Turtle with Lean Pork Soup

Turtle with Lean Pork Soup

Turtle with Lean Pork Soup

Soup Name:

Turtle and Lean Pork Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:

水魚瘦豬肉湯 (shuǐ yú shòu zhū ròu tāng)

This soup is very warming in nature and sweet to taste.

 

For videos, visit us on YouTube.

A warm and healing soup, it’s often recommended for cold winter days or confinement.  The turtle meat is said to be a nourishing meat (similar to chicken) and should be avoided if you are sick.   From our experience, even when properly cleaned, soft-shelled turtle meat may have a taste of the “sea” and may require ginger to counter the taste.

See a lighter variation of this soup here: Longan Meat in Turtle Soup

For more information on what confinement is and the Chinese ingredients associated with confinement, please see our Confinement Soups page.

This is the first time that I have bought and tried soft shell turtle (to my knowledge).  These types of turtles are actually bred for consumption and considered a prize delicacy in East Asia (ie: China).  They are also harvested in the US (with set limits) for breeding and consumption as well (especially common to have Turtle soup in New Orleans).  Ever since coming to Asia, I have developed an open mind to the types of food that is culturally different from my upbringing.  The turtle definitely falls into this category.  It is so commonplace that you can find soft shell turtles at your local wet marts.

To prepare soft-shell turtle, my vendor (and mom) told me to pan-fry them with ginger.  This will help eliminate any fishiness in flavours and create a fragrant base for your soup.

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 3 hours

Total time: 3 hours 30 mins

Serves: 4 bowls

Ingredients
Cooking Instructions
  1. Pre-marinate the pork with salt and let sit for at least one hour (overnight is best).  I’ll quickly rinse under cool water before usage.
  2. Wash turtle meat and shell
  3. In a pan, fry meat and shell with ginger on high heat until cooked
  4. Blanch the pork in a separate pot of boiling water
  5. Boil your soup water
  6. Soak and wash dried longans, Chinese yams, and dates
  7. When the water boils, add all the ingredients together
  8. Boil on high for 30 minutes and then simmer on medium heat for another 3 hours.
  9. Serve and enjoy!
Any benefits?
  • A nourishing soup ideal for confinement
  • Good for urinary infections and bladder
  • Helps with asthma and breathing complications (such as shortage of breath)
  • The shell is an excellent source of collagen

For videos, visit us on YouTube.

A selection of confinement Chinese Soups

What is confinement and confinement stories

Baby 5 & 6 Confinement story

Some confinement foods for your tummy!

The DO's and DON'T's of confinement

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(Confinement) Deer Antler Healing Soup

(Confinement) Deer Antler Healing Soup

(Confinement) Deer Antler Healing Soup

Soup Name:

(Confinement) Deer Antler Healing Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:

鹿茸高麗參雞湯 (Lù róng gāo lì cān Jī tāng)

This soup is very warming in nature and sweet to taste.

 

For videos, visit us on YouTube.

A pretty traditional (although the ingredients aren’t easy to find) Chinese confinement soup.  High quality Korean ginseng is not a cooling ingredient and is extremely beneficial in aiding the body in healing.  You can really taste the fire or “hotness” in this soup as it literally does warm your body.  While this soup does not contain your more mainstream ingredients, it is a traditional recipe that is passed down from generation to generation.  There are a few variations of this soup, but a majority of the time, the key ingredients are always there. 

For more information on what confinement is and the Chinese ingredients associated with confinement, please see our Confinement Soups page.

This is what dried deer antler’s look like.  Small, ovalish, and brown thinly sliced wood-like herbs that are hard to texture and feel.  This ingredient is designed for warming the Yang and targets vital essence and blood, which is why it’s so commonly used for confinement, healing, and post surgeries.  

To be honest, I don’t commonly use this Chinese medicine in soups, but really only for confinement purposes.

What’s involved?

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 2 hours

Total time: 2 hours 30 mins

Serves: 2 bowls

Ingredients
Cooking Instructions
  1. Blanch the pork and chicken in a pot of boiling water
  2. In a separate pot of boiling water, add all the ingredients together and boil on high heat for 30 minutes
  3. Here you can either turn your soup onto medium and let it continue to simmer for another 2 hours or transfer soup into a ceramic pot and double boil for 2 hours (the objective to intensive the flavor of the soup with the Chinese herbs)
  4. Serve hot
Any benefits?
  • This soup is warming and healing
  • Great for confinement, post surgery, and healing
  • It is designed to remove “wind” from the body and particularly helpful for nourishing essence and blood
  • Both deer antlers and Korean Ginseng are super warming ingredients 
  • This tonic (literally that’s what I call it rather than a soup) targets the kidneys and liver (vital parts in TCM)

For videos, visit us on YouTube.

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CHECK OUT OTHER SIMILAR HEALING HERBAL SOUPS

Learn more about how these types of teas and soups can help improve your overall blood circulation and how you actually know that it's working?

