Bitter Melon and Preserved Sour Vegetable Soup

Soup Name: Bitter Melon and Preserved Sour Vegetable Soup (in Pork Broth)

Traditional Chinese Name:  苦瓜酸菜湯 (Kǔ guā suan cai tāng)

This soup is a delight of two tastes. The first is an appetizing sour taste and it finished off with a golden, rich, bitterness. It’s a unique soup that is designed for the bridging season of Summer and Autumn and helps cool the body and aid in digestion. If you like it more sour, you can add more preserved sour vegetable and if you like it more bitter, then more bitter melon. This soup also doesn’t really need salt as the preserved veggies are already salted.


What Ingredients are required?

500 g of pork shank
1 large fresh bitter melon, seeded and sliced
100 g of preserved/salted mustard greens, largely sliced (more if you want it more sour)
50 g of yellow beans

2 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Start boiling your soup water
  2. Boil pork for 5 minutes in a separate pot of water to blanch it
  3. Drain pork and set aside
  4. When your soup water boils, all add the ingredients together
  5. Boil with a cover on medium heat for 1 hour
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • This soup is naturally flavored (slightly salty, sour and bitter)
  • It is a refreshing soup to drink when it’s particularly hotter
  • A great appetizer
  • This soup aids in digestion
  • The vegetarian version is to simply remove the meat and tastes just as great!

Any precautions?

  • It can be a bit cooling (due to the bitter melon), so if you’re concerned about cooling soups, take caution
  • Women on menstruation or first trimester of pregnancy should avoid too cooling soups as it causes potential contractions

Similar soups:

Herbal Pork Soup with Longans (and Ginger)

Herbal Pork Soup with Longans (and Ginger)

Herbal Pork Soup with Longans (and Ginger)

Soup Name

Herbal Pork Soup with Longans (and Ginger)

Traditional Chinese Name:  

清豬骨湯 (qīng zhū gǔ tāng)


A mildly sweet soup containing mainly Chinese herbs and dried additives, it’s an easy make and great for cold days or someone who needs to replenish their heat and warmth. It comes highly recommended as a basis for confinement and you can double-boil it with Chicken as well for added warming and healing properties.

It’s not an overly powerful soup and is appropriate for the whole family (use a more dilute concentration if children are drinking it).

What’s involved?

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 2 hours

Total time: 2 hours 15 mins

Serves: 2 bowls (confinement size)


Cooking Instructions

  1. Start boiling your soup water
  2. Boil pork for 5 minutes in a separate pot of water to blanch it
  3. Drain pork and set aside
  4. When your soup water boils, all add the ingredients together
  5. Boil with a cover on medium heat for 1.5 hours
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Bartail Flathead Fish


Ingredient Name: Bartail Flathead Fish

Traditional Chinese Name: 牛鰍 (niú qiū)

What is this?
  • This flat headed fish and flat bodied fish is found within the Asian/Indian regions (and South East Asia)
  • The fish is brownish and gray in color and is heavily spotted and can grow up to 80 cm for a male
  • They tend to live in the sand and muddy areas of the ocean
  • This is a common “household” fish used in the Chinese cuisine (and can also be found in Chinese medicine)

How do I prepare it?

  • Have the vendor descale and clean the fish for you and cut in half
  • At home, you can rinse the inside and the outside of the fish in cool running water
  • If you are not cooking the fish immediately, you can slice some pieces of ginger and insert it into the stomach and put in the fridge

Where can I buy this?

  • Commonly found in wet marts across Asia and local supermarkets
  • The wet mart vendor or seller should descale and remove the insides of the fish for you
  • You can have them cut the fish into 2 pieces

What is the cost?

  • The price varies, but averages $40 HKD per catty (or per 500 grams)
  • An average fish (pictured above) cost around $25 HKD

Any benefits?

  • The meat is extremely sweet and one of the ideal fish used in soups
  • It’s doesn’t disintegrate easily and a fish bag isn’t necessary if you have the fish in 2 pieces
  • Since the shape of the body is unique, the fish is easy to filet and often used in that way when cooked

Any precautions?

  • Frying with ginger before soup usage will help the fishiness taste

Additional Information

  • For soups, any of the fish posted on this site will suffice as they are generally used for soups and share one thing in common (they are boiled!)

Happy Faces Sushi Art


Here is something I want to share with my readers as well since it’s a foodie blog. It’s not your typical soup fare, but still edible.

My children LOVE sushi. It’s because 1. we’re in ASIA, 2. they attend an international + Japanese kindergarten and 3. they like the sweet/vinegar rice and seaweed. My youngest daughter is actually a HUGE fan of the sweet botan shrimp (eaten raw) and has been since she was a wee girl of 2.

So as a nice surprise, I make some happy sushi art to brighten their day.

Ingredients used above:

  • Japanese rice
  • Sushi vinegar
  • Sushi seaweed
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Sausages

This one is pretty easy. Some of our research on google yields some crazy-looking sushi art. In due time, I’ll figure it out, but for now, we’ll stick to the basics.

Chinese Yam with Apples and Corn in Chicken Broth

Chinese Yam with Apples and Corn in Chicken Broth

Soup Name: Chinese Yam with Apples and Corn in Chicken Broth (with Ginger)

Traditional Chinese Name:  蘋果玉米淮山雞湯 (píng guǒ yù mǐ huái shān jī tāng)

A simple, clean chicken broth with just a hint of sweetness and a tang of spice (from the ginger). Depending on who your consumer is, add less or more ginger. For confinement, don’t be scared to throw it all in! This soup is easy to make, it’s got basic neutral ingredients and is great for the whole family!


What Ingredients are required?

1 fresh whole chicken, quartered
4-5 whole apples, cored and quartered
2 fresh corn, quartered
2 fresh pieces of Chinese Yam about 1 foot in length, peeling is optional, quartered
150 g of sliced fresh ginger (for confinement purposes)
2 L of water
salt to taste

How do I prepare it?

  1. Clean, prepare and blanch chicken in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes
  2. Set aside to cool
  3. Wash, prepare apples, corn and Chinese Yam
  4. Slice ginger thinly
  5. Boil your soup water, when it boils, add all the ingredients together
  6. Boil on high for about 30 minutes and reduce to a simmer for 1 hour
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • With ginger, it’s a slightly warm soup, but without it, it’s neutral
  • Pregnancy, confinement and child friendly
  • Sweet and fresh to the taste
  • Excellent source of Vitamins and hearty to eat

Any precautions?

  • For children, go easy on the ginger because that can really spice up the soup!
  • Be sure to clean, peel Chinese Yam with gloves as the outer skin of the Chinese Yam can make your fingers itchy (if you opt to peel the skin)

Similar soups: