Pig’s Feet with Ginger in Black Vinegar

Pig’s Feet with Ginger in Black Vinegar

Pig’s Feet with Ginger in Black Vinegar

Soup Name:

Pig’s Feet with Ginger in Black Vinegar, Ginger and Vinegar Trotter Soup, Pig’s Feet and Ginger Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:

猪脚姜 (zhū jiǎo jiāng)

 

This is the ultimate traditional confinement food (or soup) in the Cantonese cuisine repertoire.   This dish is so amazing that people eat it just for the taste and not for confinement. 

It is consumed by men and women alike because it is flavorful and delicious.  The ingredients aren’t the easiest to obtain and it is not a remotely easy dish to make, but during confinement (when the mother can eat a bowl a day), it’s worth it to make a large pot and give to friends.  Traditionally, families will make large pots of this dish and give it out to friends and family to let them know that there is a new baby. 

For more information on what confinement is and the Chinese ingredients associated with confinement, please see our Confinement Soups page.

Some things to note on the directions for this soup is that it’s more a guide, rather than a true recipe.

Since my mom is a pro at this, she doesn’t really follow measurements and simply makes it according to personal taste – so I’ve tried to adapt this recipe to that style.

Some prefer it more spicy (add more ginger), some prefer it more sour (add more black rice vinegar), some prefer it sweeter (add more sweet vinegar or brown sugar) or some prefer super hard boiled eggs (keep them boiling in the vinegar for at least 2 days).

Regardless of how your taste ventures, make sure you have a bit of spare ingredients to adjust the taste to your preference.

What’s involved?

Prep time: 60 mins

Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins (for the soup)

Total time: 2 hours 30 mins

Serves: 10 bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 whole pig’s feet, halved and cut into edible sections
  • 10 large pieces of old fresh ginger (roughly 5000 grams)
  • 2 large bottles of sweet vinegar (1000 mL)
  • 1 large bottle of black rice vinegar (500 mL)
  • hard-boiled eggs

Preparing the Ginger

Ginger is the highlight of this dish.  That’s what makes it so potent, effective (to drive away the wind from the body), and gives it that little bit of spicy kick.

This part needs a good 1-2 days after you’ve purchased your ginger in bulk.  Usually, when I see people buying ginger at the wet marts in bulk, we all know what’s cooking!

For this soup, the ginger pieces are kept rather large in chunks with their skin off.  Once you peel the skin, don’t throw it out!  For confinement, it is the perfect foot soak (or bathe if you’d like) for post partum.  

Ginger preparation instructions:

  1. Wash ginger and then leave to air dry for at least 1 day
  2. Peel skin off ginger and dry both skin and peeled ginger (the skin is often used for bathing and soaking feet during confinement)
  3. Cut ginger into large pieces
  4. In a pan (or wok) on high heat with no oil, fry your ginger while stirring quickly for 5 minutes
  5. Take out of wok and set aside

Preparing the Vinegar Soup Base

    Be sure to use a clay or ceramic pot for these types of soups.  Traditionally, that’s all they had back then and it does keep the flavour of the soup quite pure and can be stored in the pot and re-boiled as often as needed.  In Hong Kong, the pre-made vinegar and even the soup itself are served, stored, and sold in clay pots.  It becomes quite the workout to lug these things around!
    1. In a large clay pot, add your sweet vinegar and turn on high heat until boiling
    2. Add in prepared ginger
    3. Reduce heat to low and boil (with cover) for an hour (until ginger is cooked)
    4. Set aside until ready to add pig’s feet.  I say this because during some confinements, people will have made the ginger-vinegar soup ahead of time in preparation for the birth of the baby.

    Preparing the Pig’s Feet

      There are also 2 parts to the preparation of raw pig’s feet.  The first is to ensure the protein itself is clean and suitable for consumption.  That means removing the hairs, the tougher parts of the skin, and the nails.  The second part is to blanch it in boiling water.  Interacting with the boiling water will immediately release all the insoluble protein, blood, bone bits, and fat, rendering it ready for soup production.
      1. To remove the hair from the pig’s feet, you can either burn it off over a gas grill (with a hot flame) or using a sharp knife, scrape it off
      2. Wash thoroughly in warm water
      3. Half and cut the pig’s feet into edible sizes
      4. Wash again in warm water (to remove the grits and bones)
      5. In a pot of boiling water, blanch your pig’s feet for 5-7 mins

      Preparing the Soup

          1. When ready to eat, scoop out as much ginger-vinegar soup as you’d like to prepare for your portion of pig’s feet (so that you can continue to use, add more or keep your soup base)
          2. Put into a smaller clay pot and apply medium heat until boiling.  Add in blanched pig’s feet and black rice vinegar (to taste).  The black rice vinegar will help soften the pig’s feet more.  Add hard boiled eggs if desired.
          3. Cover and boil on medium heat for 30 minutes (or until desired softness of feet).
          4. Serve and enjoy!

