Double-boiled Korean Ginseng and Chicken Soup

Double-boiled Korean Ginseng and Chicken Soup

Double-boiled Korean Ginseng and Chicken Soup

Double-boiled Korean Ginseng and Chicken Soup

I had to try my new double-boiling Chinese soup pot, so specifically sourced some nice Korean Ginseng ($100 HKD for 2 pieces) so I could make double-boiled ginseng soup with chicken (and pork). I love the genuine taste of Ginseng, it’s smooth and golden. And I love it in soups even more!  Using the simplest of herbs, the soup takes a solid 3 hours in the double-boiler – but comes out rich, delicious and bursting full of flavours. Truly one of my favourite double-boiled goodies.

The benefits of ginseng and chicken soup are also numerous. Ginseng is usually described as “nourishing life” and the effects of the double-boiler, which maintains the soup at a lower heat without disturbing the ingredients physically, enable the flavours and efficacy of the ginger to permeate throughout the soup.  The soup enhance immune functions and make body functions strong like the heart, lungs and spleen.

Soup Name: Double-boiled Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:  人參雞湯 (rén sēn jī tāng)

To see the full recipe, scroll down to skip my commentary.

The ingredients include: Fresh Korean ginseng, pork, chicken, dried red dates, dried Chinese Yam, and dried longans.  I used chicken drumsticks instead of a whole chicken (which is usually recommended). The constraints you’re working with include the size of your double-boiler. In most cases, double-boilers need to fit inside another pot, so unless you’re got a restaurant-sized soup pot, you are restricted to the size of your double-boiling pot to fit the ingredients.

Chicken drumsticks for soup

Chicken drumsticks for soup

To keep the soup as “skinny” as possible, I removed the skin and as much fat as I could. Then I chopped the drumsticks into 3’s so that I can compact the size of the ingredients to fit into the double-boiler. The same applied for the pork shank. I didn’t blanch the meat as both didn’t have that much fat and I rinsed them under cool water before throwing it into the soup to clean them.

Keep the herbs simple. A mixture of these will suffice. Actually, my herbalist even suggested to just use dried Chinese Yam and that’s it, but I liked a little bit of sweetness and wanted to balance the coolness of the ginseng with the heaty of the dried longans just a little.  If you’re scared that it’s too cooling, throw in 1-2 slices of ginger to balance it out.

Herbs for Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup

Herbs for Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup

Start by boiling your soup water. To be honest, I am eye-balling everything, but I started with a half pot of water and decided that I could always add more water after fitting all the ingredients in. Once the water boils, throw in all the ingredients together and boil on high for about 30 minutes. This is still OUTSIDE of the double-boiler.

Double-boiler

Double-boiler

The point of boiling it outside is to make sure everything is boiling inside and sufficiently cooking and mixing and bringing out nice flavours. I then turn off the stove and let it cool enough to bring the double-boiler into the pot to really begin the double-boiling process.  Once inside the double-boiling pot, you can top it off with boiling water to ensure it’s full (more soup) and fill the double-boiling outside pot with warm or slightly hot water.  Boil the outside pot until it really boils and then reduce to a very, very, very small boil and keep it tightly covered.

The double-boiler inside the outside pot

The double-boiler inside the outside pot

Double-boil it for about 3 hours and when it’s done, the soup will be a rich, golden colour and smell delicious. The house permeates with this ginseng fragrance and it’s beautiful.

Beautiful double-boiled soup ready for drinking!

Beautiful double-boiled soup ready for drinking!

I recommend directly serving from the double-boiler to the bowl.  No salt is needed. Enjoy!!!

Variations to the soup can include using the black, silkie chicken instead. They are definitely smaller, so hopefully will fit – but in general, this soup is made with both chicken and pork. You can also change up some of the herbs to include maybe the large dried dates, Astragalus Root,  wolfberries, or Codonopsis Pilosula Root.

 

 

Double-boiled Korean Ginseng and Chicken Soup
Recipe Type: Soup
Cuisine: Chinese
Author: LadyTong
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 bowls
Ingredients
  • 3 fresh [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/chicken-whole/”]chicken drumsticks[/url], skinned and chopped into 3 parts
  • 2 fresh pieces of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/korean-ginseng/”]Korean ginseng[/url]
  • 1/2 pound of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/pork-shank/”]fresh pork shank[/url], cubed
  • 10 [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/red-dates/”]dried red dates[/url]
  • 10 [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/longan-dried/”]dried longans[/url]
  • 4-5 pieces of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/chinese-yam-dried/”]dried Chinese Yam[/url]
  • 1-2 slices of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/ginger-fresh/”]fresh ginger[/url] (optional)
  • 2 L of water for soup
Instructions
  1. Wash, skin and chop the fresh chicken drumsticks
  2. Wash and cube the fresh pork shank
  3. Begin to boil your double-boiling inner pot half full of cold water
  4. When the water boils, add all the ingredients together
  5. Boil on high for 30 minutes
  6. Let the inner pot cool and transfer to the double-boiling outer pot
  7. Top up the inner doubler-boiler with hot or boiling water
  8. Fill the outer pot with warm or hot water
  9. Set on high heat until the outer water is boiling
  10. Reduce heat to a minimum boil while keeping both pots covered
  11. Boil for another 3 hours
  12. Serve and enjoy!

 

 

Basic Pork Congee

Basic Pork Congee

Basic Pork Congee

Soup Name: Basic Pork Congee (or aka Skinny Pork Congee)

Traditional Chinese Name:  瘦肉粥 (shòu ròu zhōu)

Congee is one of the many comfort foods available within the Chinese cuisine. Nothing is simpler than pork congee and using this recipe as a base, you can actually go pretty far when loading it up with additions or adding different flavours. I use this especially when the children are sick and it’s a great first foods on top of baby cereal and smashed up vegetables.

What’s involved?

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 25 mins

Total time: 30 mins

Serves: 8 bowls

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound of lean, fresh pork, largely cubed
  • 6 pieces of dried scallops
  • 2 cups of long-grain rice
  • 2 L of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Whatever toppings you want

The ingredients for the soup are: Dried scallops, skinny boneless pork cuts, long-grained rice, salt and water.  To start, I usually start with really lean cuts of pork from the butcher and then cut them into large chunks that don’t shrivel up too small in the congee, but are small enough that the flavours come out. You can blanch the pork if you want, but being this thin of a cut, I usually don’t.  I will however, salt the pork with about half a teaspoon of salt.

Begin to boil your water with cleaned rice. You can throw in the dried soaked scallops at this time, but the meat usually goes into the water when it boils.

Once the water boils, add in the fresh pork and let it boil on high for about 5 minutes and then reduce to a medium boil for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the bottom doesn’t stick and making sure it doesn’t boil over. At this time, I will transport the pot into my thermal cooker to let it bake some more. I also tend to add more water than normal because I like my congee watery!

 

The Kiddie Version

For the child with the stomach flu, this is what she got. Plain congee with some Japanese rice flavouring. She lapped it up, 3 bowls in a row. This is also why the extra water helps – get more liquid into her system.

Here’s my upgraded, “souped up”, adult version of the congee. It’s really a fabulous comfort food in that you can add anything like:

 

  • salted peanuts
  • pickled vegetables (like radishes, cucumbers)
  • kimchi
  • salted fish (Chinese-styled)
  • preserved black bean fish (Chinese-styled)
  • preserved and spicy tofu (foo-yu)
  • pork floss
  • egg
  • green onions or parsley
  • and the list goes on and on if you get creative enough

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Snow Pear and Dragon’s Eye Sweet Dessert Soup

Snow Pear and Dragon’s Eye Sweet Dessert Soup

Snow Pear and Dragon’s Eye Sweet Dessert Soup

Soup Name:

Snow Pear and Dragon’s Eye Sweet Dessert Soup

One day, in the thick of a winter evening, when all the children lay sleeping, I suddenly had this urge for something sweet, crunchy and hot.  No panic.  Taking a peek in the fridge, I found one giant snow pear staring at me. Perfect. This is how simple this dessert soup is and a majority of the other ingredients are primarily pantry items with a billion years shelf-life.  I personally love food with layers of texture and flavour and after twenty minutes, I was in bliss.

What’s involved?

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 15 mins

Total time: 25 mins

Serves: 4 bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 giant fresh snow pear (preferably the type with dark brown / orange skin), chunked
  • 1 tablespoon of dried longans (or dried dragon eyes)
  • 1 tablespoon of dried wolfberries
  • 1 1-inch diameter chunk of golden rock sugar
  • 1.5 L of water

Cooking Instructions

  1. Boil you soup water
  2. Cut up the snow pear into edible bite-sizes
  3. When the water boils, throw all the ingredients together
  4. Boil on high heat for 15 minutes
  5. Serve and enjoy hot!

The ingredients for the soup are:  1 large snow pear (preferably the sweeter kind with a thick, orange-brown skin), some dried longans (or dragon eyes), dried wolfberries, and rock sugar (adjusted to exactly the way you want).  I tend to use less sweet versions, so adjust accordingly!

The great thing about these massive Korean snow pears is that they produce a lot of fruit flesh.  Look at the giant mound of fruit!

The ingredients for the soup are:  1 large snow pear (preferably the sweeter kind with a thick, orange-brown skin), some dried longans (or dragon eyes), dried wolfberries, and rock sugar (adjusted to exactly the way you want).  I tend to use less sweet versions, so adjust accordingly!

The great thing about these massive Korean snow pears is that they produce a lot of fruit flesh.  Look at the giant mound of fruit!

 Boil on high heat for 15 minutes (or to the desired crunchiness of your snow pears) and adjust the sweetness as well. I prefer it less sweet, but depends on your sweet tooth.

Serve piping hot and enjoy!

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Chinese Red Bean Soup Dessert

Chinese Red Bean Soup Dessert

Soup Name: Chinese Red Bean Soup Dessert, Chinese Red Bean Soup, Red Bean Dessert, Red Bean Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:  紅豆沙 (hǒng dòu shā)

Introduction:
This is a traditional Chinese dessert and a popular dish among the Chinese. It can be eaten any day of the year, but does have special meaning during Chinese New Year’s (because of the red, added with glutinous rice balls filled with sweet black sesame!). This dessert can be served hot or cold and will vary in its content depending on the chef. The basic recipes really just calls for red beans, water and sugar, but many people will also add lotus seeds, black rice, glutinous rice balls and varying other ingredients to make it more rich and wholesome. Some people also will freeze the leftover dessert and make popsicles with them (Hong Kong actually carries this as a commercial dessert in super markets!).

 

Amount serves: 4 servings in 250mL bowls

 

What Ingredients are required?

200 g of dried red/azuki beans
30 g of dried lily blubs
50 g of dried lotus seeds
80 g of rock sugar
1 slice of dried tangerine peel
2-3 glutinous rice balls (per person) (optional)

2 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Soak the red beans in warm water for about 2 hours prior to cooking (this will soften them more)
  2. Soak the tangerine peel for 20 minutes (or until soft). Using a butter knife, scrape off the dark outside skin until all the brown portions have washed off under running water (this will help reduce the bitterness of the soup)
  3. Boil your soup water
  4. When water boils, add everything except the glutinous rice balls
  5. Boil on high heat for 30 minutes
  6. Reduce to a medium boil while covered for another hour (or until all the ingredients have softened to your liking)
  7. Add glutinous rice balls and boil for another 5 minutes
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Low in fat and a very tasty, healthy and protein rich sweet soup
  • It serves as a good dessert base (you can add other ingredients to customize it)
  • There is a good portion of fiber in the soup
  • Excellent source of antioxidants, magnesium, iron, potassium and zinc

Any precautions?

  • For those who have gout, consume with caution due to the amount of red beans used
  • Take caution when adding sugar to sweet soups (add less and you can always add more later if needed)
Chinese Red Bean Soup Dessert Ingredients

Starfish, Corn with Chinese Yam in Pork Broth

Starfish, Corn with Chinese Yam in Pork Broth

Starfish, Corn with Chinese Yam in Pork Broth

Starfish? WHAT? Yah… starfish. I knew that the Chinese used starfish in soups, but I had never actually seen where I could buy starfish, nor tried soups with starfish before.  I happened to venture to Lamma Island in Hong Kong one day and ta-da(!) I found some dried starfish! What was even more special was that the lady who sold them was so warm and welcoming that she talked and walked me through the whole process and which ingredients that could potentially go into the soup. In short, starfish soups are designed to remove internal heat, so supplemental ingredients should compliment this.  Big learning from me on this soup – while it’s nice to show all the ingredients in my photos, I wouldn’t necessarily scoop any starfish for the kids to see. I actually served only the broth to the family and everyone drank it.  See, this is what my Mom did to me when I was a kid and now I’m doing it to mine! My rebuttal is basically – it’s good for you! Don’t mind what’s inside!

Soup Name: Starfish, Corn with Chinese Yam in Pork Broth

Traditional Chinese Name:  海星玉米淮山湯 (hǎi xīng yù mǐ huái shān tāng)

To see the full recipe, scroll down to skip my commentary.

