White Radish with Mushrooms and Vermicelli in Chicken Soup

White Radish with Mushrooms and Vermicelli in Chicken Soup

White Radish with Mushrooms and Vermicelli in Chicken Soup

Soup Name:

White radish with mushrooms and vermicelli in Chicken Soup

Chinese Name:

白蘿蔔冬菇粉絲雞湯 (bái luóbo dōng gū fěn sī jī tāng)

 

For more videos, visit us on YouTube.

Sometimes, I want something relatively easy and quick to whip up all in one-pot!  Make a bit of rice or noodles on the side and serve up this dish as a meal for your family.

This soup has got a healthy selection of protein and packs a volume of vegetables.  You can design the vegetable of your choice, and my family loves to eat siu choy (or napa cabbage), but normal cabbage, lettuce, also go well.

You can also be selective in your mushrooms.  I kind of just went with a whole bunch of fresh mushrooms from the supermarket such as fresh oyster, brown, and shiitake mushrooms.  Dried mushrooms also work well, but do need more time to rehydrate.   

What’s involved?

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 45 mins

Serves: 6 bowls

Ingredients
  • 3 chicken thighs
  • 1 whole white radish, peeled, cubed
  • mushroom selection (your choice, I went with fresh oyster mushrooms, fresh brown mushrooms, and fresh shiitake mushrooms)
  • 3 dried shiitake mushrooms (for flavour)
  • 1 pack of dried vermicelli
  • 2 small napa cabbage (or vegetable of choice) – something with a lighter taste (so the whiter / paler the vegetable is better)
  • 1 tablespoon of dried conpoys
  • 1 tablespoon of dried longans
  • 1 tablespoon of white miso paste
  • 3-4 L of water

 

Cooking Instructions
  1. Soak the vermicelli in cool water for at least 10 minutes
  2. Chop chicken into large pieces and in a shallow pan fry skin down (no oil as needed as a lot of the fat will be rendered out).  Fry on medium heat for 5-7 minutes, flipping as it browns.  The chicken doesn’t need to be thoroughly cooked as it will be going into the soup anyways, you just want the edges to be a nice golden brown with a crust.
  3. Boil your soup water.
  4. Peel and chop white radish into cubes.  Size is up to you depending on how much time you have.  The less time, the smaller the pieces should be.
  5. When the soup water boils, throw in the pan-fried chicken thighs and white radish and boil on high for 10 minutes
  6. You can drop in the dried mushrooms, conpoys, and dragon eyes (in this case, I don’t rehydrate the mushrooms as they need a good hour sometimes, so dropping them in directly is OK)
  7. Cut up your napa cabbage in small pieces and drop into your soup, along with your selection of mushrooms
  8. Continue to boil for 10 minutes on medium heat
  9. Drop in 1 tablespoon of white miso and stir it around to make sure it’s dissolved.
  10. Finally drop in the hydrated vermicelli and boil for another 10 minutes on medium heat, covered.
  11. Top with chopped green onions or cilantro for taste.
  12. Serve and enjoy!  You can add rice or noodles as part of the meal.

Some time saving tips!

  • You can pre-soak the vermicelli first thing in the morning.  This stuff stays pretty supple throughout the day and will only soften when boiled.  If you’re going to soak them, I’d suggest to also soak the dried shiitake mushrooms, too!
  • The quicker you want your soup to cook, especially the white radish, cut the pieces smaller.  I like larger pieces because you can fish them out, but smaller will help if you’ve got a time crunch!
  • You can replace the miso paste with a soy sauce soup base (with chicken broth) as well.  I don’t use any broth powder in this case as miso is perfect on it’s own!
  • Tofu is also a great quick cook ingredient to add if you want more variety.  All types of tofu!
  • Don’t be afraid to cook the chicken on HIGH heat.  Just make sure you monitor it and turn and rotate the chicken as it browns.  Remember, you don’t need to fully cook it, you just want enough of a beautiful crust and brown so it’s crispy and already bursting with flavours!

