Green Papaya, Fish & Dried Octopus Soup

Green Papaya, Fish & Dried Octopus Soup

Soup Name: Green Papaya, Fish & Dried Octopus Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:  木瓜魚湯 (mù gua yú tāng)

Introduction:
A popular and very common soup for confinement, but not limited to this special group of ladies. For confinement, you must use GREEN papaya (ie: raw, raw, raw – smoking green). The dried octopus helps in milk production as well as adding some flavor to the soup. Use small fish where possible (to limit the exposure to mercury) and setting the soup overnight in a thermal pot really helps bring out the flavors. You can make a big pot and drink for about 2-3 days (while reheating it). This soup generates a very rich, milky broth that is super nutritious, delicious and suitable for the whole family. Another key ingredient for confinement is the ginger – don’t discount the power of ginger!

 

What Ingredients are required?

100 g of ginger, sliced thinly
2 fresh fish, halved (for this recipe, I used 2 fresh Bartail Flatheads)
2 large green papayas
1 dried octopus, quartered

1 tsp of oil (to fry the fish & ginger)
2 L of water
salt to taste


How do I prepare it?

  1. Cut and soak the octopus in a bowl of warm water
  2. Thoroughly wash and clean the fish
  3. In a shallow pan on medium heat, add oil and ginger and when the oil is hot, add fish
  4. Fry the fish with the ginger on both sides until golden brown
  5. Remove from stove to let cool
  6. Boil your soup water
  7. Wash and peel papaya skin, cut into large edible portions
  8. When the water boils, add in fish, fried ginger, octopus and papaya
  9. Boil on medium heat for 1.5 hours
  10. Put into a thermal pot to keep warm or for reboil later

Any benefits?

  • This soup is rich vitamin C, carotenes and antioxidants
  • It is said to aid in milk production for breastfeeding women (use green papayas in this case)

Any precautions?

  • Be sure to use smaller fish (not the tiny fish, but a foot in length is OK) as the larger the fish, the more mercury content
  • You can consider using a soup bag for the fish, although the little fish tend to stick together if you just halve it

Similar soups:

The soup is a very rich, milky broth

Wintermelon with Lotus Leaf and Corn in Pork Broth

Soup Name: Wintermelon with Lotus Leaf and Corn in Pork Broth

Traditional Chinese Name:  冬瓜湯 (dōng guā tāng)

Introduction:
There is one particular day in the summer where the Chinese call it the “hottest day of the month”. This is the soup for that day. When I went to the wet market that morning and wanted to make another soup, my veggie vendor told me to make this soup – without a doubt. It’s a cooling, heat-reducing soup for those really stuffy, hot days in the summer.  You can use either pork or chicken (or both) and it may need a bit of salt because all the ingredients are mildly flavored, but it still tastes slightly sweet and natural without the salt.

 

What Ingredients are required?

1 pound of pork shin or pork bones
1 slice of wintermelon, sliced with skin on
2 fresh corn, kernals sliced
70 g of fresh gingko bilobas
70 g dried lily seeds
1 large piece of fresh lotus leaf
2 L of water
salt to taste


How do I prepare it?

  1. Blanch pork in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes
  2. Drain pork and set aside
  3. Rinse wintermelon and slice with the skin on each piece
  4. (Optiona) Cut corn into large pieces or slice kernals from the cob
  5. Rinse gingko bilobas and lotus seeds into warm water
  6. Start to boil your soup water
  7. When your soup water is boiling, add all the ingredients together (including the kernal-less cobs)
  8. Boil on medium heat for 1 hour and set in a thermal pot for another 3 hours
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • This soup is excellent for cooling down the body and heat from hot summer days

Any precautions?

  • Women in their first trimester of pregnancy should avoid as it is an extremely cooling soup and may cause contractions
  • Melon soups are best consumed within same day as keeping melon soups overnight or over an extended period will make the melons sour (and so will your soup!)

Similar soups:

 

GUEST SOUP: Pumpkin Corn Pork Shin Fig Soup

 

Guest Poster: Debbie!

Soup Name: Pumpkin Corn Pork Shin Fig Soup

Introduction:
This is a guest soup submission from our good friend Debbie, who is the ultimate stay-at-home mom with two kids and one on the way!  She whipped up this simple Pumpkin and Corn Fig soup and with the help of a thermal cooker, baked the soup until all its healthy and yummy goodness came out!  Thanks Deb for this post and looking forward to more of your homemade creations (on top of your weekly cupcakes!).

 

What Ingredients are required?

1 piece of pork shin, sliced into 1/2 inch thick strips
1/2 fresh Japanese pumpkin, quartered with peel (and seeds)
2 whole corn, halved
2 whole carrots, sliced
6 dried figs
1 tbsp apricot kernals (north, bitter)
1 tbsp apricot kernals (south, sweet)
2 L of water
salt to taste


How do I prepare it?

  1. Slice pork and blanch in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes
  2. Drain pork and set aside
  3. Scrub pumpkin under running water and slice into large pieces, keeping the skin and seeds
  4. Clean and cut corn and carrots into edible portions
  5. Soak apricot kernals and figs in warm water for 10 minutes
  6. Start to boil your soup water and add figs to your cold soup water
  7. When your soup water is boiling, add all the ingredients together
  8. Boil on medium heat for 1 hour and set in a thermal pot for another 8 hours
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Pork shin is a healthy cut of pork and has low fat content
  • This soup is an excellent source of beta-cartone and vitamins
  • This soup is neutral and great for children

Any precautions?

