ABC Soup in a Collagen Rich Salmon Head and Chicken Feet Broth

ABC Soup in a Collagen Rich Salmon Head and Chicken Feet Broth

ABC Soup in a Collagen Rich Salmon Head and Chicken Feet Broth

Soup Name:

ABC Chinese Soup in a collagen rich Salmon Broth (with Chicken Feet)

Traditional Chinese Name:

雜菜蕃茄三文魚湯 (zá cài fānjiā sānwènyú tāng)

Nature:  Slightly cooling

Taste: Sweet and savory

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

 

Taking collagen to the next level!  This soup is packed with natural collagens that help retain moisture, firmness, and bounce in the skin.

What does a jelly soup mean?  (Without using thickeners like corn starch or flour).

It means… it’s got copious amounts of natural collagens!

There are so many ingredients within Chinese soups that allow for natural collagens to seep out into the soup for natural and healthy glowing skin!

This one combines the salmon head and chicken feet!  Just look at how viscous the soup is, it’s probably bordering being a solid!  Full video below on how to make this soup!

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 90 minutes 

Total time: 120 mins

Serves: 8 bowls

Ingredients

  • 2-3 slices of fresh ginger
  • 2 fresh salmon heads

  • 5-7 fresh chicken feet
  • 3 fresh potatoes
  • 2 fresh tomatoes
  • 1 fresh corn
  • 1 tablespoon of dried scallops
  • 5 pieces of dried Chinese yam
  • 2L of water
  • fresh green onions to garnish

Cooking Instructions

  1. Wash and clean the salmon heads, ensuring they are sliced in half (you can get the fish butcher at your market to do this, or if you buy packaged, they are usually precut)
  2. In a shallow pan, add some oil and ginger on medium heat and pan fry the salmon head until the skin and both sides are slightly crispy
  3. Optional step to remove the nails of the chicken feet by either cutting them off with scissors to the first knuckle or chopping with a knife
  4. In your soup pot, begin to boil your soup water on high heat.  Once boiling, add in the cooked salmon head along with the chicken feet.  You can also add the dried scallops and the dried Chinese Yam. (I will add the salmon head into a soup bag first for easier disposal later).
  5. Wash, peel and chop potatoes into large chunks (not too small else they will disintegrate quickly into the soup).  
  6. Wash and chop the corn into 3-4 pieces.
  7. Wash and quarter your tomatoes.
  8. Add in chopped potatoes, corn, and tomatoes into the soup.
  9. Cover and reduce to a medium boil for about 90 minutes.  The longer you boil out the soup, the more the collagen comes out of the salmon head and chicken feet.
  10. Garnish, serve and enjoy!

How to get this jelly like soup?

  • To get that thick consistency and jelly like soup, I allowed it to low boil for another few hours and kept it in the pot until the evening, strained all the ingredients and kept just the broth in a bowl and put it in the fridge.
  • You can reheat in a small pot the day after and it is still as delicious! 
  • But this really was my experiment to show you the beautiful collagen in the soup.  It’s not as obvious as a liquid, but when cooled, it looks amazing!

For videos, visit us on YouTube. 

Tips for making (and eating) this soup:

  • You can actually directly pan fry the fish in the pot (it saves one pot of washing)
  • Use a soup bag!  These things are so useful when you want to clean up or strain the soup for later.  However, open the bag… there is a lot of fish meat on the heads, which all contain healthy fats and more collagen!  And the fish cheeks!  Do you know the story of the fish cheeks?  I’ll have to tell it one day! LOL.
  • Don’t forget to scoop out the extra fat, oil, and bits from the soup before serving.  There isn’t a lot from the type of proteins used, but the chicken feet will have a bit.

For videos, visit us on YouTube. 

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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5 Tips for Exercising in the Cold (from a Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective)

5 Tips for Exercising in the Cold (from a Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective)

5 Tips for Exercising in the Cold 

(from a Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective)

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.