For videos, visit us on YouTube.

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Snow Pears and Chen Pi (Tangerine Peels) for Coughs and Congestion

Snow Pears and Chen Pi (Tangerine Peels) for Coughs and Congestion

Snow Pears and Chen Pi (Tangerine Peels) for Coughs and Congestion

Soup Name:

Recovery Healing Soup (for Wet Coughs, clearing phlegm and congestion)

Chinese Name:

雪梨化痰茶 (xuě lí huà tán chá) 

This tea is slightly cooling in nature and sweet to taste.

 

For more videos, visit us on YouTube.

It seems that time of year again!  The kids (seems like the whole city) is down with a cough and respiratory illnesses.  Some symptoms include congestion in the chest (which is like a noisy cough basically) and lots of phlegm!

This sweet tea is perfect to support and reduce coughing, including getting rid of dampness in the lungs, and eliminating this phlegm build up. 

The key ingredients here are the apricot kernals, the dried tangerine peels, and the rock sugar to eliminate the phlegm, and the barley to eliminate dampness.

This is not a replacement for any medication or doctor recommendation.  I use this purely as supplemental.

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 15 mins

Total time: 25 mins

Serves: 2 cups

Ingredients

 

Cooking Instructions
  1. Soak the tangerine peel for at least an hour until it softens.  Slice thinly or you can keep the whole piece.   I slice it so that I can play around with taste and whether it’s too bitter or not, but this is purely experimental.  I would suggest using a small piece at first.
  2. Cube the fresh snow pear, keeping the skin on (make sure it’s washed).  I’ll only use half for this recipe (3 cups)
  3. Throw everything into a pot (or a boil safe tea pot like this one I found on amazon!)
  4. Boil on medium heat for 15 minutes
  5. Strain, serve and enjoy!
Any benefits?
  • This tea is slightly cooling and designed to target the lungs
  • It helps reduce cough, clear congestion in the lungs and chest area, eliminate phlegm and dampness
  • The power ingredient here is the dried tangerine peel and is definitely an acquired taste.  It’s quite pungent, so use it sparingly at first and just try to find that balance you like.  Some people LOVE this taste and scent.
  • This is a quick boil tea and you can have a tea ready in about 15 minutes
  • A lot of these ingredients are readily available at your local Asian supermarkets
  • Some people will make a big batch of this and store in the fridge (although personally, I’d rewarm or leave it at room temperature for consumption, but hot is best!)

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Fragrant Potatoes and Tomatoes in a Milky Fish Broth

Fragrant Potatoes and Tomatoes in a Milky Fish Broth

Fragrant Potatoes and Tomatoes in a Milky Fish Broth

Soup Name:

Fragrant potatoes and tomatoes in a milky fish broth (yup, fancy name!)

Traditional Chinese Name:

番茄魚湯 (fānqié yú tāng)

This name of 番茄魚湯 is literally the most staple name for any soup with fish and tomatoes in it.  Of course, get creative!

This soup is neutral in nature sweet to taste.

 

For videos, visit us on YouTube.

When you’ve got that milky broth going, you know you’ve got the soup base right for your fish soup.

It’s been awhile since I made a fish soup and my kids have grown up this pretty traditional Cantonese-styled soup from their grandma, so I decided to make it again in Toronto.

I wasn’t sure what type of fish I’d find at the supermarket for soup making, but it is pretty fully loaded!!   To be honest, you can use any type of fish for fish soup.  However, I would recommend using more of the bones parts of the fish.  The head is the best with the tail being second and then stomach and main body.  The head is packed full of calcium, nutrients, and collagen.  And when boiled out in soup, dissolves into the soup and gives it more of that milky disposition.  It’s truly amazing!  Read on on how to prepare the fish.

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 45 mins

Cook time: 3 hours

Total time: 3 hours 45 mins

Serves: 8 bowls

Ingredients

Tips before you start!