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      Turtle with Lean Pork Soup

      Turtle with Lean Pork Soup

      Turtle with Lean Pork Soup

      Soup Name:

      Turtle and Lean Pork Soup

      Traditional Chinese Name:

      水魚瘦豬肉湯 (shuǐ yú shòu zhū ròu tāng)

      This soup is very warming in nature and sweet to taste.

       

      For videos, visit us on YouTube.

      A warm and healing soup, it’s often recommended for cold winter days or confinement.  The turtle meat is said to be a nourishing meat (similar to chicken) and should be avoided if you are sick.   From our experience, even when properly cleaned, soft-shelled turtle meat may have a taste of the “sea” and may require ginger to counter the taste.

      See a lighter variation of this soup here: Longan Meat in Turtle Soup

      For more information on what confinement is and the Chinese ingredients associated with confinement, please see our Confinement Soups page.

      This is the first time that I have bought and tried soft shell turtle (to my knowledge).  These types of turtles are actually bred for consumption and considered a prize delicacy in East Asia (ie: China).  They are also harvested in the US (with set limits) for breeding and consumption as well (especially common to have Turtle soup in New Orleans).  Ever since coming to Asia, I have developed an open mind to the types of food that is culturally different from my upbringing.  The turtle definitely falls into this category.  It is so commonplace that you can find soft shell turtles at your local wet marts.

      To prepare soft-shell turtle, my vendor (and mom) told me to pan-fry them with ginger.  This will help eliminate any fishiness in flavours and create a fragrant base for your soup.

       

      What’s involved?

      Prep time: 30 mins

      Cook time: 3 hours

      Total time: 3 hours 30 mins

      Serves: 4 bowls

      Ingredients
      Cooking Instructions
      1. Pre-marinate the pork with salt and let sit for at least one hour (overnight is best).  I’ll quickly rinse under cool water before usage.
      2. Wash turtle meat and shell
      3. In a pan, fry meat and shell with ginger on high heat until cooked
      4. Blanch the pork in a separate pot of boiling water
      5. Boil your soup water
      6. Soak and wash dried longans, Chinese yams, and dates
      7. When the water boils, add all the ingredients together
      8. Boil on high for 30 minutes and then simmer on medium heat for another 3 hours.
      9. Serve and enjoy!
      Any benefits?
      • A nourishing soup ideal for confinement
      • Good for urinary infections and bladder
      • Helps with asthma and breathing complications (such as shortage of breath)
      • The shell is an excellent source of collagen

      For videos, visit us on YouTube.

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      (Confinement) Black Bean, Rice and Ginger Water

      (Confinement) Black Bean, Rice and Ginger Water

      (Confinement) Black Bean, Rice and Ginger Water

      Soup Name:

      (Confinement) Black Bean, Rice and Ginger Water – sometimes called Teas

      Traditional Chinese Name:

      黑豆姜水 (Hēi dòu jiāng shuǐ)

      This tea is very warming in nature and slightly sweet to taste.

       

      For videos, visit us on YouTube.

      This is a traditional confinement drink that is said to help reduce “wind” in the body and “warm” it up to help with the healing process after giving birth. These are common ingredients found in various confinement soups, teas and recipes (especially ginger). Some people make a large batch of the black bean and ginger mixture and steep it like teas for drinking everyday throughout their confinement.

      For more information on what confinement is and the Chinese ingredients associated with confinement, please see our Confinement Soups page.

      Ginger is to drive away the wind from the body and heal and warm.  I prefer to use ginger juice, but some will also use ginger flesh and the skin.  This is a key ingredient to this tea.  You can add as little or as much ginger as you like depending on how spicy you’d like it.

