How to make a Japanese-inspired Pork Meatball in Miso One Pot Dinner Soup

How to make a Japanese-inspired Pork Meatball in Miso One Pot Dinner Soup

How to make a Japanese-inspired Pork Meatball in Miso One Pot Dinner Soup

Soup Name:

Delicious One Pot Vegetable Vermicelli Soup for Dinner.  Literal translation from Chinese is “Mixed vegetables vermicelli pot soup”. 

For this one, I went with pork meatballs and a Miso butter soup base.

Traditional Chinese Name:

雜菜粉絲鍋湯 (zá cài fěnsī guō tāng)

Nature:  Neutral

Taste: Sweet and savory

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

 

For those days when you’re being time efficient…

The best thing about one-pot dinners is that it’s literally in one pot.  Cooked, served, cleaned!

Here’s the concept of the one-pot soup dinner.  You’ll need to design:

  • The soup base (see below for options)
  • The toppings

There are a variety of soup bases you can use for one-pot soup dinners:

 

Tonight’s dinner was DELICIOUS!  The meatballs were a nice added protein to the soup, topped with a silky tofu that everyone loved.  The green bean vermicelli functions as noodles, and there are plenty of green vegetables with the bean sprouts, napa cabbage, and broccoli.  So yummy!  We had enough for leftovers

What’s involved?

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 30 minutes 

Total time: 40 mins

Serves: 8 bowls

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of dried shrimp
  • 3 slices of fresh ginger
  • 1 pound of fresh ground pork
  • 1 bunch of fresh enoki mushrooms, diced
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 whole large napa cabbage, sliced
  • 1 head crown broccoli
  • 2 bundles of dried green bean vermicelli
  • 1 bunch of fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 pack of fresh soft silken tofu 
  • 10 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of miso paste
  • 1 teaspoon of butter
  • green onions for garnish

Cooking Instructions

  1. In a bowl, take out your dried green bean vermicelli and add in cold water, ensuring it’s completely covered and let it soak (to soften) – this step is optional and will just allow the vermicelli to cook faster.
  2. In your soup pot, add a bit of oil and pan fry the dried shrimp and fresh ginger slices on medium heat until fragrant and slightly golden brown
  3. Add in your 10 cups of soup water, cover, turn on to high heat and let that come to a boil
  4. In a separate bowl, mix in the ground pork, finely chopped enoki mushrooms, garlic salt, soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, and egg until fully combined.  Then roll out into 1.5 inch in diameter meatballs (or whatever size works for your family – huge meatballs are also fun, while baby ones are great for smaller kids).
  5. Once the soup water boils, drop in your meatballs gently into the boiling water and then cover and let that come to a boil again on high heat.
  6. Once the soup water is boiling, add in all the vegetables, stacking them gently into the water.
  7. You can also add in your vermicelli at this time, ensuring they are completely submerged into the soup water.
  8. Cover and allow that to boil on medium heat for 5 minutes.
  9. Gently layer on top the silken tofu.  This can actually rest on top of the vegetables and not be fully submerged.  When you cover it, it will be like steaming the tofu, so it will be cooked anyways.  Cover and boil for another 5 minutes.
  10. At this point, I will drop in my miso paste and butter and cover again for another 2 minutes on boiling.  This will allow the butter to melt and some of the miso to dissolve, but you can also swish it around before covering.
  11. Garnish with fresh green onions
  12. Serve and enjoy!

Tips for making this soup:

  • For a more neutral soup, use neutral vegetables (both in nature and in taste) such as leafy greens like napa cabbage, cabbage, broccoli, gai lan, choy sum
  • Vegetables such as watercress are more cooling and spinach as a particular unique taste that may throw off the soup
  • Add in a few Chinese herbs of choice that are slightly more warm (such as dried red dates, dried longans, even 1 piece of dong quai would be amazing!)
  • Chop your root vegetables thin like the potatoes and white radish.  It makes it easier to cook and eat.  This is literally a quick boil soup!  So you want your ingredients to cook quickly and thoroughly.
  • Get creative with the vegetable base!
  • Vermicelli and vegetables go last.  They cook really fast!

For videos, visit us on YouTube. 

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Simple Ground Beef Congee for Sick Tummies…

Simple Ground Beef Congee for Sick Tummies…

Simple Ground Beef Congee for Sick Tummies…

Soup Name: Simple Ground Beef Congee

Traditional Chinese Name: 碎牛肉粥 (suì niú ròu zhōu)

Taste:  Savory

Nature: Slightly warm

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

My youngest, this morning, woke up and told me her stomach wasn’t feeling well.  I usually keep frozen ground beef in meal portions in the freezer, so it was easy to take one pack out and defrost for this easy congee meal!  

My basic Chinese kitchen pantry also has dried conpoy as a staple and I usually do also keep dried shrimp on the side (which are great additions to Chinese dishes such as stir fry and steamed dishes).  

 

OH THE TOPPINGS!

The amazing thing about plain congee is how you can have a host of toppings available for any taste, condition, discerning critic (or congee food taster)!

Here are some of the interesting ones I’m using today:

 

  • Preserved sweet and sour cucumbers (these come in jars which you can purchase in the supermarket).  They are slightly sweet and slightly tart and super appetizing with rice or congee!
  • Dried seaweed.  Adds a bit of savory crunch!
  • Kimchi.  I know, it’s not very Chinese of me, but I couldn’t help myself!  It was calling to me!
  • Preserved savory olives.  This is a very Chiu Chou-styled topping and is commonly served with plain white congee.  It’s part of my Chiu Chou background that I have jars and jars of these in my pantry!
  • Sesame seeds – both black and white.  This is a great warming ingredient that is both flavourful and adds a different texture!
  • Sesame oil – drizzle a small portion on top and it makes the congee extra fragrant!
  • Fresh green onions.  A staple topping that provides a fresh twist! 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 30 mins+

Total time: 35 mins+

Serves: 6 bowls

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of white rice (my kids like using sushi rice for congee sometimes or I blend long grain and sushi rice)

  • 8 cups of water

  • 10 small dried scallops or conpoys

  • 10 dried shrimp
  • 250g of lean ground beef

  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of white pepper
  • sliced ginger optional
  • fresh green onions optional
  • Your fine selection of congee toppings (I have many in my pantry and fridge just because that’s how I roll)

Cooking Instructions

  1. Add a bit of cooking oil to your cooking pot and fry on medium heat ginger, dried scallops and shrimp, until slightly browned
  2. Add in ground beef and stir fry until cooked
  3. Add in 2 cups of white rice and stir until mixed
  4. Pour in water
  5. Cover and bring to a full boil and then reduce heat to medium for another 30 minutes or until rice soft and mushy
  6. Add in salt and white pepper, garnish and serve!

EQUIPMENT USED

To answer your questions on what equipment I'm using, I've built a section here where you can find and explore what I'm using to make soups.  Ingredients are a little harder, but I will do my best as I source them around.  However, you can always message me on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or Facebook, and I will reply and try to point you in some direction!  

A great help for fish or small bones in soups, including small ingredients such as barley, fox nuts, spices just to keep everything together.

A MUST HAVE in the kitchen!  Energy saving, cost effective, and perfect for busy chefs!  Check out my article here that explains it.

Another MUST HAVE in the kitchen for soups!  It's so fine that it will scoop off the top oil and foam layer when using meats in your soup!

I use these types of stove top safe tea pots to make most of my herbal teas!

