Soup Name: Japanese Pumpkin with Century Egg in Pork Broth

Traditional Chinese Name: 皮蛋南瓜豬骨湯 (pídàn nán guā zhū gǔ tāng)


This soup was an accidental creation.  I had originally wanted pumpkin in pork broth and somehow my helper saw that I had purchased century eggs, she thought it was a good idea to throw it in.  At first, when I saw the soup, I didn’t think anything of the rich, milky color.  Most pork bones soup are milky in color because of the marrow (at least for me, I am usually inclined to use pork bone marrow instead and end up eating the marrow).  The thing that threw me off was when I tasted it.  There was a very distinct, golden taste.   Just like wine, I like to savor the taste of the soup and try to separate the ingredients through taste.  There was something definitely different about this soup.  After asking my helper what else she added, she sheepishly told me the century eggs and I burst out laughing.  It was different and unique and I loved it.  See, so it goes to show that there is no fixed recipe for making good soup.  Just some general knowledge of what pairings to make and desire.

What ingredients are required?

1 pound of fresh pork bones
1/2 fresh Japanese pumpkin, cubed with skin intact
4 century eggs, washed and halved
1 tablespoon of apricot kernals
2 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Rinse and soak the apricot kernals for 10 minutes in warm water
  2. Boil your soup water
  3. Wash pork bones and in a separate pot of boiling water, blanch your bones for 5 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
  4. Wash and cut up pumpkin, while keeping the outer skin on (this helps keep the pumpkin from disintegrating)
  5. When soup water boils, add the pork bones, the pumpkin and the apricot kernals
  6. Boil on high heat for 30 minutes and add the century eggs
  7. Reduce heat and boil on medium for another hour
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Helps soothe the throat from itchiness and cough
  • Excellent source of vitamin A, C and beta-carotene

Any precautions?

  • Consume century eggs in moderation.  There have been recent warnings of excess iron in Century eggs.
  • Be sure to purchase eggs from a reputable source