It's not a perfect science (still working to perfect it), but I'd say the methodology and thinking is sound 🙂

Would love to hear your thoughts!

 

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(Confinement) Black Bean, Rice and Ginger Water

(Confinement) Black Bean, Rice and Ginger Water

(Confinement) Black Bean, Rice and Ginger Water

Soup Name:

(Confinement) Black Bean, Rice and Ginger Water – sometimes called Teas

Traditional Chinese Name:

黑豆姜水 (Hēi dòu jiāng shuǐ)

This tea is very warming in nature and slightly sweet to taste.

 

For videos, visit us on YouTube.

This is a traditional confinement drink that is said to help reduce “wind” in the body and “warm” it up to help with the healing process after giving birth. These are common ingredients found in various confinement soups, teas and recipes (especially ginger). Some people make a large batch of the black bean and ginger mixture and steep it like teas for drinking everyday throughout their confinement.

For more information on what confinement is and the Chinese ingredients associated with confinement, please see our Confinement Soups page.

Ginger is to drive away the wind from the body and heal and warm.  I prefer to use ginger juice, but some will also use ginger flesh and the skin.  This is a key ingredient to this tea.  You can add as little or as much ginger as you like depending on how spicy you’d like it.

Black beans help dispel water from the body, but also activates blood circulation and detoxification.  They are naturally sweet and when pan fried, are warmed and compliment the heaty tea needed for confinement.

Rice in Traditional Chinese Medicine is used to strengthen the qi and blood.  Interestingly enough, the word qi (in Traditional Chinese) is derived from the words air and rice.  Rice holds significant meaning in this regard and is used as one of the key recipes for this tea!

You can optionally add some rock sugar for taste.

 

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 40 mins

Serves: 4 cups of tea

Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon of oil

  • 2 tablespoons of ginger juice, pulp optional

  • 1 cup of black beans, rinsed

  • 1 cup of white rice, rinsed

  • 1/2 cup of water, to cook rice

  • optional rock sugar
Cooking Instructions
  1. In a frying pan, heat up oil on medium heat.
  2. When oil is hot, add black beans, white rice and ginger juice and cook for 2 minutes, constantly stirring
  3. Add 1/2 cup of water and continue to stir and mixture until all the water evaporates.  Be sure to adjust the heat accordingly to prevent burning.
  4. Once mixture is dry and golden brown (see picture below) and cooked, set aside and cool.
  5. In a cup, scoop 1 tablespoon of mixture and add hot water to it.  Steep for 10 minutes and drink hot.
Any benefits?
  • Effective drink in removing “wind” from the body
  • Helps warm the body
  • Assists in helping those in confinement get lots of fluid into the body and to help flush the system
  • Also helps to improve water levels in the body (especially for those mothers who are breastfeeding)

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Red Dates

Red Dates

Red Dates

Ingredient Name:

Red Dates (also known as jujubes, or Chinese dates)

Traditional Chinese Name:

红枣 (hóng zǎo)

 

This is a MUST HAVE in your Chinese soup (or cooking) pantry!  These little round, shriveled bright red fruit can come in a variety of sizes, cuts, shapes, and with or without seeds.  The fresh fruit itself is seeded in its mature state produced by the Ziziphus zizyphus trees, which are commonly found in Asia and some parts of Europe and India.  In Chinese cuisine, it’s actually one of our staple ingredients and I keep some in my kitchen pantry all year round.  They are found in Chinese soups, desserts, stews, and dishes, as well as eaten as dried snacks and in teas.

How do I prepare it?

    The only preparation needed for dried red dates is to rinse with warm water and to pit the seeds if needed.  To remove the seeds from the fruit, I use a pair of clean scissors and just snip them away (see video of the Red Dates and Longan Chinese Herbal Tea for preparation of the red dates).  You can buy them pitted or unpitted at your local Chinese supermarket or wet market.
    It’s quite interesting to observe the varying firmness and hardness of these dried fruits.  You’ll find red dates that are softer and squishier, so much easier to cut.  

Where can I buy it?

      • You can purchase red dates from most Asian supermarkets prepackaged
      • You can also purchase this in bulk from specialty stores (online herbal shops)
      • The one thing I did notice is that the Chinese prepared ones are different from Western prepared red dates.  So just check to be sure they look like the above photos.  

What is the cost?

      • A package costs around $3-5 CAD

      • However, if you buy direct from the Chinese dried food stores, the prices will also range depending on the quality of the dried red dates and whether they are pitted or not, with pitted being more expensive.

Any benefits?

      • Red dates are known to assist in maintaining healthy blood pressure and assist the stomach and spleen in poor appetites
      • It is also commonly used to address stress in drinks and teas
      • Due to its sweetness, it is soothing to the throat and used to treat sore throats
      • Red dates are an excellent source of Vitamin C
      • A common ingredient found for Chinese confinement

Any precautions?