      Black beans help dispel water from the body, but also activates blood circulation and detoxification.  They are naturally sweet and when pan fried, are warmed and compliment the heaty tea needed for confinement.

      Rice in Traditional Chinese Medicine is used to strengthen the qi and blood.  Interestingly enough, the word qi (in Traditional Chinese) is derived from the words air and rice.  Rice holds significant meaning in this regard and is used as one of the key recipes for this tea!

      You can optionally add some rock sugar for taste.

       

       

      What’s involved?

      Prep time: 10 mins

      Cook time: 30 mins

      Total time: 40 mins

      Serves: 4 cups of tea

      Ingredients
      • 1 teaspoon of oil

      • 2 tablespoons of ginger juice, pulp optional

      • 1 cup of black beans, rinsed

      • 1 cup of white rice, rinsed

      • 1/2 cup of water, to cook rice

      • optional rock sugar
      Cooking Instructions
      1. In a frying pan, heat up oil on medium heat.
      2. When oil is hot, add black beans, white rice and ginger juice and cook for 2 minutes, constantly stirring
      3. Add 1/2 cup of water and continue to stir and mixture until all the water evaporates.  Be sure to adjust the heat accordingly to prevent burning.
      4. Once mixture is dry and golden brown (see picture below) and cooked, set aside and cool.
      5. In a cup, scoop 1 tablespoon of mixture and add hot water to it.  Steep for 10 minutes and drink hot.
      Any benefits?
      • Effective drink in removing “wind” from the body
      • Helps warm the body
      • Assists in helping those in confinement get lots of fluid into the body and to help flush the system
      • Also helps to improve water levels in the body (especially for those mothers who are breastfeeding)

      For videos, visit us on YouTube.

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      What is confinement and confinement stories

      Baby 5 & 6 Confinement story

      Some confinement foods for your tummy!

      The DO's and DON'T's of confinement

      EXPLORE MORE

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      How to make a cooling Chinese tea for sore throats (with pu’er tea)

      Tea Name: Cooling Chinese Pu'er and Chrysanthemum Tea (for sore throats) Traditional Chinese Name: 普洱菊花茶 (pǔ'ěr jú huā chá). The direct translation of this "pu'er chrysanthemum tea". This is the most basic of this tea and can be found commonly in dim sum restaurants...

      How to soothe a sore throat with salted kumquats with honey

      Tea Name: Soothing healing salted kumquat with honey Chinese herbal tea Traditional Chinese Name: 金桔蜂蜜茶 (jīn jú fēng mì chá). The direct translation of this is "kumquat honey tea".  Nature:  Warming Taste: Savory and sweet (You can read this article on the impact on...

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      How to make an easy delicious Miso Butter Ramen for dinner

      Soup Name: Japanese-styled miso butter ramen noodles soup Traditional Chinese Name: 日本拉麵 (Rì běn lā miàn). The direct translation is Japanese Ramen or Japanese pulled noodles. There are many variations of this dish depending on type of ramen (thin, thick, green tea...

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      How to make Chinese Soups or Herbal Teas: Chinese Soup Design 101Welcome! This space is important for me to explore further with my community. "Give a person a fish, feed them for a day. Teach a person to fish, feed them for life."  I am a big believer of teaching for...

      Fish Maw with Seabed Coconut and Pork Bones

      Fish Maw with Seabed Coconut and Pork Bones

      Fish Maw with Seabed Coconut and Pork Bones

      Soup Name:

      Fish Maw with Seabed Coconut and Pork Bones

      Traditional Chinese Name:

      海底椰花膠豬骨湯 (hai di ye huā jiāo zhū gǔ tāng)

      This soup is slightly cooling in nature due to the seabed coconut and fresh lily bulbs. 

       

      For more videos, visit us on YouTube.

      Fish maw is usually associated with a chicken soup base, but it is just as ideal with pork. This soup is not naturally that flavorful (as fish maw itself has no taste and neither does dried lily bulb). The seabed coconut gives it a slightly sweet tinge, but you can consider adding some vegetables (like corn or carrots) to further enhance the flavor. Salt to taste as necessary – although it’s still refreshing without the salt.

       

      The soup itself is slightly cooling due to the seabed coconut and fresh lily bulbs, but not overly.  It’s also got an amazing amount of collagen and can eat like a meal if you add more vegetables.