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Warming Sweet Yam with Ginger and Red Dates Dessert Soup

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Warming Sweet Yam with Ginger and Red Dates Dessert Soup

Soup Name:

Warming Sweet Yam with Ginger and Red Dates Dessert Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:

蕃薯糖水 (gān shǔ táng shuǐ)

Nature:  Warming

Taste: Sweet

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

 

Tips for an amazing sweet yam and ginger dessert soup:

 

  • I tend to use smaller cuts of sweet yam, about 1-inch cubes, because they are bite-sized and cook faster
  • Adjust your ginger accordingly.  The more you put in, the spicier it becomes.  When my girls were small children, I’d put less ginger, but now that they’re practically adults, I load on the ginger, especially during the winter and after their periods
  • Adjust your sugar as well based on taste.  You can also use brown sugar or cane sugar.  I’m not a fan of white processed sugar for this type of dessert soup because it doesn’t have that rich, golden flavour that the rock or cane sugar offers.
  • This dessert soup can keep in the fridge for a few days.  Just re-boil and serve and it’s just as delicious!

This sweet dessert is traditional to Hong Kong and the Chinese.  Literally, in Cantonese it means “Sweet Potato Sugar Water”. The simplest form of it is found here, although variations can have different herbs and ingredients that make it far more unique.  It is a warm and heaty dessert (especially if you use more ginger) and said to be extremely nourishing and helps removes toxins.  I enjoy this dessert all year round and my children especially love it.  Keep the sugar and ginger content low if intended for children.

What’s involved?

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 35 mins

Serves: 6 bowls

Ingredients
  • 2-3 medium sized sweet potatoes (can use any variety of sweet potatoes) – for this one, I went with the harder orange variety.  The skin and flesh are both orange.
  • 10 thin slices of ginger
  • 5 dried red dates, halved and cored
  • rock sugar (adjust accordingly to taste)
  • 2 L of water
Cooking Instructions
  1. Start boiling your soup water
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into bite-sized cubes
  3. Slice ginger thinly (with or without skin) and drop into your soup
  4. Add in the dried red dates
  5. Cover and boil on medium for 30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft. I will use a chopstick to poke them, usually around 15 minutes on high heat will suffice.
  6. Add in your rock sugar and adjust taste accordingly.  I don’t like it overly sweet, so it’s really based on personal preference!
  7. Serve and enjoy!

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Double-boiled Healing and Warming Chicken and Ginger with Red Dates Chinese Herbal Soup

Double-boiled Healing and Warming Chicken and Ginger with Red Dates Chinese Herbal Soup

Double-boiled Healing and Warming Chicken and Ginger with Red Dates Chinese Herbal Soup

Soup Name:

Double-boiled Healing and Warming Chicken and Ginger with Red Dates Chinese Herbal Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:

炖雞湯 (dun jī tāng).  This is the most generic soup name for a double-boiled soup (炖) chicken soup.  In general, when you use this term, it’s recognized as a healing, warm Chinese chicken soup, although the herbs may vary.  These are normally dense, highly flavourful, and packed with healing properties.

Nature:  Very warm

Taste: Sweet

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

 

Why the double-boil?

Double-boiling is a common cooking method in Chinese soups, usually reserved for richer, deeper flavoured soups with more herbs and density in its nutrition.  It is served in smaller portions and normally contains chicken (and sometimes pork with the chicken) to enhance its flavour and density.  The idea of double-boiling is to allow a gentle heat without the velocity and bubbling of the liquid to disturb a gentle “coaxing” of the flavours out.  It’s a very deliberate (and long) way of cooking as most double-boiled soups require at least 3 hours of boiling. 

Double-boiling itself will require a little more equipment instead of just one pot.  The double-boil is actually a pot within a pot.  The inner pot is usually made of clay, glass, or ceramic – something that’s NOT metal.  The outer pot can be anything that can hold the inner pot within it and enough water to cover at least half of the bottom of the pot.  What happens is the heat of the water then heats up the inner pot, which gently cooks the contents of the soup.  It will also never reach boiling within the inner pot because of heat transfer dynamics (oh, here we go again with thermodynamics).

What’s involved?