  •  Pan-fry in ginger and oil (add scallions if you’d like) the first before you add it to the soup.  This will make it more fragrant and eliminate the fishy smell and taste.
  • Also pan-fry the potatoes on high heat, crusting all sides (doesn’t need to be fully cooked).  This will keep it together in the soup and prevent it from dissolving and disappearing in the soup (and makes it super fragrant)
  • Salt fish very lightly if you’d like.  For this version, I actually didn’t salt at all!  It turned out amazing and people can add salt afterwards as they like. 
Cooking Instructions
  1. .Start boiling your soup water in a soup pot on high heat
  2. Wash, clean, and pat dry your fish
  3. In a shallow pan, add in a tablespoon of oil, 8 ginger slices, and a bunch of largely sliced green onions on medium-high heat.  Let that brown a bit.
  4. Throw in your fish, browning as much of it as you can.  It doesn’t need to be fully cooked, just crisp the edges and meat on all sides.  Once done, you can turn off the heat.
  5. Once your soup water boils, add in the fried fish along with the dried longans and dried scallops.
  6. Reduce that to a medium boil
  7. You can now peel and cut the potatoes into giant chunks
  8. In a shallow pan on medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of oil and brown all the sides of the potatoes, as crispy as you can get.  This crust will keep the potatoes in tack as it boils and softens.
  9. Once that browns, throw it into your soup.
  10. Cut up the tomatoes into large quarters and drop that into your soup as well
  11. You can then prepare the abalone and drop into your soup.
  12. Reduce to a low boil for about 2-3 hours.  I did 3 hours for this.
  13. By now, you should have a beautiful milky broth.  Throw in scallions for taste.
  14. Serve and enjoy!

My kids loved this soup!  It’s something they grew up with and eat the potatoes as part of the soup.

I normally don’t keep fish soup overnight, but somehow I wanted to save some for the day after and when I went back to reheat it, the soup was congealed!!  It was amazing!  This means that the collagen (and there’s a lot) has hardened and simply gently reheat and enjoy again!

For those who love eating fish heads, I also didn’t use a soup bag as the grass carp head was pretty large.  A lot of the meat does stay in tack and have separated from the bones, so you can “fish” for them at the bottom of the soup with a scooper!  Enjoy!!

 

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Recovery Healing Soup (for Coughs and Nourishing Lungs)

Recovery Healing Soup (for Coughs and Nourishing Lungs)

Recovery Healing Soup (for Coughs and Nourishing Lungs)

Soup Name:

Recovery Healing Soup (for Coughs and Nourishing Lungs)

 

This tea is slightly cooling in nature and sweet to taste.

 

For more videos, visit us on YouTube.

Wow, there’s definitely something going around lately!  As the seasons change from fall to winter, what happens is different pathogens show up and we can’t always adapt as quickly.  

In partnership with SouperWell, a Toronto-based hand-crafted Chinese soup provider, I made the PERFECT soup this weekend for my sick family.

Seriously, my kids got sick two weeks ago, I got sick last week, and finally my husband was lucky enough to get it.  This also included my nephews and other family members all passing something around and then colleagues and hospitals concerned about filling capacity.

 

Try this recovery healing Chinese soup to help nourish, strengthen, and loosen the congestion on the chest and lungs to help with breathing.

This soup is slightly cooling, sweet to taste, and designed to remove dampness from the body.  It’s perfect for those with phlegm, runny everything (nose, throat), and sore throats.  

The soup packet itself has all the basic ingredients you’ll need to address this and I added some protein, neutral vegetables, and my all-time favourite lung power herb, the dried snow fungus.

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 1 hour (on the stove top).  30 mins before going into the thermal pot and then 30 mins before serving to soften the snow fungus.

