Papaya and Snow Fungus in a Pork Herbal Soup

Papaya and Snow Fungus in a Pork Herbal Soup

Papaya and Snow Fungus in a Pork Herbal Soup

Tea Name:

Papaya and Snow Fungus in a Pork Herbal Soup

Chinese Name: 

木瓜雪耳豬骨湯 (mù gua xuě ěr zhū tāng)

Nature:  Warm and ideal for moisturizing the body and lungs, supporting digestion and soothing the stomach.

Taste:  Sweet

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I simply love snow fungus!  And this combination is a beautiful one in that at times, you’ll find this a dessert and other times, a soup!  I know, super strange.  But the combination of papaya + snow fungus can swing both sweet and savory! Which makes it so amazingly diverse!

What makes this combination so amazing?  It’s a combination of nourishing and lubricating the lung, stomach, and spleen with the papaya and the snow fungus.  This soup can soothe and aid in digestion, heal the stomach and stomachaches, and support lung treatment in coughs and dryness.  And of course, the added benefits of the plant collagen that is found in snow fungus (which, by the way can hold 500 times its weight in water!).  Reference this interesting article in the National Library of Medicine regarding snow fungus and its composition of collagen.

This is an easy to make, nutritious soup that is packed full of Vitamin C and beta-carotene. It is deliciously sweet and refreshing and ideal for autumn or winter days. You can use chicken to make it more warm and also add a variety of other ingredients to make it a meal.

Regardless of weather, this soup is designed to be moisturizing (from the inside) and perfect if you’ve got dry skin, dry lips, dry tongue (this is one key indicator from a TCM perspective).  In fact, some Chinese people claim that it’s part of their skin care regime to be consuming foods of this nature.  Bird’s nest is another one of those delicacies that call into this category of “self care”.  And you will often here Chinese ladies (and mothers) tell you how great this recipe is to stay looking “young”!

 

What’s involved?
Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins

Total time: 1 hour 45 mins

Serves: 8 bowls of soup

Ingredients
Cooking Instructions
  1. Rinse and soak dried snow fungus in a bowl of enough water to immerse it in for about an hour (or until soft)
  2. In a separate pot of boiling water, blanch pork bones for 5 minutes, set aside and cool
  3. Boil your soup water
  4. Wash and cut papaya into large edible cubes
  5. Using scissors, cut out the middle of the snow fungus (the hardest part) and cut the other portions into edibles pieces
  6. When your soup water boils, add in the pork bones, papaya and Chinese herbs.  I made this soup in the morning and set it into the thermal pot for the whole day, coming back to the soup in the afternoon and then dropping in the snow fungus to cook for another 2 hours.  Depending on how soft you want the snow fungus, I’d say at least an hour.
  7. Boil on high for 30 minutes and reduce to medium heat for another hour
  8. Serve and enjoy!
Tips and tricks:

  • Here’s a quick video on how to prepare snow fungus for Chinese soups
  • Be sure to cut out the hard middle, or buy snow fungus that doesn’t have the middle and is broken up
  • I like to use red papaya instead of green papaya for this version (green is more traditionally known to support milk production in post partum Chinese soups)
  • You can opt to keep the skin on the papaya during soup boil so it doesn’t disintegrate and break down into the soup
  • Snow fungus cooks and softens quite quickly.  Depending on how soft you’d like it, you can drop it in about 30 minutes before you serve, although I like it super soft and some of it dissolved into the soup (for that collagen benefit), so I drop it along with all the other ingredients.

 

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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Winter Melon with Chicken and Mushrooms Rice Soup

Winter Melon with Chicken and Mushrooms Rice Soup

Winter Melon with Chicken and Mushrooms Rice Soup

Soup Name:

Winter Melon with Chicken and Mushrooms Rice Soup

Chinese Name:

冬瓜雞湯飯 (dōng guā jī tāng fàn)

 

For more videos, visit us on YouTube.

Sometimes, you just want something simple, something warm, something soupy, but all-in-one.  