      • Be sure you are buying red dates from a reputable source as some red dates do carry diseases

      • For soups, use pitted dates. The seeds are known to create “fire” in the body and not usually ideal

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Astragalus Root

Astragalus Root

Ingredient Name:

Astragalus Root, Huang Qi, Bei Qi, Milk Vetch

Traditional Chinese Name:

黃耆 (huang qi) or 北芪 (bei qi)

Nature: Warm

Taste: Sweet

Looking to build your soup pantry?  Follow our guide to the 7 basic Chinese soup pantry ingredients.

This common Chinese herbal root is found in both TCM and Chinese soups.  This root actually comes from a legume (aka, part of the pea family) and looks like dried bark when processed for soups and herbal tonics.  You can buy this in a variety of forms, so just be sure to double check what it is (by asking!).  It comes in thinner longer slices, thicker shorter pieces (as pictured), chopped up like wood chips, or even powdered.  And there are many Chinese herbs that take on this similar form!

This root is perfect for blood and qi deficiency, helps regulate the water balance in the body, and is often used for healing purposes (post surgery, post partum for sure, and post menstruation).  

How do I prepare it?

    I’ll usually rinse under cool running water to get rid of any debris, extra bits, or dirt before adding to my soup, although dropping directly into the soup is alright as well.

Where can I buy it and cost?

      • You can buy this in most Chinese supermarkets in Toronto, Canada in prepackaged form
      • This is definitely available in herbal shops, where you can buy in bulk, of the volume you need in various forms
      • I’ve also seen this widely available on the internet (generally in powdered form)

What is the cost?

      • There is actually a wide range in cost for this root.  I’ve seen it range from $20 – 50 CAD for 1 pound.  This depends on the quality and cut of the root.

      • The smaller pieces tend to be cheaper, where the longer, intact ones will cost more

Any benefits?

  • This root is helps replenish Qi, particularly that of the lung and spleen as it targets those organs
  • It is commonly used as a healing herb (in combination with other herbs)
  • It is perfect for tonifying blood and Qi

Any precautions?

  • This is a warming root and creates yang in the body, so if you’re feeling heaty or yin deficient, bes to avoid this root
  • Be sure to buy this root from reputable sources

Looking to build your basic Chinese Soup Pantry?

Check out this video to begin building your soup pantry.  There are 7 basic dried ingredients to get you started.

 

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Soup Name: Spring Lotus Root and Sweet Corn with Carrots Chinese Herbal Soup Traditional Chinese Name: 蓮藕豬骨湯 (lián’ǒu zhū gǔ tāng). The direct translation is "Lotus Root Pork Bones Soup".  This is also a very generic name for this type of soup and you can add carrots...

How to Make a Warming Healing Mandarin Chinese Herbal Tea

Tea Name: Warming Healing Mandarin Chinese Herbal Tea Traditional Chinese Name: 保暖茶 (bǎo nuǎn chá) – direct translation here is “keep warm tea”. This is a very generic name for teas that keep you warm. Nature:  Warming Taste: Sweet and slightly bitter (You can read...

How to make a warm healing apple and ginger Chinese herbal tea (post cold run or ride)

Tea Name: Warm healing apple and ginger Chinese herbal tea (post cold exposure) Traditional Chinese Name: 保暖蘋果蕃茶 (bǎo nuǎn píng gān guǒ chá). The direct translation of this is "keep warm apple ginger tea". There are many variations of a "keep warm" tea with the...

How to make a Spring bitter melon Chinese herbal soup to eliminate damp-heat

Soup Name: Spring bitter melon Chinese herbal soup to eliminate damp-heat Traditional Chinese Name: 苦瓜祛濕豬骨湯 (Kǔ guā qū shī zhū gǔ tāng). This is directly translated as "bitter melon dispel damp pork bones soup".  As most soup names in Chinese are quite generic, this...

5 Different Pots and Equipment Used For Making Chinese Soups

5 different POTS & equipment I USE FOR making Chinese soups, MEDICINE, and HERBAL TEAS.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,...

How to Make a Warming Healing Mandarin Chinese Herbal Tea

Tea Name: Warming Healing Mandarin Chinese Herbal Tea Traditional Chinese Name: 保暖茶 (bǎo nuǎn chá) – direct translation here is “keep warm tea”. This is a very generic name for teas that keep you warm. Nature:  Warming Taste: Sweet and slightly bitter (You can read...

How to make an Apple Cinnamon Chinese Herbal tea for Eliminating Damp-Wind and Damp-Heat

Tea Name: Apple Cinnamon Chinese Herbal Tea for Eliminating Damp-Wind and Damp-Heat Traditional Chinese Name: 蘋果祛濕茶 (píng guǒ qū shī chá) – direct translation here is “apple remove damp” tea. There are many damp removal Chinese herbal teas and this one blends flavours...