The ingredients for the soup are: Dried starfish (for this soup, I used 2 whole pieces), one piece of dried tangerine peel, a handful dried scallops, a 1-inch length of fresh ginger, 2 fresh corn, 3-foot long fresh Chinese Yam, and pork shank.

Dried starfish

Dried starfish

To start, soak the dried starfish, tangerine peel and scallops in cool water for about 15 minutes. This will soften the starfish and peel so that you can remove “stuff” from them. From the tangerine peel, you can scrape off the “peel” or darker side, which is quite bitter and will make your soup bitter. You can do this with a knife. The same actually goes for the starfish. Once its softened, scrape off the bottom-side of the “scales”. These are the little bumps that you can find on the underside. Once it’s scraped, it should look clean like the photo below. Cut the starfish into pieces that actually fit into your pot!

Cleanly scraped starfish

Cleanly scraped starfish

Next, in a separate pot of boiling water, add sliced ginger (save 1 to 2 slices for the soup) and the starfish together and boil for 5 minutes. This will blanch the starfish from impurities, but also will help remove some of the “fishiness”. Some people also pan fry with ginger to remove “fishiness” – this is particularly useful on fish.  Remove and set aside.

Blanching starfish in boiling water with fresh ginger

Blanching starfish in boiling water with fresh ginger

Drain the water and boil a small pot to blanch the pork shank. Another necessary step to remove the impurities, although pork shank doesn’t have as much gunk as pork bones or even pork marrow. This step does help remove some of the fat as well. You can begin to boil your soup water at this time.

You can also prepare your vegetables by chopping them up into large bite-sized pieces. For the Chinese Yam, WEAR GLOVES! If you read my post on preparation of Chinese Yam, this is called out. The skin of the Chinese Yam will make your hands very itchy if you come into contact with it, so be sure to wear gloves. When the soup water boils, throw everything in together (including the 2 pieces of ginger hanging around).

Starfish, Corn with Chinese Yam in pork broth

Starfish, Corn with Chinese Yam in pork broth

Boil on high for 30 minutes and then reduce to a medium boil for another 2 hours. This will really bring out the healing, heat-removal properties of the starfish. The ginger isn’t to counter the heat-removal, that’s why you add a tiny amount – it’s to reduce the “fishiness” of the soup.  Once boiled, taste and salt as needed. Then serve and enjoy!

Starfish, Corn with Chinese Yam in Pork Broth

Starfish, Corn with Chinese Yam in Pork Broth

 

Starfish, Corn with Chinese Yam in Pork Broth
Recipe Type: Soup
Cuisine: Chinese
Author: LadyTong
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 bowls
Ingredients
  • 2 dried starfish, soaked, cleaned and quartered
  • 2 [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/corn/”]fresh corn[/url], quartered
  • 3-foot long [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/chinese-yam-fresh/”]fresh Chinese Yam[/url], peeled and cut into 1-inch sections
  • 1-inch long piece of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/ginger-fresh/”]fresh ginger[/url], sliced
  • 1 piece of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/tangerine-peels-dried/”]dried tangerine peel[/url]
  • 1 tablespoon of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/scallops-dried-conpoy/”]dried scallops[/url] (or conpoys)
  • 1 pound of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/pork-shank/”]fresh pork shank[/url]
  • 2L of water
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Soak in cool water, the dried starfish, dried scallops and dried tangerine peel for 15 minutes
  2. Begin to prepare the corn by quartering it and the Chinese Yam, by peeling and cutting 1-inch long pieces (be sure to wear gloves)
  3. Using a sharp knife edge, scrape off the top-side (darker side) of the tangerine peel in running water (to remove more of the bitterness)
  4. Using a sharp knife edge, scrape off the underside of the starfish until all the little rivets are gone
  5. Cut the starfish into suitable sized pieces for your soup
  6. Thinly Slice your fresh ginger
  7. In a separate pot, boil enough water to cover the starfish and once it’s boiling, throw in the ginger (saving 1-2 pieces for the soup) and blanch the starfish on high heat for 5 minutes
  8. Remove the starfish and set aside
  9. In the same pot, boil enough water to cover your pork shank and blanch that on high heat for 5 minutes
  10. Remove the pork shank and set aside
  11. Boil your soup water
  12. Once the water boils, add all the ingredients together (including the remaining ginger). Boil on high heat for 30 minutes and reduce to a medium heat for 2 hours.
  13. Taste and salt as necessary
  14. Serve and enjoy!