What’s the coldest you can exercise in outdoors?

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, there exists a balance between hot vs cold and moisture vs dryness. 

It’s typically looked at in this light where you can have excess yang (heat) in the body, but is it a dry heat or an excess moisture heat?  The same applies for excess yin (cold).  Is this a dry excess yin or excess moisture in yin?  

This is where it also depends on external conditions, such as Toronto in the winter yields a dry cold, whereas in Hong Kong, it’s a wet (humid) cold.  

It’s important to pay attention to how these conditions then blend with how you’re feeling internally.

Get to know your own body…

How aware are you of your own body?

How aware are you of how your body reacts in different conditions?

Each of us are created uniquely and beautifully.  This is where one person’s condition and reaction are different from another person’s, even in the same external environment and diets!

Here’s a tip to develop an awareness of yourself.

  • Be best friends with your tongue.  Take a pause to notice how it feels (Are there are any rough spots? Any ridges?).  Stick it out when you’re brushing your teeth.  How is its color?  Any ridges?  
  • Signs of excess yang (or yin deficiency) can include a rough feeling tongue, canker or cold sores, rough patches, or extra red tongue.  It’s not by any means a diagnosis, but here’s where I’ll stop eating fried foods, stop drinking warming soups, and substitute for something like a cooling chrysanthemum herbal tea.

I would love to hear if you’ve got other ideas!  Drop them in the comments or any of my social channels and I’ll give you a shout out and add it to the post!

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Turn leftover rice into a delicious, warming congee with shrimp and yams

Turn leftover rice into a delicious, warming congee with shrimp and yams

Turn leftover rice into a delicious, warming congee with shrimp and yams

Soup Name:

Shrimp Congee with Fresh Yams and Lettuce

Traditional Chinese Name:

蝦粥 (xiā zhōu)

Nature: Neutral

Taste: Sweet 

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube. 

Want something easy?  Want something delicious?

This is the perfect lunch to make in 30 minutes with leftover rice.  Instead of going the traditional fried rice route (which I usually do), I went with a delicious, warming, and kind of a random mix of ingredients that blended nicely.

The key is the congee base.  I defrosted 10 shelled shrimp using the their creamy heads as the flavour base.  And then added ingredients I found in the fridge that would go nicely.

It was super easy to make and so yummy!  I had about 2 bowls of leftover rice in the fridge, so it was just perfect because I pretty much grazed on it from lunch until dinner!

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 30 minutes 

Total time: 40 mins

Serves: 6 bowls (2 people portion)

Ingredients

  • 10 shelled shrimp, keeping the heads

  • 5 pieces of garlic, diced
  • 1 yam, peeled and cubed
  • Some lettuce (I used half a romaine)
  • Fresh green onions
  • 2 bowls of leftover white rice
  • 7 cups of water
  • Salt to taste

Cooking Instructions

  1. Remove the heads of the shrimp and in your pot, add some oil and diced garlic and saute on medium heat until fragrant
  2. Deshell and devein your shrimp and marinate with a bit of soy sauce, sesame oil, and white pepper to taste
  3. Add in 7 cups of cold water and cover, allowing that to come to a boil
  4. Once that boils, scoop out the shrimp heads and foam (the garlic will also come with it, which is OK)
  5. Add in your leftover rice and cubed yam.  Cover and reduce to a low-medium heat and let that boil for 15 minutes.
  6. Now add in your shrimp and diced lettuce.  Cover and boil for 5 minutes.
  7. Once it all boils nicely, mix it around and garnish with fresh green onions.
  8. Serve and enjoy!
  9. Salt as needed.

Tips for making this congee:

  • The shrimp heads are key in this congee, which is what creates that delicious congee base
  • I tried to blend ingredients that would go nicely with the shrimp flavour (so you can get creative here).  Carrots, potatoes, or onions would also compliment.  [I had tofu in my fridge and thought about adding that with seaweed, but to be honest, not sure seaweed would go with this blend!]
  • It’s quick boil because the rice is already cooked (which is typically the longest to cook since it’s raw, but that’s why this congee can be made in 30 minutes)
  • Use small, diced cuts for quick boil soups or congee (they cook faster)

For videos, visit us on YouTube. 