  • Be sure to thoroughly clean the pumpkin skin

Similar soups:

 

Abalone in Chicken Soup

Abalone in Chicken Soup

Soup Name: Abalone in Chicken Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 鮑魚清雞湯 (bào yú qīng jī tāng)

Introduction:
This soup is a powered up version of the Chicken Herbal Soup. Packed with the natural sea-sweetness of the abalones and herbs, it’s a great soup for the cold winter months or confinement. You can eat the abalone as whole pieces (usually the smaller ones are cheaper, but it’s still an expensive soup), or sliced thinly and dipped in soy sauce.  Regardless, don’t waste the abalone!  In addition, I know it says Chicken soup, but the Chinese commonly also add a small pork shank or pork bone to their otherwise known as Chicken and even Fish soups.  You can’t get away from the staple pork.

What Ingredients are required?

1 fresh whole chicken, prepared and quartered
1 pound of fresh pork shank (or any other pork parts for soups is suitable)
6-7 fresh small abalones (or dried)
5-6 dried scallops (conpoys)
1 handful of wolfberries
20 g of dried peanuts (for soups)
20 g of euryale or fox nuts
5 sticks of dried Chinese yam
2 litres of water


How do I prepare it?

  1. Prepare chicken (in quarters) by rinsing and blanching in a pot of boiling water (let it boil for about 2-3 minutes)
  2. Remove chicken and set aside
  3. Boil your pork in the same pot of boiling water as the chicken (for 2-3 minutes)
  4. Drain water and set aside
  5. Wash and clean abalone (with a toothbrush to be sure to brush off all the black residue)
  6. Wash and soak for 10 minutes all the dried herbs
  7. Boil your soup water
  8. When your soup water is boiling, add all the ingredients together
  9. Boil on high heat for 30 minutes and reduce to low boil for another 2 hours.
  10. 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?

  • As the whole chicken can be oily, be sure to remove all oil before serving
  • Minimize herbs when used for children (above sampling suggested)
  • Peanuts are also introduced in this soup, so remove or avoid giving to children as suggested with potential peanut allergies

Similar soups:

 

Lotus Root with Dried Octopus in Chicken Soup

Soup Name: Lotus Root with Dried Octopus in Chicken Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 章魚幹蓮藕雞湯 (zhāng yú gàn liánǒu jī tāng)

Introduction:

This is a simple, easy-to-make soup that doesn’t require many ingredients. It’s a heavy sweet (not a light sweet) and appropriate for spring weather.  This soup is quite neutral and ideal for children and adults. The dried octopus & dried mussels do give the soup a little bit of a “fishy” taste if you put too much, but use less if you’re concerned. It’s a similar taste to dried conpoy almost. A naturally delicious soup for the whole family.

What ingredients are required?

1 fresh chicken, quartered
1 whole dried octopus, sliced
10-12 dried baby mussels
2 section of lotus roots, sliced
1 peel of dried tangerine peel
2 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Prepare chicken (see chicken post) and blanch in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes, drain and set aside
  2. Soak dried octopus and baby mussels in water for about 30 minutes
  3. Boil your soup water
  4. Slice octopus in slices or quartered
  5. Peel and cut arrowroot into large cubes
  6. Add all the ingredients into your boiling soup water
  7. Boil on high for thirty minutes and reduce to medium boil for another hour
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Neutral soup that is ideal for the whole family
  • No salt required as the preparation of the octopus and mussels already provide enough sodium
  • Octopus is rich in calcium, phosphorous, and iron
  • Dried Octopus aids in the prevention of anemia, relieves fatigue and restores eyesight and improves liver functions

Any precautions?

  • Be sure to purchase dried Chinese products from a reputable source
  • Sometimes the octopus is really salty, so if you want to reduce the saltiness, soak in warm water for a few hours
  • Dried octopus is high in cholesterol
  • People who are allergic to shellfish may be allergic to octopus

Similar soups:

 

Arrowroot and Water Chestnuts Vegetarian Soup

Soup Name: Arrowroot and Water Chestnuts Vegetarian Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 馬蹄粉葛湯 (mǎtí fěn gé tāng)

Introduction:

This soup is great for heated bodies and sore throats.  It is mildly cooling, but extremely soothing with it’s sweet taste and smoothness.  Since it’s meat free, it’s completely oil free and by adding more carrots, you can sweeten it to the point where you can consider drinking it cold (definitely tasted amazing cold because it really helped cool my poor, fiery throat).  You can consider adding other ingredients as well, such as corn, onions, pumpkin or even meats (pork, chicken or fish are all good meats to “salty” up the soup).

What ingredients are required?

1 arrowroot, peeled & sliced
10-15 fresh water chestnuts
2 fresh carrots, cut into large pieces
1 peel of dried tangerine peel
3 large dried dates
2 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Peel and cut arrowroot into large cubes
  2. Wash & peel water chestnuts
  3. Wash, peel and cut carrots into large cubes
  4. Wash and prepare dried tangerine peel (by scraping it with a flat knife on both sides)
  5. Boil your soup water and when it boils, add all the ingredients together
  6. Boil on high for thirty minutes and reduce to medium boil for another hour
  7. Serve and enjoy!
  8. Can be served cold, so you can refrigerate before serving

Any benefits?

  • Helps eliminate sore throats and heaty bodies
  • It is a mildly cooling soup
  • It’s quite diverse in that you can add meats (to make it more salty or just add salt in moderation) or keep it a sweet, cold drink and refrigerate prior to consumption
  • Excellent for young children

Any precautions?

  • Pregnant women in their first trimester or menstruating should take caution as it is mildly cooling
  • Avoid if coughing (as mildly cooling ingredients may further aggravate your cough)