Traditional Chinese Name: 冬瓜龍眼素湯 (dōng guā lóngyǎn sù tāng)
A very light and delicious soup appropriate for hot, stuffy summers. It is refreshing (even though it’s hot) and slightly sweet with all the goodness of natural flavoring and ingredients. It is a meatless soup and a quick boil, so it’s super easy to make. Plus, it’s a great base for adding other ingredients such as corn, carrots, onions and I serve it with udon or noodles to make it a meal!
What ingredients are required?
3 fresh carrots, cut into large pieces 2 fresh corn, cut into large pieces 1 large slice of wintermelon, peeled and cut into large pieces 20 pieces of dried longan 2 L of water
How do I prepare it?
Soak dried longan in warm water for 10 minutes (or until soft)
Start boiling your soup water
Wash and prepare wintermelon, carrots, and corn (keep the wintermelon skin)
When soup water boils, add all the ingredients together
Boil on high for 30 minutes
Serve and enjoy! Salt if necessary.
Oil free soup
Excellent source of protein and vitamins
Easy to make soup
Soup is ideal for hot summers and mildly cooling to relieve heatiness in the body
Wintermelon helps detoxify the skin and body and regulates sugar levels
Wintermelon is a mildly cooling ingredient and should be cautiously consumed if in your first trimester of pregnancy or if you’re menstruating as cooling foods intensify cramping
If someone is experiencing diarrhea or loose stool, they should avoid consuming the wintermelon seeds
Price: I’m sorry, I can’t remember because it was just so darn tasty (I’d estimate around 150 baht)
Serves: About 8 small Chinese bowls worth
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve started a new section on this site to review soups. As a soup lover and drinker, it naturally extends to trying other people’s soups and then finding what I love about them and making it my own. You actually learn a lot about making soups from tasting other people’s soups. One thing I love about tasting other people’s soups is dissecting it. Marveling at the ingredients they use and trying to taste the subtlety of hidden ingredients. Like wines, you have to smell the soup first and then swirl it around in your mouth to taste the sweet, salt and other goodies inside.
For starters, finding this restaurant is an ADVENTURE. If you haven’t been there before, be wary of the fake Samboon restaurants in Bangkok – they are everywhere! And cab drivers are paid a grand commission for bringing customers to these fake restaurants.
So, my take on this Tom Yum Koong soup?
It’s delicious. It isn’t overly spicy (like some Thai food) and it’s quiet sour (more than average), but I personally love the sourness of the soup. Most tom yum koong soups are packed with lemon grass and this one is not short of these finely sliced lemon grass pieces that are deliciously fragrant. It is also packed with fresh shrimp and loads of straw mushrooms (yum!). One thing they could reduce is the amount of chili oil – I’d say about a quarter of the surface area of the soup is covered and while I know it adds to the amazing scent of the soup, not sure it was completely necessary. OK, so maybe some people can say I’m wrong, but my soup theory is really light on oil and salt and natural as possible. I personally have yet to make this soup, so give me a few weeks to gather the ingredients (I hear North Point wet mart carries fresh ingredients from South East Asia) and I’ll put my version and interpretation of this soup on the site when I’ve made it!
The soup comes in a large metal pot with a fire element underneath it. Smashingly delicious!
The restaurant! We finally found out on round #2 of cab drivers!
Soup Name: Ginseng Fruit and Gobo in Vegetable Soup
Traditional Chinese Name: 牛蒡人参果湯 (niúbàng rénshēn guǒ tāng)
A very clear and deep sweet soup that is extremely flavorful and rich in Vitamins. Both the ginseng fruit and the gobo root give this soup all the flavor it needs, so no meat is required. You can add a variety of vegetables to it like carrots, corn, chayotes, onions to make your soup creation. The great thing about using ginseng fruit is that the soup actually smells and tastes like ginseng, but without the hole in your wallet!