Check out the video on how to create an awesome and delicious Japanese-styled shabu shabu in the comfort of your home with a chicken broth base from scratch.
Shabu shabu literally means “swish swish” in English and it is a pre-loaded hotpot with all your favourite ingredients such as white radish, carrots, leeks, a variety of leafy greens, a mix of Japanese mushrooms, firm (or soft tofu), and a selection of cute Japanese fish cakes. Perfect for the whole family and ideal for colder weather!
Serve with your choice of meats, seafood, more greens, fish balls, noodles or rice and you’ve got yourself a family favourite!
This is the base Chinese Chicken Soup stock that I make for any of my Chinese soups. It’s simple, straight-forward, and delicious on its own. It does take some preparation in that you need to blanch all the meats, soak the conpoys for at least 10 minutes, quarter the chicken, and then add everything together. And then patience, for a few hours to let it all simmer together. This is perfect for freezing for usage with soups later on, so I do suggest to make more! Perfect for the whole family and any condition.
Perfect for any soup base. You can simply add your favourite vegetables or even Chinese herbs.
This soup is perfect for cooler days as it’s slightly warming
Perfect for confinement, postpartum, and post period
Ideal for the whole family, including children
These ingredients are readily available in most Chinese supermarkets around the world, all you need is just a chicken!
Be sure to to consult your (Chinese) doctor first if you’re unsure of consumption or suitability
You can store this soup base in a plastic container (or jar with a wide mouth so it’s easier to use back later) for up to 6 months in the freezer
Optional step the night before is to salt the pork shanks and chicken overnight and wrap and store in the fridge to let it sit. This will allow the flavors to marinate and soften the meat.
Begin to boil a separate pot for blanching the meat
Soak the dried conpoys in warm water for 10 minutes
Prepare your chicken and cutting it into quarters (or any size you prefer)
When your blanching water boils, add in the pork and chicken and boil on high heat for 5 minutes. Make sure the water is boiling and you should see residue, fat, grim, and even foam come to the surface.
Begin to boil your soup water
Once your soup water boils, remove the meat from the blanching pot and shake off any excess and slowly lower into your soup water
Add in dried conpoys
Boil on medium heat for 30 minutes
Reduce heat to the lowest and cover and let it simmer like that for another 2-3 hours (or use a thermal pot). The soup should now be a rich, golden color after boiling for so long. Be sure to scoop out any oil, fat bits, or skin from the top with an oil scooper
The Chinese have a whole repertoire of herbs which can be added to Chinese soups and is no exception. Among these herbs, there are a variety of traditional herbs that go well with Chicken. I’ve selected a few for the purpose of this soup ensuring a light combination of herbs for the whole family. This is actually designed for my teenage daughter who has recently started her period. So something light, but sufficient enough for her bodily needs.
Begin to soak all the herbs in warm water (to clean them) for about 15 minutes and rinse
You can begin to boil your soup pot water
In a separate pot, blanch the quartered chicken ensuring that it is all boiling within the water for 7 minutes. This process will both clean it and remove the initial fat. You can keep the skin on if you’d like, but be sure to use an oil scooper to remove the top layer of fat. Drain and set aside for soup use.
Once your soup water boils, add the blanched chicken into the water and all the soaking herbal ingredients
Bring to a medium boil for 30 minutes covered
You can now either reduce boil to a low heat, but be sure it’s still simmering for another 1.5 hours covered, or transfer to a self cooking thermal pot for another 2 hours.
Salt as needed, although to be honest, if there are dried seafood ingredients, less salt is needed.
Serve and enjoy!
This soup is perfect for cooler days as it’s slightly warming, so a great transition soup for Autumn
It’s also great for as a winter soup, particularly if you add Black Silkie Chicken
When a virus, cold, or flu has you down, my go to hot drink is usually a Chinese Herbal tea that addresses my illness. Lately, I have been tackling yet another virus strain that has left me with a cough and my Chinese Herbalist recommended this easy, smooth, vitamin C packed Chinese tea to address my cough and heal my lungs.
It’s a tea because I don’t use meats or bones, but I don’t actually put any tea leaves in it. The key ingredient is the dried seabed coconut (which is a lung healer and addresses coughs). Also throw in some dried snow pears, dried apricot kernals (north and south), dried lily bulbs, dried tangerine peel, sugared dates, and fresh apples.
According to my Chinese doctor, apples are the only fruit I can consume while with a cough, cold, virus, or flu. They are the most neutral of fruits. In a ceramic pot, boil your water (4 cups worth, which will reduce to 2 cups). When the water boils, add all the ingredients together and cover. Boil on medium for 2 hours until it reduces and the apples become soft.
