Vegetarian Lotus Root with Chestnuts and Carrots Chinese Soup

Vegetarian Lotus Root with Chestnuts and Carrots Chinese Soup

Vegetarian Lotus Root with Chestnuts and Carrots Chinese Soup

Soup Name:

Vegetarian Lotus Root with Chestnuts and Carrots Chinese Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:

蓮藕栗子素湯 (Lián’ǒu lìzǐ sù tāng)

 

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

I’m using dried mushrooms to replace pork bones and trying to honour the flavour profile of the lotus roots and carrots.  Slightly sweet, slightly earthy, that hint of nuttiness, but in a light broth that’s savory and smooth.

You can explore more vegetarian substitutes for meats in Chinese soups and get creative!

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 2 hour and 30 mins

Total time: 2 hour and 45 mins

Serves: 8 bowls

Ingredients

Cooking Instructions

  1. Pre-soak your dried Chinese shiitake mushrooms in a bowl for 2 hours until they soften
  2. Remove the stems from the mushrooms
  3. Prepare your soup water on high heat with the 2 L of cold water in your thermal soup pot
  4. In a shallow pan, add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and on medium heat, pan fry the mushrooms with a bit of salt until fragrant and slightly browned on both sides
  5. Wash & peel the lotus root, cutting into large pieces
  6. Wash, peel, and cut carrot into large cubes
  7. Wash, peel, and cut corn into large pieces 
  8. When the water boils, add all the ingredients together
  9. Boil on medium to high heat for 30 minutes
  10. You can continue to boil on low heat for another 2 hours or put into your thermal pot 
  11. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • A neutral soup ideal for the whole family
  • Better for dryer, cooler weather as chestnuts are known to be a little bit wet and warming in nature
  • A versatile soup where you can change it up a bit and add other vegetables such as Chinese Yam, chayotes, or potatoes
  • Be sure to buy good quality Chinese dried mushrooms

For videos, visit us on YouTube. 

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Using Amazing Substitutes for Meats in Vegetarian Chinese Soups

Using Amazing Substitutes for Meats in Vegetarian Chinese Soups

Using Amazing Substitutes for Meats in Vegetarian Chinese Soups

When you want to go meatless, but don’t want to trade off flavour!  

For more videos, visit us on YouTube.

There are so many options when you want to replace meats in Chinese soups!  I try to keep the flavour profile of the soup without compromising it with the replacements.  I find vegetarian soups less oily, have more fiber, and provide a different offering to my soups!  I am able to venture into a more unique group of ingredients I don’t always traditionally use.

Some tips for Vegetarian Chinese Soups:

  • While you don’t need to blanch these ingredients, some do taste better if you pan fry it first (ie: soy products, mushrooms, even some vegetables such as potatoes)
  • Many vegetarian choices have great shelf life (dried mushrooms can last greater than 1 year, packaged nuts like chestnuts and peanuts can also last 3-6 months), although fresh peanuts last around 5 days in the fridge
  • Save your tummy as these ingredients eat like a meal
  • You can get creative to mix and match, or create your own!
  • Mushrooms have a rich, earthy, profile to the their taste, while nuts also have some earthy taste, but lighter
  • There are so many amazing fruits and vegetables available in the Asian repertoire such as gobo (or burdock root),  Japanese pumpkin, seabed coconuts, even normal coconuts can work!
  • Don’t forget to consider Chinese Herbs as replacements as well

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Fragrant Pork and Cabbage Quick Boil Chinese Soup

Fragrant Pork and Cabbage Quick Boil Chinese Soup

Fragrant Pork and Cabbage Quick Boil Chinese Soup

Soup Name: Fragrant Pork and Cabbage Quick Boil Chinese Soup

For more videos, visit us on YouTube.

No time?  Cost saving?  Want something quick?  I’ve been making these quick boil Chinese soups for awhile now!  You can still make healthy and delicious soups without that long boil or even any Chinese herbs.

For this soup, I’ve gone with a hearty meat and vegetable soup that you can easily drop in rice, macaroni, or noodles in to make it a meal.

There are a few tips and tricks for quick boils soups.

Such as:

 

  • Ingredients sliced thinly or small for quick cooking
  • Readily available ingredients in your freezer or fridge
  • Minimal Chinese herbs used
  • Soups are ready in 30 minutes of boil

What’s involved?

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 35 mins

Total time: 45 mins

Serves: 8 bowls

Ingredients

  • 400 g of ground pork
  • 3-4 slices of fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of diced fresh garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 baby napa cabbages
  • 3 bunches of fresh cilantro
  • 2 bunches of fresh green onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet soy sauce
  • 2L of water

Cooking Instructions

  1. Prepare your ginger and garlic
  2. In your soup pot (I use a cast iron soup pot), add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat
  3. Add in the sliced ginger and diced garlic and stir fry until brown for 5 minutes
  4. Add in your ground pork and break it down as it cooks so that it turns into small bits.  
  5. Season with the white, black pepper, garlic salt, and soy sauce
  6. Stir until cooked for 5 minutes
  7. Add in 1 bunch of fresh green onion and fresh cilantro and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes
  8. Add in 2 L of water, cover and boil for 30 minutes on medium heat
  9. Before serving, toss in additional fresh green onions and cilantro and let it sit on top, and serve
  10. You can see you rice, noodles, macaroni to make it a meal!

For more videos, visit us on YouTube.

 

 

 

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What is Chinese ABC Soup?  A Guide to Getting Started with Chinese Soups.

What is Chinese ABC Soup? A Guide to Getting Started with Chinese Soups.

What is Chinese ABC Soup? A Guide to Getting Started with Chinese Soups.