Thermal pot cook time:  3 hours (or an eternity later)

Total time: 4 hour 30 mins

Serves: 8 bowls

Ingredients

Dried contents (in the soup package):

Additional ingredients:

  • Fresh pork (anything), I used pork legs because of the marrow content
  • frozen conch
  • Neutral vegetables (I used 1 carrot and 1 corn)
  • 1 large piece of dried snow fungus
  • 3L of water

 

Cooking Instructions
  1. Soak the dried snow fungus in a large bowl of cool water to let it expand (so you can cut out the hard, unwanted middle) – you can watch this video here on how to prepare it
  2. Soak the dried conch and dried mushrooms in another separate bowl of cool water to allow them to expand and soften as well
  3. Boil 2 pots of water, your soup water and a separate blanching pot for the pork and frozen conch
  4. While your soup water is still cold, add in the dried fig and dried snow pears.  This will ensure they don’t cook right away and allow the flavours to seep out as it warms. 
  5. When your blanching water boils, add in the fresh pork bones and frozen conch
  6. Boil this for 10 minutes or until the water boils again and you can see a layer of brown foam
  7. Remove the pork bones and conch into a separate bowl, rinse under warm water to remove any excess foam and debris.  I’ll also scrub the conch to make sure it’s super clean as I usually serve this as a side dish
  8. You can prepare your vegetables now, ensuring they are cut into bite-sized pieces
  9. When your soup water boils, add all the ingredients into the pot (except the snow fungus)
  10. Cover and boil on high heat for 30 minutes
  11. You can then transfer your soup pot to it’s thermal holder (or continue to boil on low heat for another 2-3 hours)
  12. 30 minutes before you serve, put the pot back on the burner on medium heat and add in the prepared snow fungus
  13. Serve and enjoy!
  14. You can remove the mushrooms and the conch from the soup, slice into small pieces, and serve as a side dish with soy sauce.  So yummy!
Any benefits?
  • This soup is perfect for nourishing and tonifying the lungs
  • It helps with cough, especially a wet cough where there is phlegm, congestion in the chest, and difficulty breathing
  • It’s a cooling and sweet soup that is perfect for the whole family
  • Start with this amazing soup herbal base and add either chicken or pork, or keep it vegetarian with more neutral (or slightly cooling) vegetables such as corn, carrots, chayotes, or fresh Chinese yam.

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Japanese Yam and Monk Fruit in Pork Broth Chinese Soup

Japanese Yam and Monk Fruit in Pork Broth Chinese Soup

Japanese Yam and Monk Fruit in Pork Broth Chinese Soup

Soup Name:

Japanese Yam and Monk Fruit in Pork Broth Chinese Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:

淮山羅漢果豬骨湯 (huái shān luó hàn guǒ zhū gǔ tāng)

This soup is slightly cooling in nature and sweet to taste.

 

For videos, visit us on YouTube.

The highlight of this soup is the dried monk fruit!  It’s a super common dried fruit that can be found in Hong Kong at wet marts and supermarkets and is primarily known to help coughs and nourish the lungs.  It comes as a dried brown (or dark green) round ball with a hard outer shell.  Combined with the Japanese Yam, this soup is amazing for the lungs and supports yin deficiency.

The soup is slightly sweet to taste (depending on how much monk fruit you add).  I tend to only put half of the green (less strong) type and a quarter of the dark brown monk fruit. 

What’s involved?
Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 2 hours

Total time: 2 hours 30 mins

Serves: 8 bowls

Ingredients

 

