HERE ARE 5 ways to PREPARE MEATS for CHINESE SOUPS!
What’s all that “stuff” floating around in my soup? Almost all bones and bone-in meats will have a little something extra extra.
One guiding principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine is the yin yang theory. In the natural world, there exists a balance between 2 opposing and co-existing forces and yet, they also exist in each other. Our bodies, minds, and souls are designed the same way in that to be healthy, we need to be in harmony between these 2 bipolar states. Yin is receptive and passive, calm and slow, embodying cold and damp qualities (when we are sleeping). Yang is its exact opposite in aggressive and active, embodying heat, dryness, and movement (when we are awake).
One of our mission at The Chinese Soup Lady is to bring these principles into the foods and drinks we consume in order to support harmony.
You can explore more about some Traditional Chinese Medicine theories in these posts.
The back story…
I know everyone has a different process or methodology about how they make Chinese soups and I welcome all methods and suggestions. I can attest that I didn’t have TikTok or Instagram or YouTube growing up, so when my mom taught me to make Chinese soups, it’s was good old show and tell. Even the ladies at the wet marts were amazingly helpful and would always share wisdom and tidbits as I was grocery shopping. This is essentially where I learned most of my techniques and recipes and over time, eventually built my own, integrating science, Traditional Chinese medicine, and experimental cooking!
Why I prepare my meats before using them in soups?
There are many reasons why I take time and effort to clean, wash, and properly prepare my protein before using them in soups. Here’s why:
- I’m not always sure how it’s been processed before purchase. It’s nice to assume that whomever was cutting it was using a clean knife or blade, but I never know. The first and easiest thing I’ll do it to wash meats in cool running water first. I know some cooking techniques tell you not to do this with chicken (salmonella risk), but I know I’m usually blanching or boiling anyways.
- This will remove any debris left from preparation such as blood, bone bits, skin, fat bits, or marrow content. This helps keep my soup clean without “weird” floating stuff around the soup that my grown children still make comments about.
- It will keep the taste of the soup clean. Marrow and blood have a certain taste and texture when cooked and I’m conscious to not dilute the soup with other taste if I’ve properly designed my soup for taste and benefits.
- Helps render and melt fat off the meats so the soup is healthier and has less fat content. This is particularly true for whole chicken (including chicken thighs and sometimes chicken bones as it isn’t completely fat free), fatter cuts of pork, or ox tails (which have quite a bit of fat content wrapped around the tail).
- This also helps tone down and eliminate fishy or raw tastes of protein so it also doesn’t takeover the flavour of the soup and you can truly bring all out all the amazing blended flavours that it was intended to be!