How to make a delicious Cantonese-styled Tomato Fish Soup (with vegetables)

How to make a delicious Cantonese-styled Tomato Fish Soup (with vegetables)

How to make a delicious Cantonese-styled Tomato Fish Soup (with vegetables)

Soup Name: Cantonese-styled Tomato Fish Soup (with vegetables)

Traditional Chinese Name: 番茄魚湯 (fān qié yú tāng). The literal translation of this is Tomato Fish Soup. However, this is such a generic name for the soup base (consisting usually of fish and tomatoes), but the soup also usually has other vegetables such as potatoes, which are most common.

Nature:  Slightly cooling (due to the seafood, but I’ve added both ginger and red dates to warm it slightly)

Taste: Sweet and savory

(You can read this article on the impact on your body of different food tastes!)

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

This soup eats like a meal!  So you can serve it with rice or noodles for a complete, health, meal for the whole family!

I did my first LIVE production (on YouTube instead of Instagram) and this is the condensed version of it with narration.

You can watch the full soup production here.

The soup design is simple. The soup base is basically ginger, fish (the freshest ones I could find at the supermarket), and tomatoes.  I then added vegetables that compliment this type of soup such as potatoes, celery, white onions, leeks.  You could add your choice of vegetables as well with the condition that it’s really designed as a quick-boil (and not a long boil).  A quick boil Chinese soup tends to be about an hour max on boil. 

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 90 mins

Total time: 120 mins

Serves: 6 large bowls

Ingredients
  • Your choice of fresh fish.  I like red snappers, small fish are also good. Fish heads like salmon or carp are also nice.  Experiment, try, taste!
  • 5 slices of fresh ginger
  • 1 fresh white onion, peeled and largely sliced
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and largely sliced
  • 4 stalks of celery, deveined and largely sliced
  • 4 fresh tomatoes, quartered
  • 10 dried baby scallops
  • 5 dried red dates
  • 10 cups of water

Prep Instructions

  1. You can follow along in the YouTube video as well.
  2. I will first prep my fish.  This includes descaling (whatever remains from the fish butcher) and thoroughly cleaning the stomachs.  I’ll use a flat knife to remove any extra internals and wash the insides and outsides.  If I’m steaming, I will use a bit of salt to rub the stomach clean and do a full deep cleaning.  The stomach is the bitter part of the fish and if not cleaned properly, you can taste it! I won’t cut off the fins for soup as it’s all going in together.
  3. Half the fish for easier frying and so that it fits into the fish soup bag.
  4. In your soup pot on medium heat, add some oil and fresh ginger.  Once that is warm, pan fry your fish until it’s beautifully browned on both sides.
  5. Using a clean fish soup bag, add your whole fish into it and pull the strings and seal. Set that aside for later.
  6. In the same pot, add white onions and prepared potatoes.
  7. On medium heat still, you’ll want to brown both of these nicely, tossing as needed as not to burn any of them.
  8. I will also add in the leeks and dried scallops at this time to blend the flavors.
  9. Once the scallops, onions, potatoes, and leeks are browned, put your fish (in the soup bag) back into the bottom of the pot.
  10. Add you in dried red dates.
  11. Add your water to ensure everything is fully covered.
  12. Cover and allow that to come to a full boil.
  13. Once the soup fully boils, add in the tomatoes and celery.
  14. Cover again and let that boil for an hour.
  15. Salt, serve and enjoy!

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Strengthen spleen and remove dampness with this warming Chinese herbal tea

Strengthen spleen and remove dampness with this warming Chinese herbal tea

Strengthen spleen and remove dampness with this warming Chinese herbal tea

Tea Name: Spleen strengthening damp removing herbal tea

Traditional Chinese Name: 健脾祛濕茶 (jiàn pí qū shī chá) – direct translation here is “spleen strength remove damp” tea.  This is also quite a generic name in terms of the function of the tea rather than the ingredients and variations of this exist, it just depends on what herbs are being used.

Nature:  Slightly warming

Taste: Sweet and slightly bitter

(You can read this article on the impact on your body of different food tastes!)

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

It’s quite common to consume damp reducing teas and soups in the Spring in Traditional Chinese Medicine and in Asia.  

What’s involved?