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Making a Delicious Lotus Root with Vegetables in Pork Broth Chinese Soup (with Roasted Fresh Peanuts!)

Making a Delicious Lotus Root with Vegetables in Pork Broth Chinese Soup (with Roasted Fresh Peanuts!)

Making a Delicious Lotus Root with Vegetables in Pork Broth Chinese Soup (with Roasted Fresh Peanuts!)

Soup Name:

Making a Delicious Lotus Root with Vegetables in Pork Broth Chinese Soup (with Roasted Fresh Peanuts!)

Traditional Chinese Name:

蓮藕豬骨湯 (Lián’ǒu zhū gǔ tāng)

Nature: Neutral

Taste: Sweet 

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube. 

For this post, I made 6 x 2 person portions (freezing them in packs and giving some to friends).  I didn’t really make a pot that big.  LOL.

You’ll see in the image that they fit neatly into 6 packs, which are vacuum sealed (try this vacuum seal starter kit that comes with the machine and the bags) and frozen.  That means the it’s literally a take-out-and-drop soup.  NO WORK needed!  I’ve even prepped and blanched the meat so it comes clean into the soup.  

I used a frozen pack the other day and it was AMAZING.  Literally 2 minutes of work for me first thing in the morning before my meetings.  I dropped the whole frozen pack into my rice cooker, added water to the max water line, and pressed COOK RICE.  That means, I had a delicious hearty soup ready for lunch, which I had with rice.  It was PERFECT! 

This is a great, earthy, slightly nutty light soup great for the whole family!

I know, I went a bit crazy on the portions, but stay with me 🙂  I actually made extra to freeze (and give to friends)!  Each packs are made in 2 person portions and I actually tried one in the rice cooker and it was AMAZING!  I know each device is different, so the rice cooker I’m using is a Zojirushi one, which is fantastic.  I’ve been using this brand from Hong Kong and has to rebuy in Canada.

This soup is easy to make and with common ingredients.  Lotus roots are very accessible in Canada and Hong Kong and make for an amazing meal as part of the soup with the hearty vegetables and pork ribs.

 

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 60 minutes (in rice cooker)

Total time: 90 mins

Serves: 4 bowls (2 people portion)

Ingredients

Cooking Instructions

  1. I will first pre-soak the dried mushrooms to allow them rehydrate
  2. Cut and wash your pork ribs
  3. In a small pot of cold water with a teaspoon of salt (to lower the boiling point), add your ribs to blanch and set to a high boil.  Once that boils, you can remove the pork bones
  4. Drain the pork ribs and rinse one more time with cool water to get rid of any debris, bones, or foam
  5. Peel and slice your lotus roots
  6. Peel and slice your carrots
  7. Cut your corn into bite-sized portions
  8. Using the flat side of a butcher’s knife, gently crack the peanuts and remove the fresh peanuts from the shell
  9. In a shallow pan with a little bit of oil, pan fry the peanuts with a pinch of salt until golden brown on medium heat
  10. Optional to fry the rehydrated shiitake mushrooms at this point with the peanuts
  11. In your soup pot add all the ingredients together and bring to a boil covered.  Once that boils, reduce heat and let it simmer for another 60 minutes covered.  Or you can try to use a rice cooker, which worked amazing for me!
  12. Serve and enjoy!

Tips for making this soup:

  • Use fresh lotus roots.  You’ll know they’re fresh when they are super crunchy and as you cut through it, it’s pale and looks clean.  Be sure to wash thoroughly as lotus roots do have a lot of mud as they are grown under water.
  • Buy fresh peanuts (available from Asian supermarkets).  This takes a bit of work to process, but produces deeper, darker flavours versus using pre-processed roasted peanuts (which tend to be pretty salty).  But both work just as great!
  • Pan frying mushrooms ahead of time really brings out the flavour of the dried shiitake mushrooms.

