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.
Soak the vermicelli in cool water for at least 10 minutes
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.
Boil your soup water.
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.
When the soup water boils, throw in the pan-fried chicken thighs and white radish and boil on high for 10 minutes
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)
Cut up your napa cabbage in small pieces and drop into your soup, along with your selection of mushrooms
Continue to boil for 10 minutes on medium heat
Drop in 1 tablespoon of white miso and stir it around to make sure it’s dissolved.
Finally drop in the hydrated vermicelli and boil for another 10 minutes on medium heat, covered.
Top with chopped green onions or cilantro for taste.
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!
Here is another version of the basic chicken soup. I’ll make this so that it can serve as a base for noodles, macaroni, with rice, or for double-boiling soups. You can mix and match the types of vegetables to bring out the types of flavours you like, but I will usually always use some chicken bones, legs, or carcass along with dried scallops (these are almost a must for the stock soup!).
Perfect for any soup base. You can simply add your favourite vegetables or even Chinese herbs.
This soup is perfect for cooler days as it’s slightly warming
Perfect for confinement, postpartum, and post period
Ideal for the whole family, including children
These ingredients are readily available in most Chinese supermarkets around the world, all you need is just a chicken!
Be sure to to consult your (Chinese) doctor first if you’re unsure of consumption or suitability
You can store this soup base in a plastic container (or jar with a wide mouth so it’s easier to use back later) for up to 6 months in the freezer
I’ve used this as a soup base for both noodles soups and even hotpot! It’s very versatile in what you can do with it!
Begin to boil a separate pot for blanching the meat
Soak the dried conpoys and dried shiitake mushrooms in warm water for 10 minutes, the mushrooms may need longer, until they are soft, but since it’s for the soup base, it’s ok if they are still a bit hard.
You can also begin to boil your soup water
When your blanching water boils, add in the chicken bones and boil on high heat for 5 minutes. Make sure the water is boiling and you should see residue, fat, grim, and even foam come to the surface.
In the meantime, you can prepare all your vegetable ingredients for the base. I will cut the onion in half, keeping on the stem so it stays intact and cut the carrots and corn into large pieces so I can easily remove them from the pot.
Once your soup water boils, remove the meat from the blanching pot and shake off any excess and slowly lower into your soup water
Add in dried conpoys, dried mushrooms, and all the vegetables into the pot
Boil on medium heat for 30 minutes
Reduce heat to the lowest and cover and let it simmer like that for another 2-3 hours (or use a thermal pot). The soup should now be a rich, golden color after boiling for so long. Be sure to scoop out any oil, fat bits, or skin from the top with an oil scooper.
And you can also remove all the ingredients with a strainer so that you’re left with a beautiful soup base which you can use for other soups or dishes!
What started as a simple vegetable soup, turned into an interesting mix of hot and cold vegetables because I could! The children had the soup warm, served with macaroni for dinner and it’s an easy quick boil, meatless soup. You can add real meat if you’d like, ideally chicken breast or thighs for a quick boil or even Chinese preserved ham. A great, quick soup for those times when you’re just running out of time, but have a fridge full of vegetables! The base is quite easy and you can add any other vegetables that suit your taste!
For the quick boil, you’ll need to have small pieces of vegetables to enable them to cook faster and release flavours faster. I always keep the cobs for the soup base, there is SO MUCH flavour in those things! Throw everything into a pot of boiling water as a start.
Throw in the shucked loose corn and broth and boil on high heat for 30 minutes. You can throw in the snow peas to blanch for 2 minutes and then serve. What I also did here was have extra “greek salad” ingredients (raw cucumbers, raw tomatoes, and parsley) just for fun – but it tasted awesome!
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 6 bowls
1/2 fresh Japanese pumpkin, cubed (with skin off)
2 fresh corn, shucked (keep the cob for the soup)
20 fresh snow peas
1 teaspoon of vegetable broth powder (or half a cup of vegetable soup stock)
2 L of water
In a pot of boiling water, add cubed pumpkin, corn cobs, corn kernals and stock (or powder)
Boil in high for 30 minutes
Before serving, blanch the snow peas in the soup for 2 minutes
Serve and enjoy!
The beauty of this is that you can add in your choice of cubed vegetables, such as carrots, radish, and even tomatoes that compliment the sweet flavours of the pumpkin.
Alternatively, you can use miso paste instead of chicken powder, which is just as tasty as quick boil!
Lobster is a popular seafood in Chinese cuisine. Traditionally, it can be fried with ginger and scallions, or for a modern take, Chinese restaurants are increasingly offering lobster cooked in a creamy cheese sauce atop a bed of tender egg noodles. As with most proteins, when you’re finished eating the actual dish, don’t toss the left-over bones or shells! Save them because they can be used to create a delicious soup instead. Lobster shells are the perfect base for a seafood broth, particularly the head which contains a lot of the rich creamy roe and flavours.
Soup Name: Lobster Broth
Traditional Chinese Name: 龍蝦湯 (lóngxiā tāng)
For this particular soup, we quickly devoured the meat of three small, boiled lobsters (we dipped the meat in salted butter of course) and carefully saved the shells, including the back, legs, claws and especially the whole heads. When making lobster broth, leaving the meat in the shells seems wasteful as I don’t feel the meat contributes that much flavour to the richness of the broth, so feel free to enjoy the meat separately first.
In the below recipe, stir-frying the ingredients first is optional — however I find it does help to bring out the flavours, particularly if the shells are slightly caramelized around the outside. Also, feel free to add carrots and other root vegetables to create a hearty, healthy meal.
As a tip, when making any seafood soup (or seafood dish), one of the key ingredients when cooking in a Chinese-style is to use fresh ginger. Not only does ginger add to the complex flavours of the seafood, it is also key because it cuts through any potential fishy tastes and smells.
The below recipe can be used stand-alone (as a soup), as the soup base for noodles, or it can also be poured on top of cooked rice to make a sort of lazy Chiu Chow-style congee. Enjoy!
Recipe Type: Soup
Serves: 6 bowls
2 L water
3 lobster shells (with head)
5 slices of ginger
1 garlic clove
1 small onion
1 stalk, spring onion
Salt to taste
Start boiling the water in a large soup pot
Stir-fry the onion, garlic and ginger in 1 tbsp of cooking oil for 3 minutes until onions are soft (stir-frying is optional, but will help to enhance the flavours)
Add the lobster shells and spring onion and stir-fry for another 5 minutes (optional)
Put everything into the soup water (on high heat)
When the water is boiling, turn down the heat to medium and continue to boil for 1 hour.
Once in a while, use the [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/oil-scooper/”]oil scooper[/url] to scoop out extra oil and foam that may rise to the surface