Prep time: 2 mins

Cook time: 5 mins

Total time: 7 mins

Serves: 1 cup

Ingredients
    Cooking Instructions
    1. In a cup, add all the ingredients together. 
    2. You can use a disposable tea bag to keep all the ingredients together.  This is because the barley will float and sometimes get in the way! 
    3. Add in boiling water, cover, and steep for 5 minutes
    4. Serve and enjoy!
    Any benefits?
    • This tea is slightly warming and ideal to keep the body warm (which is ideal to support replenishing Qi) with the red dates, astragalus root, and tangerine peel
    • The astragalus root and red dates help replenish Qi in the body
    • This tea is diuretic, meaning it helps dispel water from the body, supported by the barley and the mulberry root (which helps with urination and reduced swelling from water)
    • You can drink this daily
    • It is ideal for the whole family

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    How to make fragrant salted egg soup base with vermicelli, tofu, and napa cabbage

    How to make fragrant salted egg soup base with vermicelli, tofu, and napa cabbage

    How to make fragrant salted egg soup base with vermicelli, tofu, and napa cabbage

    Soup Name: Fragrant salted egg soup base with vermicelli and napa cabbage (optional vegetarian-styled)

    Traditional Chinese Name: 鹹蛋集菜 (xián dàn jí cài tāng) – direct translation here is “salty egg vegetable soup”.

    Nature:  Neutral

    Taste: Salty and sweet

    (You can read this article on the impact on your body of different food tastes!)

    For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

    Salted duck eggs were for sale at the supermarket!

    And I haven’t had them for awhile, so what better way to use a whole bunch as a soup base?

    Part of the reason to mash up the salted duck eggs is so that it blends directly into the soup (so the kids can’t see it- lol).  The salted duck eggs create a flavorful, smooth, and milky broth (because they are pretty salty and the egg yolk dissolves).

    This makes for a great soup base so you can add other ingredients on top for a delicious quick boil soup for dinner!

     

    What’s involved?

    Prep time: 10 mins

    Cook time: 25 mins

    Total time: 35 mins

    Serves: 6 bowls

    Ingredients
    • 2 cooked salted duck eggs
    • 3 pieces of garlic, diced
    • 1 fresh whole onion, diced
    • 2 fresh napa cabbage
    • 1 block of soft tofu
    • 2 bunches of dried green bean vermicelli
    • fresh green onions
    • 2 medium sized fresh octopus (optional, I used this as a topping which I pan fried separately in the end.  This just helped keep the soup from tasting a bit fishy)
    • 2 L of water (or 10 cups)
      Cooking Instructions
      1. In your soup pot with a bit of oil, add in your diced onions and garlic and fry on medium heat until slightly browned.
      2. Peel your salted duck eggs and drop into your soup pot.  Using a heat resistant silicon spatula, break up the salted duck eggs into small pieces, especially the egg white.  The yolk itself will begin to melt and this is perfect!
      3. Once most of the eggs are broken up into small pieces, add in your soup water (10 cups).
      4. Cover and allow that to boil on medium heat for 10 minutes.
      5. Add in your chopped napa cabbage and vermicelli.  Be sure to push the vermicelli down into the soup to allow that to be fully covered.  Cover and allow that to boil for 10 minutes.
      6. I’ll then add in the fresh tofu directly on top.  Cover and boil for 5 minutes.  The tofu cooks really fast!
      7. Flavor as needed. I just added a bit of soy sauce and salt, but you can additional add in another 2 fresh duck eggs, halved, so that you can fish them out and eat them with rice!
      8. Serve and enjoy!
      9. I separately fried the fresh octopus because I didn’t want the fishy taste of the octopus in the soup and the family could eat it as a topping with the vermicelli soup dinner!

      Why I love this soup!

      • There are so many reasons that this is absolutely an amazing soup that I will continue to make more of going forward!  It’s quick, easy-to-make, and you don’t need a lot of ingredients.
      • You can’t even taste the salted duck eggs unless you really knew what you were looking for!  It’s smooth, even, and milky in texture and absolutely delicious!
      • LOL, yes, I love my fun salt star wand.  Now I am a fairy… I’ve been using this thing for all my cooking now!  You can also put garlic salt or pepper into these things.  So cute!  So fun!

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      • Some or all of these links may contain Amazon product referral links; as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. If you decide to use them, I would be grateful. If not, I am always thankful for your continued support! ❤️

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      How to make a simple, delicious radish seaweed soup!

      How to make a simple, delicious radish seaweed soup!

      How to make a simple, delicious radish seaweed soup!

      Soup Name: Radish (Kombu) Seaweed Soup (vegetarian)

      Chinese Name: 白蘿蔔海藻湯 (bái luóbo hǎi zǎo tāng).  This isn’t really a Chinese soup.  It’s more a blend of using Japanese and Korean radish and kombu (seaweed) components.

      Nature: This is a cooling soup.  By design, the ingredients are quite cooling in the white radish and seaweed (you can follow this post on what ingredients are cooling or warming for soups)

      Taste: Slightly sweet and savory

      For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

       

      The best are the most simplest of soups!