New to Chinese Soups? Start here with a Chinese ABC Soup!

Serves: 6 large bowls

Prep Time:  15 mins

Cook Time:  2 hours and 30 mins

For more videos, visit us on YouTube.

I get the question of “How do I start with Chinese Soups?” or “Chinese soups can be awfully complicated.”  Well, for someone who is a CBC (Chinese born Canadian), I learned something called the Chinese ABC Soup and as I ventured into the world to explore Chinese soups, I learned that the ABC soup is pretty common, but interpreted differently depending on who I speak with!

Characteristics of Chinese ABC Soup:

  1. Very common Chinese Soups (most families make them, you can find them in restaurants, or soups of the day)!
  2. The ingredients are readily available, almost all year round, in any supermarket.
  3. There’s no special technique or equipment needed to make these.  Chop, drop, and boil!

For this video, I’m making my family’s favourite of carrots, corn, and green radish combined with a few simple and common Chinese Pantry ingredients.

You can follow any of these ABC soup combinations to start making Chinese soups!  It’s super easy!  Enjoy!

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FOLLOW US AND SHARE.

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What’s the Best Chinese Comfort Food?  Hot Homemade Congee!

What’s the Best Chinese Comfort Food? Hot Homemade Congee!

What’s the Best Chinese Comfort Food? Hot Homemade Congee!

Growing up, I’ve had many variations of this watery Chinese porridge called “Congee” (aka, the 粥 in Chinese).  

And all of them, are memories of home and comfort.

I don’t know what it is about this dish, but the simplest of ingredients, the white rice (there are also variations of the rice used) can produce such a profound feeling when it’s mixed and cooked in the right proportions of water and toppings.

Follow this post to learn how to make this!

What makes Congee, Congee?

By definition, congee is watered rice, or gruel, or porridge.  The word originated from the root word “to nourish” (according to wiktionary).  Across many cuisines and cultures, you’ll see the variations of congee from generation to generation and country to country.  From as far as India to Japan to the South Asian Countries, they all have some variation of this dish.

So what makes congee, congee?  The most basic premise is that it’s some sort of grain (usually rice) that is cooked to a semi viscous state.  The viscosity (how fast or slow it flows as a liquid) depends on the type of congee.  

The Chinese version of congee exists in almost the same proportions as culture Regions available.  From Guangdong Province,  you’ll find the more liquid versions of the congee base and then quick boiled with preserved eggs or minced beef.  This is very typical of the congee you’ll find in Hong Kong.  And don’t forget, served with fried dough sticks!
The congee base is usually the same with variations on toppings and flavouring.  What I do is make this congee base for the kids, Cantonese-styled, and our toppings spread on the kitchen table is AMAZING!  We all like different toppings, so we’ll crack out preserved pork floss, vinegared cucumbers, spicy preserved radish, or pan fried salty peanuts!  Get creative!
In Thailand, it’s Jok (โจ๊ก, pronounced joke).  Pictured here is a fragrant Thai fish congee.  The congee base is made with rice and water, with a selection of toppings such as peanuts, fresh spring onions and parsley, and preserved salty duck eggs.  The Thai will also add spicy peppers and chilies, which I didn’t opt for.  Too exciting for me in the mornings!
In Taiwan, it’s also called Jook (粥) and the congee base is similar to that of the white congee in Hong Kong, but the toppings are out of this world!  Here I’ve got pork floss (there are so many beautiful variations of this), preserved and flavoured seaweed, preserved salty duck eggs, root vegetables such as lotus root and even yams, and all sorts of preserved vegetables such as cucumbers, and fresh cilantro, baby celery (a Taiwanese favourite), and spring green onions.
And in Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Mongolia, they all have their own variations of congee.  I love trying all of them as I travel and it’s truly amazing how one dish has evolved in so many ways through the cultures!

Making Congee

There are 2 basic ways to make congee.
  1. You make the congee base (with simply rice and water) and then spice it up
  2. You spice it up first and mix in the rice to create this blended, beautiful congee concoction

In the recipes below, you’ll find both variations.  Try them both and see how you like them.  It really depends on what you feel like eating.  If you’re having side dishes, like meats and vegetables, the congee is usually served plain (rice and water).  If you’re eating the congee like a meal, it usually has all the works inside.  

There’s no right or wrong to making or eating congee!  And the type of rice you use, can also vary.  I’ve used long grain rice before, round little rice, brown rice, purple rice, even Japanese rice.  They all work!

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 25 mins

Total time: 30 mins

Serves: 8 bowls

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of rice
  • 2 L of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Whatever toppings you want

To Stir or Not To Stir?

Ah, the age old question of whether you stir your congee or not.

From my experience, it depends on the type of congee you’re making.

For example, I also make the Chiu Chou style of congee where it’s got a thick base layer of congee and beautiful rice soup on top.  In this congee, you don’t stir AT ALL.  It’s basically, a quick boil for 20 minutes, turn off the heat, let it rest for 30 minutes to “bake”  and settle and serve.  My mom is Chiu Chou, so I’ll hear her repeat this technique to me many times over!

For the Cantonese-styled congee, I will mix.  I will stir fry the ingredients first, add in the rice and water and mix it around, ensuring that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom.  Have your heat on medium to medium-high for that control.  I find when you max out the heat, it becomes harder to manage and this sticky congee to the bottom of the pot happens.

If you’re also using a thermal pot, insta-pot, or a pressure cooker, stirring is also suggested.   

 

CHECK OUT SOME OF OUR CONGEE RECIPES

POST YOUR FAVOURITE RECIPES BELOW IN THE COMMENTS!  WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR THEM!

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