In the end, you’re left with a slightly tart, slightly sweet, but very smooth and rich tea. You can even eat the apples! For those who don’t like the stuff floating around, you can strain the tea through a thin strainer as bits of apples may be dissolved into the tea (also very yummy!).
Boil your water in a ceramic pot
Half your apples, keeping the skin on (so they don’t completely disintegrate into the tea)
When your water boils, add all the ingredients in together
This delicious, milky broth Chinese Soup is ideal for the whole family! Made with a handful of Chinese herbs (dried dates, dried longans, and dried wolfberries) and fresh vegetables, the secret ingredient is Hokkaido whole milk! An usual mixture, but very rich, smooth, and creamy, it’s a delicious addition to any meal! Below, I’ve included both a youtube video of this soup and the standard recipe.
Start with fresh vegetables. I use Japanese pumpkins (instead of your traditional Western Orange pumpkins). The Japanese pumpkin is very starchy and can eat like a meal with the soup. Keep the skin on when you’re making the soup so the pumpkin doesn’t disintegrate into the soup and melt.
Also, in Hong Kong, there is thing with this 3.6 Hokkaido milk. It’s apparently the smoothest, richest, fattest milk available, aside from cream and one of the more reputable Japanese brands available. You can find this in most Asian supermarkets here. My kids love to drink this as whole milk, too!
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 45 mins
Total time: 2 hours 15 mins
Serves: 6 bowls
1-2 large pieces of fresh pork shank
1 whole Japanese pumpkin, seeded and chopped large
2 fresh carrots, peeled and chopped large
2 fresh corn, chopped into quarters
2 tablespoons of dried wolfberries
2 tablespoons of dried longans
2 tablespoons of dried red dates (seed removal optional, although it is said that the seeds are fiery)
salt as needed
0.75 L of fresh 3.6 Hokkaido Milk
Boil two pots of water – one for your soup and one for blanching the pork shank
Once the smaller pot of water is boiling, gently lower the pork shank and let it boil (turning as needed to ensure it’s all cooked) for 5 minutes, drain and set aside
When your soup water boils, add in the Chinese herbs and blanched pork shank
Chop your carrots and corn and add to the boiling soup water
Half your Japanese pumpkin and using a spoon, hollow out the seeds, then cut into large chunks with the skin still on (this will prevent it from disintegrating in your soup) – then add to your soup
Boil in medium high for 30 minutes
Transfer the pot to a thermal pot, or continue to boil on medium low for an hour (still bubbling slightly)
minutes before you’re ready to serve, add 0.75 L of the fresh milk into the pot and boil on medium high for another 15 minutes
Salt as needed
Serve and enjoy – including all the veggies! They are so yummy!
In the Chinese repertoire of soups, there’s a type of soup called a “gung” (羹) in Cantonese. These soups are traditionally thickened with corn starch or other thickeners and served as an appetizer during meals. I don’t make these soups very often, but once in awhile, it’s a nice addition to my menu. I also find that these types of “gung” soups usually come out during the winter days, which is perfect for our cold weather now in Hong Kong!
This one is made with fish maw (or fish stomach) and fresh chicken breast, both excellent sources of low-fat protein! It takes around 30-40 minutes to make and serves a pretty filling soup that is ideal for the whole family! Try it and let me know what you think!
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 bag of dried fish maw
4-6 pieces of skinless chicken breast, cubed
2-3 slices of fresh ginger
1 cup of Chinese ham, diced
1 can of small chicken broth
4 tablespoons of cornstarch
Here’s the full instructions:
Boil your soup water, throw in yours ginger and the dried fish maw. Boil on high for 10 minutes, or until the fish maw is completely soft. You’ll need to use chopsticks or something to push them into the water or else they will just float about and not really soften.
Remove the fish maw from the water, let cool and dice into bite sized pieces
Dice your chicken and Chinese ham into bite sized pieces
Marinate your chicken breast with: 1 teaspoon of Chinese wine, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, a drizzle of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, sprinkle of salt and pepper – mix well together
In your soup, add fish maw, diced chicken breast and let it boil for 5 minutes on medium heat. Then throw in frozen peas and ham.
In a small bowl, add cold water to 4 tablespoons of cornstarch and mix until dissolved. Then slowly, drizzle this into your soup on medium heat while you continuously stir
Beat 2 eggs and slowly drizzle into your soup while continuously stirring
Boil on medium for another 5 minutes
Garnish with fresh green onions and parsley and sesame oil