      This is a Japanese-styled white radish and kombu (seaweed) soup which I used as part of dinner.  It’s simple, it’s clean, and it’s meat-free, but still has a delicious umami taste (created by the seaweed and mushrooms).  So it’s both vegan and vegetarian!

      I love that it’s very much like home.  It feels and tastes like home.  And it can be served with a variety of carbs and toppings or you can drink it clean.

       

      What’s involved?

      Prep time: 15 mins

      Cook time: 30 minutes 

      Total time: 45 mins

      Serves: 8 large bowls

      Ingredients

      • 1 whole white radish, thinly sliced
      • 1 whole piece of dried seaweed kelp
      • 1 whole white onion, quartered
      • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
      • fresh green onions
      • 13 cups or 2.5 L of water 
      • salt and sesame oil to taste

      For my dinner:

      • rice cakes
      • fresh enoki mushrooms
      • fish cakes 

      Cooking Instructions

      1. In your soup pot, add in your sliced white onions and dried seaweed kelp
      2. Add in your soup water and cover
      3. Set this on high heat and allow that to come to a boil
      4. During this time, I will also drop in my fresh green onions (cut larger so that I can fish them out later), white radish (sliced very thinly), and dried shiitake mushrooms
      5. Cover and bring this to a full boil and reduce to medium heat and allow that to simmer for another 30 minutes
      6. Taste and salt as needed
      7. You can add this to noodles, rice, or rice cakes!  Top with your favourite toppings.  Serve and enjoy!

      There are many soups that use dried seaweed kelp and white radish!

      This soup is very similar to my Korean Dashi soup base, which you can add other ingredients to, although this one has dried anchovies, which also creates a different flavor and taste.

      I am a big fan of this simple taste base… the seaweed and white radish! 

      Would love to see your other suggestions on what you create here! 

       

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      GIVE YOUR LOVE OF SOUP.

      FOLLOW US AND SHARE.

      How to make a Chicken and Coconut Chinese Herbal Soup (as frozen packs)

      How to make a Chicken and Coconut Chinese Herbal Soup (as frozen packs)

      How to make a Chicken and Coconut Chinese Herbal Soup (as frozen packs)

      Soup Name: Warming Chicken and Coconut Chinese Healing Soup (as frozen soup packs)

      Traditional Chinese Name: 椰子雞湯 (yē zi jī tāng)

      Nature:  Warming

      Taste: Sweet

      You can follow this video first on “How to make Frozen Chinese Soups in bulk“.

       

      The business case for making frozen soup packs in bulk!

      This use case continues to amaze me!  Literally, this morning, I was like “I feel like soup” and I took out another one of these soup packs (this one to be precise because I made extra for me and my pescatarian friend) and tossed it into the rice cooker, topped up with water, added a few red dates and an hour later, had soup ready for lunch and dinner.

      To start, I did a survey when I first initially created these for friends and the time saving is phenomenal.

      On average, it takes someone 2-3 hours of time to make a Chinese soup (beginning to end with checking). Compared to using frozen premade soup packs using a rice cooker, it takes 5 minutes of work (and then 60 mins of no supervision) with an upfront investment of 2-3 hours to make 6 soup packs.  So on average, you are saving 14 hours of time over 6 soups.  The math isn’t perfect, but this was my best estimate based on answers from friends.  That’s HUGE!

        This soup is similar to a Warming Chicken and Coconut Herbal (Healing) Chinese Soup that I also made into frozen soup packs (except used corn as well).

        This soup pack is smaller than my average ones because I don’t have as many vegetables, and yet it packs the same delicious punch of all my soups!  

        If you have a wet vacuum sealing kit, you can consider adding the coconut water as well, which makes it deliciously sweet!  I ended up adding my coconut water into the fresh soup I was also making parallel to the frozen kits.

        Chicken and coconuts are great pairs in taste and a traditional soup in Cantonese soup repertoire.  It is often found served in Chinese restaurants and commonly made in Chinese households (especially in Hong Kong).

         

        What’s involved?