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 3 hours 

Total time: 3 mins 15 mins

Serves: 4 bowls

Ingredients

  • 500 g of chicken breast (keep whole)
  • 10 whole dried red dates (pitted)
  • 10 slices of fresh ginger
  • 7-8 cups of cold water (average is 2 cups per bowl if you’re making individual portions)

Cooking Instructions

  1. In your outer pot, fill with enough water to cover up to 3/4 of your inner pot in height (to maximize the surface area of heat that the inner pot is boiling in).  You don’t want the water to be boiling inside and spilling into the inner pot though, so this will take some experimentation with your equipment. 
  2. Begin to boil your outer pot on high heat while you prepare your inner pot
  3. Add in the chicken breast (whole), sliced ginger, and red dates and cold water
  4. Cover the inner pot and lower into your outer pot (doesn’t matter if it’s boiling or not).  I will lower it in before it boils actually as it’s easier, but some people do say to put it in boiling water.  You can read this exploratory article on whether to use hot or cold water for blanching meats to read the science behind it for meats. 
  5. Turn the heat up until the outer water begins to boil softly and keep it at the temperature for the next 3 hours.  You can check on the water to see if it it needs refill, making sure it remains 3/4 covering the inner pot for maximum cooking effectiveness.
  6. Once that’s done, you can scoop from the inner pot and serve and enjoy!  

The back story to this specific soup is that it was designed to:

  • Increase yang deficiency and rebalance the body
  • Warm the body and improve blood and Qi flow
  • Support older women and men to harmonize yin and yang in the body (especially women 40+ and men 50+)
  • Reduce stress and relax the shen (spirit) 

 You can explore this article on “what it means to have cold hands and feet” and how this soup can help!

 

Would love to hear if you have any further suggestions and thoughts in the comments below!

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GIVE YOUR LOVE OF SOUP.

FOLLOW US AND SHARE.

Hong Kong Styled Russian Borscht Soup

Hong Kong Styled Russian Borscht Soup

Hong Kong Styled Russian Borscht Soup

Soup Name:

Hong Kong Styled Russian Borscht (with oxtail)

Traditional Chinese Name:

羅宋湯 (luó sòng tāng)

Nature:  Warming

Taste: Savory, sweet, and slightly sour

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

 

Did you know the secret ingredient to an HK-styled Russian Borscht is Worcestershire sauce (and some lemon juice)?

Falling off the bone oxtail?

Soft delicious veggies?

Savory and a hint of tart delicious broth?

Yes, the Hong Kong Styled Russian Borscht is a classically adopted fusion soup that is very different and uniquely different to the traditional European borscht (no beetroots or cream).  Instead, it’s a tomato based beef broth and a range of choice vegetables diced small. 

I love the subtle tart flavours of the soup, but yet incredibly savory and hearty.  This soup indeed eats like a meal!

What’s involved?

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 120 minutes 

Total time: 150 mins

Serves: 8 bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 full oxtail
  • Optional pieces of beef flank
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and largely cubed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and largely cubed
  • 2 celery stalks, peeled and largely cubed2 tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, slicked thin
  • 3 dried dates
  • Fresh green onions

Flavouring

  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1 lemon
  • 5 dried bay leaves
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons or Worcestershire sauce
  • 11-12 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Cooking Instructions

  1. In your soup pot, with a bit of oil on med heat, pan fry the garlic cloves and oxtails until golden brown and fragrant (they smell so good!).  I don’t blanch and will do this instead.
  2. Add the cubed beef flanks and potatoes, allowing them to also brown nicely
  3. Add in your soup water, about 11-12 cups of water and turn on high heat
  4. I will then drop in my vegetables, tomatoes, celery, onion, carrots, and the dried dates
  5. Cover and let it come to a full boil, then reduce to med heat for another 1.5 hours
  6. Here you can now add in the flavouring of the soup (this is what really makes it distinct as a the HK-styled Russian Borscht)
  7. I will also throw in the cabbage
  8. Cover and let that simmer for another 30 minutes
  9. Garnish with fresh green onions, serve, and enjoy!