Cooking Instructions
  1. The first thing I’ll do is soak the pork in cold water for about 10 minutes.  This is a great way to first clear some of the bone bits and fat from it.  Rinse it in cold water a few times and you’ll see it run murky!  Truly amazing.
  2. Boil your blanching water and your soup water at the same time
  3. As that boils, prepare your corn by cutting into 3 or 4 pieces, peel the yam (with gloves if you’d like as it’s pretty slimy) and cut into 1-inch pieces
  4. Break open the monk fruit.  I’ll only use half and put the other half for another soup or tea.  They can be stored for years in dry conditions.
  5. When your blanching water boils, add in the pork and boil on high for 5 minutes
  6. When your soup water boils, transfer the pork and add in all the ingredients together
  7. Boil on high for 30 minutes
  8. And reduce boil to low-medium for another 2 hours (or use a thermal pot)
  9. Serve and enjoy!
Any benefits?
  • This soup is perfect for nourishing and tonifying the lungs
  • It helps with cough, especially a dry cough where there is Yin deficiency (or appears as heaty)
  • It’s a sweet soup that is perfect for the whole family
  • It’s a cool soup and helps cool and lubricate the lungs
  • The pork is amazing to eat as part of the meal (especially if you boil for much longer as it falls off the bone), serve with soy sauce!
  • Gentle enough for the whole family
  • The longer you boil it, the more milky it becomes because of the Yam and is a combination of savory and slightly sweet at the same time
  • Perfect for both soups and teas

For videos, visit us on YouTube.

The monk fruit!  This is the slightly less dry version.  You’ll notice it’s more green and less brown.  This one is a little more expensive, coming in at $2 CAD per monk fruit.  You’ll also notice a thin layer of sugared coating, so it is a bit sticky to touch, but that’s just the sugars of the fruit on the skin.  The great thing about the greener version is that it isn’t as pungent or sweet, so you can use half in a soup to give is just enough of that flavour.  If it’s the heavily dried version, I will only use a quarter in 3L of soup water.  This is also great in teas!!  

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Heat Clearing Sugarcane and Water Chestnuts and Imperatae Root Herbal Tea

Heat Clearing Sugarcane and Water Chestnuts and Imperatae Root Herbal Tea

Heat Clearing Sugarcane and Water Chestnuts and Imperatae Root Herbal Tea

Soup Name:

Heat clearing sugarcane and water chestnuts and imperatae root herbal tea

Traditional Chinese Name:

竹蔗茅根馬蹄湯 (zhú zhè máogēn mǎtí tāng)

 

For videos, visit us on YouTube. 

A traditional Chinese drink which helps cool the body, reduce heatiness, and clear phlegm and unwanted body fluids. It’s natural sweetness is perfect for hot summer days and this can be drank cold or hot. It is commonly found as a drink in most herbal dessert shops and is even bottled commercially.

The key to this heat clearing tea is the water chestnuts.  I don’t use them often as this version also uses corn, carrots, or corn silk, but I’ve kept it simple for heat clearing only.  The water chestnuts are a very cooling ingredient and combined with the imperatae (or mao gen) root, is extra potent to clear excess yang.  

What’s involved?

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 30 minutes

Total time: 40 mins

Serves: 6 bowls

Ingredients

 

Cooking Instructions

  1. Prepare your sugar cane by chopping into smaller 2-inch length pieces
  2. Rinse, peel and rinse the water chestnuts.  You can cut into bite-sized edible pieces if you also like eating them.  
  3. Add to cold water into your soup pot
  4. Boil on medium heat covered for 30 minutes
  5. 5 minutes before serving, drop in your rock sugar.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • This is a great tea for BBQ’ing or hotpot as it’s cooling and removes heat from the body, especially the stomach
  • It can served as a tea or soup
  • It is vegetarian, so perfect for any soup or tea drinker
  • This can be drank cold or hot (you’ll often find this as a heated drink served in the streets of Hong Kong)
  • You can make a big pot and store in the fridge for one week.  Just be sure to let it sit to room temperature or heat up before consumption
  • You can have a few variations of this soup or tea depending on ingredients at home (such as adding sugared dried winter melon, water chestnuts, or simply using sugar cane and imperatae)

For videos, visit us on YouTube. 

Fresh water chestnuts are crispy, firm, and high in water content.  They don’t have the best storage life, so keep them in the fridge as much as you can.  As the water chestnuts “age”, they’ll breakdown and become starchy, have a crumbly texture, and lose it’s moisture content.  Which in turn, makes your soup or tea cloudy, which is still OK, as long as the water chestnuts still hold some of their firmness. 

For other variations of this tea:

Sugar Cane and Imperatae Drink

 

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