For videos, visit us on YouTube. 

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GIVE YOUR LOVE OF SOUP.

FOLLOW US AND SHARE.

Warming Chicken and Coconut Herbal (Healing) Chinese Soup

Warming Chicken and Coconut Herbal (Healing) Chinese Soup

Warming Chicken and Coconut Herbal (Healing) Chinese Soup

Soup Name:

Warming chicken and coconut herbal (and healing) Chinese soup

Traditional Chinese Name:

椰子雞湯 (yē zi jī tāng)

Nature:  Warming

Taste: Slightly sweet and savory

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

Oh!  This soup!  It delivered – and more!!

Warm with intense flavours of rich coconut and savory chicken, it really hits the spot when it’s cool (or cold) and you just want a warm blanket to hug you.

I made a rather large pot in the morning and grazed on it all day.  As it continued to sit in its own broth and stew away, the soup became more and more intense and became a rich, earthy tone at dinner.  You can tell this by the colour of the broth.  SUCCESS!

3 key things for this soup:

  • Don’t drink the coconut water!  Save it for the soup!
  • Use the smaller round coconuts  (brown fruit) instead of the traditional larger coconuts.  Their flesh is sweeter and so is the coconut water.
  • Pan fry the chicken thighs (rather than blanch) to give it a savory, toasted flavour to the soup. 
What’s involved?

Prep time: 45 mins

Cook time: min 2 hours

Total time: 2 hours 45 mins

Serves: 6 large bowls

Ingredients
    Cooking Instructions
    1. Prepare your coconut.  This means, poking holes at the top, drain the coconut water in a separate bowl.  Using a hammer, just smash smash smash the coconut to shreds.  Remove the outer shell from the coconut meat and cut into 2×2 inch pieces.
    2. Cut your chicken thighs into 3 pieces and in your soup pot (or a shallow pan), pan fry on medium heat until the skin and edges are crispy.
    3. Add in your water to your soup pot and set it on high until it completely boils
    4. Cut your cut into quarters and drop into the soup
    5. Drop in all the Chinese herbs
    6. Pour in the reserved coconut water
    7. Cover and boil for 20 minutes and then reduce boil to a medium simmer for another 1 hour and 40 minutes
    8. Taste, salt as needed, serve and enjoy!

    What I love about soup is that it doesn’t go from clear water to broth in the snap of a finger.  At what point does it make this transition?  Fascinating.

    Do you see how deep, dark, and rich that broth looks?

    The best thing about this soup post making is that you can eat it all!  The chicken thigh is falling off the bone, tender, and tastes like coconut.  I don’t even need to dip it in soy sauce like I do with pork shank.  The corn is bulbous and some of them are filled with soup.  I don’t even need to butter it!  And the coconut meat is soft, flaky and rich.  You can really taste the coconut flavours.  This soup was super nice.  I’ll need to make another batch.  The only downfall is that preparing a coconut is like going to battle – me vs the coconut.

    Here are some tips on using fresh coconut in Chinese soups! 

    • Reserve the coconut water (where possible!).  It’s delicious, sweet, and adds an amazing fragrance to the soup!  I ended up drinking one because I had 2.  LOL.
    • Use a hammer to smash it open.  I’ve seen people do it with a butcher’s knife (back side), but hammer works!  
    • Put a towel to absorb the impact of the smash underneath the coconut.
    • You can use a butter knife to cut out the flesh if it sticks to the shell.
    • Rinse the freed coconut flesh under water to remove debris, shell, dirt before adding to your soup.
    • Boil for at least 1 hour to soften slight, but coconut meat doesn’t really become that soft.  It’ll stay slightly crunchy and textured.
    • Don’t overcomplicate the soup with a lot of ingredients to allow the highlight of the soup (the coconut) to shine!

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