      With the added tangerine peel, this soup is ideal for getting rid of coughs.  Seabed coconuts are great for nourishing and healing the lungs as with tangerine peel. 

      There is a bit of work required for this soup.

      You’ll need to prepare the fish maw ahead of time.  You can find a full video on how to this on the YouTube channel.

      You will also need to prepare your tangerine peel.  This doesn’t take too much time, but you do need to soak it to soften.

       

       

       

      What’s involved?

      Prep time: +1 day (for fish maw) and 30 mins (for soup)

      Cook time: 2 hours and 30 mins

      Total time: 3 hours

      Serves: 6 bowls

      Ingredients

      Cooking Instructions

      1. Marinate pork in salt overnight (to expel the fire in the pork)
      2. Soak your dried fish maw in warm water (for at least 4 hours)
      3. Boil your soup water
      4. In a separate pot, boil water to blanch your pork
      5. Wash dried lily bulb, tangerine peel and seabed coconut
      6. Cut up the fish maw into edible pieces (optional)
      7. When your soup water boils, add all the ingredients together
      8. Boil on high heat for 30 minutes, reduce to a medium boil for another 2 hours
      9. Serve and enjoy!

      For more videos, visit us on YouTube.

       

       

       

      Longan Meat in Turtle Soup

      Soup Name: Longan Meat in Turtle Soup

      Traditional Chinese Name: 龍眼水魚湯 (lóng yǎn shuǐ yú tāng)

      Introduction:
      A warm and healing soup, it’s often recommended for cold winter days and/or pregnancy and confinement.  The turtle meat is said to be a healing meat (similar to chicken) and can be made with a variety of Chinese herbs.

      What Ingredients are required?

      1 whole fresh soft shell turtle
      15 dried longans
      1 foot fresh Chinese yam
      2 slices of ginger
      5 dried red dates
      1 fresh lily bulb (or dried)

      How do I prepare it?

      1. Wash turtle meat and shell
      2. In a pan, fry meat and shell with ginger on high heat until cooked
      3. Boil your soup water
      4. Soak and wash dried longans, red dates and lily bulb
      5. Wash and chop Chinese yam (be sure to wear gloves as raw Chinese yam will make your hands itchy)
      6. When water boils, add all the ingredients together
      7. Boil on high for 30 minutes and then simmer on medium heat for another 3 hours.
      8. Serve and enjoy!

      Any benefits?

      • Healing soup ideal for confinement and early pregnancy (or post surgical recovery)
      • Good for urinary infections and bladder
      • Helps with asthma and breathing complications (such as shortage of breath)
      • The shell is an excellent source of collagen

      Any precautions?

      • Thoroughly clean and wash turtle, including shell
      • Soup might be too heaty for some people

      Winter Chicken Soup

      Soup Name:  Winter Chicken Soup

      Traditional Chinese Name: 清雞 (qīng jī tāng)

      Introduction:

      Very similar to Chicken Herbal Soup,  this soup contains some vegetables and fresh Chinese radish and is meant to be warming in the cold winter months.  It is excellent for nourishing the lungs and adding moisture to the body when it is particularly dry.  An excellent source of carbohydrates, you can add more vegetables as you see fit (mainly carrots, tomatos, celery, or neutral vegetables) to turn this into a hearty chicken broth.

      What Ingredients are required?

      1 fresh whole chicken
      1 foot of fresh chinese yam
      2 fresh corn
      10 dried longans
      5-6 dried scallops (conpoys)
      1 handful of wolfberries
      2 litres of water


      How do I prepare it?
       

      1. Prepare chicken (in quarters) by rinsing and blanching in a pot of hot water
      2. Boil your soup water
      3. Wash and soak for 10 minutes all the dried herbs
      4. Wash & peel fresh Chinese Yam (be sure to wear gloves) and cube as large as necessary
      5. Wash and chop corn
      6. When your soup water is boiling, add all the ingredients together
      7. Boil on high heat for 30 minutes and reduce to low boil for another 2 hours.
      8. Serve and enjoy!

       Any benefits?

      • Excellent warming soup for cold days
      • Good to increase blood circulation and blood flow
      • It is considered to be of the “healing” categories of soup
      • If used for confinement, you can make the soup more concentrated (less water or more ingredients)

      Any precautions?

      • Use less herbs for children