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Healing Chinese Chicken Herbal Soup with Fish Maw

Healing Chinese Chicken Herbal Soup with Fish Maw

Healing Chinese Chicken Herbal Soup with Fish Maw

Soup Name:

Healing Chinese Chicken Herbal Soup with Fish Maw

Traditional Chinese Name:

花膠雞湯 (huā jiāo jī tāng)

Nature:  Warming

Taste: Sweet and savory

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

 

The star of this soup is FISH MAW.  This takes collagen to the next level! 

This soup is packed with natural collagens that help retain moisture, firmness, and bounce in the skin.

To make this soup, you’ll need to plan it a few days in advance because of the fish maw preparation.  I would suggest allowing 2-4 days to fully hydrate your dried fish maw.  This depends on the size and quality of the fish maw.

A few tips for preparing your fish maw:

  • I like soaking them in a glass bowl.  That way, I can see it in the fridge when I open and close the fridge door as it soaks.  You can check for murky water, spots on the fish maw, and generally that it’s soaking cleanly as it should.
  • I use tap water (in Canada), although some people recommend using cold boiled water as it’s cleaner
  • After they’ve soaked, I will also flash blanch them in boiling hot water (after the water boils with my blanching chicken since I’m blanching anyways)
  • Cut the fish maw after soaking them.  They’ll be sufficiently soft.

 

What makes this soup amazing?

  • For starters, it’s collagen packed!  Interesting fact though is that fish skin has more collagen than fish maw (according to this one study [source 1])!!!  I guess I’m going back to fish skin as an ingredient as it’s also way cheaper!
  • You don’t need salt or any other flavoring for this soup.  Don’t even think about adding chicken broth (I usually don’t for Chinese soups)!
  • This is a great soup base for other vegetables or additives should you choose to embark on this mission.
  • It’s a hearty soup which can double as a meal (just add rice!)
  • It’s PERFECT for postpartum, as it’s a warm soup with healing ingredients.

For videos, visit us on YouTube. 

What’s involved?

Pre-work: 2-4 days to soak & hydrate the fish maw

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 120 minutes 

Total time: 150 mins

Serves: 8 bowls

Ingredients

Cooking Instructions

  1. With the pre-soaked and re-hydrated fish maw, I will remove them from the fridge, strain out the water, and slice into 1-inch thick pieces (or however you’d like to eat them basically)
  2. At this time, you can prepare your chicken however you’d like.  I usually save the 2 breasts for a meal, keeping only the bones and thighs and feet.  
  3. In a separate blanching pot with cold water, add in as much water to fully cover the chicken and 2 slices of fresh ginger and add in your fresh chicken (there is much debate about whether to blanch in cold or hot water, but I have found it!  Incoming post!).  Use high heat to bring to a full boil.  You’ll begin to see the foam, debris, blood, and bones surface.  Just be careful it doesn’t overboil!
  4. As your blanching water comes to a boil, flash boil your sliced fish maw by dropping them in and fishing them out right away(just to be sure all the impurities are boiled out)
  5. At this point you can set your blanching pot aside and strain
  6. In your soup pot, add a teaspoon of oil and panfry a few slices of ginger with your fresh (or defrosted) abalone on med heat until they are golden brown.
  7. I will also throw in largely cut potatoes at this time and brown them a bit as well.
  8. Add your soup water and turn this on high heat
  9. Then add in the rest of the ingredients:  dried red dates, dried longans, dried sugar dates, dried Chinese Yam (or fresh), and dried scallops.  Cover and continue to boil on high heat for 30 minutes.  Once this is bubbling along nicely, I’ll reduce to a med high boil, still covered. 
  10. Boil for another 1.5 hours.
  11. At this point, you can drop in your prepared fish maw and let that boil for another 30 minutes on med high heat.
  12. Serve and enjoy!
  1. Cruz-López, Honorio et al. “Comparison of collagen characteristic from the skin and swim bladder of Gulf corvina (Cynoscion othonopterus).” Tissue & cell vol. 72 (2021): 101593. doi:10.1016/j.tice.2021.101593

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