There’s a concept called “Soup Rice” in the Chinese food repertoire that basically is any type of rice served with a soup.  It’s quite popular in the Chiu Chou-style (where my mom is from, so we ate it all the time).  It’s different from congee because congee is boiled rice, but this is literally a scoop of rice dropped into soup.

 

“Soup Rice”, aka 湯飯, comes with a variety of soups!  It is also known as “Pao Fan” (泡飯) and is commonly found in Singaporean, Taiwanese, Japanese, and Korean cuisine (on top of Chinese).  Pao Fan itself means submerged rice, so theoretically, rice submerged in sauce, liquid, or toppings.

Did you know that the soup rice was traditionally served during the rice harvest season and made into large pots to serve the village? It was also seen as food of the poor. These days, soup rice can be found in many cuisines in Asia with a variety of soup bases, included lobster, dried fish, and a variety of vegetables!

Actually, most soups can be made into soup rice.  In general, there’s some protein, some vegetables, and a soup base. 

This is a simple chicken, mushrooms, with winter melon soup in rice.  The Chinese celery is to add a little more elevated flavors and the ginger is to balance the cooling winter melon, although that’s optional.

Serve up the soup as one giant pot on the table.  Then everyone can have rice in large bowls and ladle their own soups and ingredients inside!  So warming, so yummy!

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 45 mins

Serves: 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 4 chicken thighs, chopped
  • 1 large slice of winter melon, peeled and largely cubed
  • 5-6 fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 stalks of Chinese celery
  • 5 slices of fresh ginger
  • Chicken or beef broth stock
  • 2L of water
  • 3 cups of rice, cooked in rice cooker
Cooking Instructions
  1. In a shallow pan, you can pan-fry your chopped chicken thighs (skin down) to brown the skin.  You don’t need to add oil as the skin will naturally release oils.  Brown until crusted over and set aside.
  2. Begin to boil your soup water
  3. Prepare your winter melon by skinning and cutting into large cubes
  4. You can also wash and slice your fresh shiitake mushrooms and Chinese celery
  5. Once your soup water boils, you can throw everything into together, including the stock
  6. Boil on medium for 30 minutes
  7. Serve and top with rice!

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Turkey Chinese Congee (Porridge)

Turkey Chinese Congee (Porridge)

Turkey Chinese Congee (Porridge)

Soup Name: Turkey Chinese Congee

Traditional Chinese Name: 火雞粥 (huǒ jī zhōu)

Introduction: What to do with a 19 pound turkey for a family of 6? Well, after carving it, you have more meat leftover than carcass and I’ve taken half of the carcass for congee and the other half for soup. Don’t forget to keep the skin as it’s roasted and delicious. The base is just turkey and congee rice, but I also decided to add roasted peanuts as part of the base. You can also add dried scallops, dried tofu skin, dried octopus as well. The garnishes are also very vast…. today I went with both century preserved duck eggs and preserved salted duck eggs, as well as preserved vegetables and green onions as there was no salt added to the congee.

What Ingredients are required?

1 half of a turkey carcass (bones)2 cups of turkey meat
2 cups of round congee rice
3/4 of a large pot of water
fresh peeled peanuts
salt to taste

How do I prepare it?

  1. Boil your water first
  2. In a shallow pan, add a teaspoon of oil and pan fry the peanuts on medium heat until they are a golden brown (this makes the congee more fragrant)
  3. When you water boils, add in the congee rice and boil on high heat for 10 minutes, stirring the bottom ensuring it doesn’t stick
  4. Add in the leftover turkey and peanuts and boil on high for another 5 minutes before reducing heat to low and cover (you can use a chopstick to prop it open so it doesn’t boil over) for one hour, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot
  5. Serve, top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • This soup is naturally flavored (slightly salty from the turkey meat and bones)
  • Really,  no additives needed (salt or sugar)
  • Great as a meal, for kids and the whole family
  • This is a great congee base for adding other ingredients
  • You can save this in the freezer for up to one month or in the fridge for consumption for up to 3 three (but reboil it before eating)

Any precautions?

  • Be cautious of tiny bones if serving to children (although it’s unlikely if you have kept the turkey carcass together)
  • There are peanuts in this congee, so take care if you or someone is allergic to nuts

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