        Prep time: 60 mins

        Cook time: no cook time when preparing soup packs, but if I do cook 1 frozen soup pack in a rice cooker, takes about 60 mins

        Serves: 6 frozen soup packs (each with 2 servings) 

        Ingredients

        Note that this portioning makes 1 frozen pack of soup (that serves 2 people)

         

        • 1/4 rounded brown coconut flesh
        • 1/2 full chicken thigh
        • 5 frozen (or fresh or prepackaged chestnuts)
        • 6 dried red dates
        • 6 dried longans
        • 6 dried baby scallops
        • 6 dried wolfberries (or goji berries)
        • 1 sealable vacuum soup bag

        Preparing the soup packs

        1. Prepare your chicken thighs by cutting them smaller pieces
        2. In a shallow pan, you can pan fry the chicken on medium heat allowing the outsides to fully brown (there is a warning here that the chicken may not be fully cooked)
        3. If you’re using dried scallops, you can also optionally pan fry them on low heat with a bit of oil until they are golden brown to create a more fragrant taste
        4. Poke a hole and drain your coconut (you can watch this video on “How to prepare coconuts for Chinese soups
        5. Using a hammer in a safe place, break open the coconut and extract the flesh (I use these crab or seafood eating tools)
        6. Also measure out all the Chinese herbs into separate bowls, that way it’s much easier to distribute as you make your soup packs.
        7. Using your soup bags, stack your ingredients starting with the meat first and then I will sprinkle the herbs around the gaps in between and then the coconut on top, sliding them in between spaces as well
        8. Using your vacuum sealer, seal each pack and then freeze immediately for usage later.

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        How to make a vegetable tomato based soup (with macaroni)

        How to make a vegetable tomato based soup (with macaroni)

        How to make a vegetable tomato based soup (with macaroni)

        Soup Name:

        Vegetable Tomato Soup

        Traditional Chinese Name:

        集菜番茄湯 (jí cài fānqié tāng).  This is a very Cantonese label of this soup.  The basic translation of this is just “vegetable tomato soup” and the vegetable translation is often used for simple soup of vegetables, even if there is meat.  It’s not necessarily a vegetarian soup, but a soup that has vegetables.

        Nature: Neutral, although the addition of ginger, red dates, and longans will warm it slightly, but it nicely balanced by the cooler celery.  Overall, this is quite a neutral soup that is perfect for the whole family.

        Taste: Sweet and sour

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        Re-creation of the Heinz’s Vegetable ABC Soup (for dinner)

        Here’s how you can make a homemade version of the Heinz’s Vegetable ABC Soup.  

        My family love this soup!  I love this soup!  In fact, I have fond memories of trying to find letters in the soup to spell words with them!  Although, my recent observation is that the letters seem more sparse than when I consumed this as a child!

        Regardless, I’ve also put my on Chinese twist on it by adding a few choice herbs (such as red dates and longans) and Worchester sauce (because it reminds me of the HK-styled Russian Borscht).  However, I would encourage you to taste test this as you go along and make it your own and ultimately, perhaps a family favourite! 

        What’s involved?

        Prep time: 15 mins

        Cook time: 30 minutes 

        Total time: 45 mins

        Serves: 8 large bowls

        Ingredients

        • 4 fresh potatoes, peeled and cubed
        • 3 stalks of fresh celery, deveined and cubed
        • 3 medium fresh carrots, peeled and cubed
        • 1 white fresh onion, peeled and cubed
        • 1 whole garlic, cloved (or diced optional)
        • 2 medium fresh tomatoes, cubed
        • 3 medium fresh corn, shucked
        • 1 small can of tomato paste (156 mL can is enough)
        • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
        • 5 tablespoons of white sugar (or taste for your personal preference on tartness of the soup)
        • 2 tablespoons of Worchester sauce
        • optional garlic salt to taste
        • 10 cups or 2 L of water (will yield 8 large bowls)

        Cooking Instructions

        1. In your soup pot, add a bit of oil and fry the diced garlic and onions on medium heat until browned.  Add in diced potatoes and also brown them until relatively crispy.
        2. Add you in water and allow that to come to a full boil covered on high heat.
        3. I will then drop in all my cut vegetables, including the chestnuts and any other herbal additives that you’d like.  For today’s soup, I added in frozen chestnuts, dried red dates and longans and let that boil for another 10 minutes to soften all the ingredients.
        4. Once that comes to a full boil, I will add in my flavorings, this includes the tomato paste, maple syrup, sugar, Worchester sauce, and salt and allow that to mix and continue to boil covered for another 10 minutes.  
        5. Don’t forget to taste test!  The tartness, tanginess, savory, sweet are all quite personal since they all coexist together!  Add more or less sugar if it’s too tart, add more salt if it’s not savory enough.  This is because the tomato paste can be quite sour.
        6. Cover and boil on medium high for another 10 minutes or until all the ingredients are completely soft.  They should soften quite quickly because the ingredients are cut quite small.
        7. Garnish with fresh green onions or chives or parsley, serve and enjoy!  You can serve with your favourite carbs, like rice, noodles, or pasta!

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