿蔔冬菇粉絲雞湯 (bái luóbo dōng gū fěn sī jī tāng)

       

      For more videos, visit us on YouTube.

      Sometimes, I want something relatively easy and quick to whip up all in one-pot!  Make a bit of rice or noodles on the side and serve up this dish as a meal for your family.

      This soup has got a healthy selection of protein and packs a volume of vegetables.  You can design the vegetable of your choice, and my family loves to eat siu choy (or napa cabbage), but normal cabbage, lettuce, also go well.

      You can also be selective in your mushrooms.  I kind of just went with a whole bunch of fresh mushrooms from the supermarket such as fresh oyster, brown, and shiitake mushrooms.  Dried mushrooms also work well, but do need more time to rehydrate.   

      What’s involved?

      Prep time: 15 mins

      Cook time: 30 mins

      Total time: 45 mins

      Serves: 6 bowls

      Ingredients
      • 3 chicken thighs
      • 1 whole white radish, peeled, cubed
      • mushroom selection (your choice, I went with fresh oyster mushrooms, fresh brown mushrooms, and fresh shiitake mushrooms)
      • 3 dried shiitake mushrooms (for flavour)
      • 1 pack of dried vermicelli
      • 2 small napa cabbage (or vegetable of choice) – something with a lighter taste (so the whiter / paler the vegetable is better)
      • 1 tablespoon of dried conpoys
      • 1 tablespoon of dried longans
      • 1 tablespoon of white miso paste
      • 3-4 L of water

       

      Cooking Instructions
      1. Soak the vermicelli in cool water for at least 10 minutes
      2. Chop chicken into large pieces and in a shallow pan fry skin down (no oil as needed as a lot of the fat will be rendered out).  Fry on medium heat for 5-7 minutes, flipping as it browns.  The chicken doesn’t need to be thoroughly cooked as it will be going into the soup anyways, you just want the edges to be a nice golden brown with a crust.
      3. Boil your soup water.
      4. Peel and chop white radish into cubes.  Size is up to you depending on how much time you have.  The less time, the smaller the pieces should be.
      5. When the soup water boils, throw in the pan-fried chicken thighs and white radish and boil on high for 10 minutes
      6. You can drop in the dried mushrooms, conpoys, and dragon eyes (in this case, I don’t rehydrate the mushrooms as they need a good hour sometimes, so dropping them in directly is OK)
      7. Cut up your napa cabbage in small pieces and drop into your soup, along with your selection of mushrooms
      8. Continue to boil for 10 minutes on medium heat
      9. Drop in 1 tablespoon of white miso and stir it around to make sure it’s dissolved.
      10. Finally drop in the hydrated vermicelli and boil for another 10 minutes on medium heat, covered.
      11. Top with chopped green onions or cilantro for taste.
      12. Serve and enjoy!  You can add rice or noodles as part of the meal.

      Some time saving tips!

      • You can pre-soak the vermicelli first thing in the morning.  This stuff stays pretty supple throughout the day and will only soften when boiled.  If you’re going to soak them, I’d suggest to also soak the dried shiitake mushrooms, too!
      • The quicker you want your soup to cook, especially the white radish, cut the pieces smaller.  I like larger pieces because you can fish them out, but smaller will help if you’ve got a time crunch!
      • You can replace the miso paste with a soy sauce soup base (with chicken broth) as well.  I don’t use any broth powder in this case as miso is perfect on it’s own!
      • Tofu is also a great quick cook ingredient to add if you want more variety.  All types of tofu!
      • Don’t be afraid to cook the chicken on HIGH heat.  Just make sure you monitor it and turn and rotate the chicken as it browns.  Remember, you don’t need to fully cook it, you just want enough of a beautiful crust and brown so it’s crispy and already bursting with flavours!

      For videos, visit us on YouTube.

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