Luo Han Guo in Watercress Soup
Luo Han Guo in Watercress Soup
Traditional Chinese Name:
羅漢果西洋菜湯 (luó hàn guǒ xī yáng cài tāng)
Taste: Sweet and savory
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This soup is excellent for assisting in coughs and removing phelgm. It also aids in providing moisture (with the chestnuts) to the body and lungs for those dry autumn and winter months. It is considered a pretty sweet soup and ideal for all ages.
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours and 20 mins
Serves: 10 bowls
- 1 pound of fresh pork shank
- 1/2 dried luo han guo
- 1 tablespoon of apricot kernals
- 15 whole raw chestnuts
- 2-3 bunches of fresh watercress
- 1 large piece of dried tangerine pee
- 2-3 L of water
- 1 teaspoon of salt (to marinate the pork)
- Pre-marinate the pork overnight with the salt (although this step is not necessary)
- Boil your soup water
- Blanch pork shank in a separate pot of boiling water for 7-10 minutes until you see some brown foam come to the top. This step will also rinse the salt from the pork bones.
- In another separate pot, boil chestnuts for 2-3 minutes. Remove from water and peel while still hot (removing the outer and inner skin). You can also use prepackaged deshelled chestnuts, but I find they aren’t as sweet or tasty!
- Start with a quarter of the dried luo han guo and rinse in warm water. I will smash the whole dried fruit with the flat side of a butcher’s knife and use only the outer shell and not the insides.
- Wash and soak apricot kernals and tangerine peel in warm water
- When the water boils, add all the ingredients together except the watercress (this should be added last because it will stay relatively crunchy before consumption)
- Boil on high for thirty minutes and reduce to a simmer for another 1.5 hours (or use a thermal pot)
- When almost ready to drink, re-boil and add in watercress. Boil on high for 10 minutes (or until desired softness of watercress)
- Serve and enjoy!
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juz in time for me? Coughing badly now.
My daughter is 15 months and having cough with phlegm, can she eat this soup? Cuz last time I boiled her luo han guo (like liang tea) and the seller in chinese med shop said half of glass is enough for her, (and I am thankful, I gave her that cuz her heaty body got cooled soon after :D) I plan to feed her this soup for lunch and dinner will it be okayy? Or how? Thank u
Dear Valeria, yes, this soup is OK for 15 months. Once they hit 12 months, most soups are OK – with the exception of peanuts still maybe (depending if you are more Western or Asian thinking). Hope this helps and wishing your daughter a quick and speedy recovery! Lisa
Hello Lady Tong,
I love making this soup when my son has a cough. Is it okay to make this soup without the following ingredients? Pork shank, chestnuts or watercress? I’m wondering because I have seen my mom just boil Luo Han Guo on it’s own for us.
Northern apricot kernels or southern?
Actually, a combination of both! With soups, I usually add both north and south together. Hope this helps! Lisa
Hi Lady Tong,
I do not have pork shank on hand, can I use pork bones instead or other cuts of meat?
Can’t find chestnuts at the store. What can I use to replace it? Also can I add carrot to this soup?
Thanks in advance.
Hi there. What meat could I use to substitute for the pork – chicken or beef? (Would it still taste as nice?) 🙂
Hi Rose, chicken is always the best substitute for pork in this case for watercress soup. Beef in general is a different type of meat for Chinese soups and not commonly used. I’ve made chicken and watercress and it still turned out nice – use chicken bones (whole carcass) or leg bones. Hope this helps! G’luck. Lisa
Can I put all ingredients into the pressure cooker to boil at same time?
Dear Candice, this is one I’d probably not use a pressure cooker for, unless you can separate the watercress to the end. You can boil the soup base first (with everything except the watercress) and when almost ready to serve, drop in the watercress and let cook for another 5 minutes. Watercress isn’t great when it’s cooked too long because it disintegrates. Hope this helps! Lisa
Hi, on step 7 you said add all the ingredients together but step 9, you said add the watercress. So should step 7 be add all ingredients together except watercress?
Thanks, Colina, for catching that! Depending on how crunchy you’d like the watercress, you can add right at the end before consumption. You can flash boil for 3-4 minutes to soften slightly. Overtime, the watercress will soften and darken and the leaves will begin to break apart. It all depends on how crunchy you’d like it! However, traditional Chinese-styled watercress soup is quite soft… it’s because they do leave it in! Hope this helps! Lisa