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
Soup Name: Monkey Head Mushroom with Chinese Yam in Pork Broth
Chinese Name: 猴頭菇豬湯 (hóu tóu gū zhū tāng)
Fresh monkey head mushrooms are a seasonal buy so you can imagine that when they are available, the veggie vendors all recommend this product. It is an extremely versatile product in that you can use it with a variety of vegetables, meats and additives. It is commonly found as a dried product for soup usage as well. This soup was made to help address cough and bugs in the family during the winter season. You can use a chicken soup base if you’d like it warmer, but I went with a pork base and threw in a good piece of dried tangerine peel to help with the cough. This soup is quite tasty, mildly sweet and savory, easy on the stomach, and perfect for the whole family!
In a separate smaller pot, boil some water and when the water boils, blanch your pork
Rinse all the herbs in warm water and set aside
Separately, use a small sharp-edged knife to scrape the dark (outer) side of the dried tangerine peel. This will help reduce the bitterness somewhat of the peel, but this is completely up to you on how pungent of a taste you’d like in the soup!
Wash and cut the corn
Using gloves, wash, peel, and cut the fresh Chinese Yam. You’ll need gloves because they tend to make your hands itchy if you touch them with bare hands.
When your soup water boils, add all the ingredients together
Boil on high heat for 30 minutes and reduce to a simmer for another 2.5 hours
Serve and enjoy!
Excellent soup for the lungs to help relieve cough
Helps moisten the lungs and throat
This soup is said to help strengthen the lungs
Mushrooms can irritate people with gout conditions, so take precaution when consuming
Be sure to buy dried mushrooms from a reputable source
Ginseng is optional as too much can actually be too cooling
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
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
My second project using the new double-boiler! I found a very simple, but delicious apple and pear Chinese soup with pork and chicken and Chinese herbs. This is a pretty traditional Chinese soup and can be made both with or without double-boiling. The purpose of double-boiling is really to maintain density of the flavours and lock in (better than regular boiling) all that goodness. I’d almost argue that using a thermal pot is similar to double-boiling. Double-boiled soups are normally made in the winter because they can be more potent and provide extra punch and warmth. This soup is awesomely yummy! It is designed to help soothe and moisten the throat and lungs. Most Chinese double-boiled soups use both chicken and pork. Even if you use a silkie chicken, the Chinese will throw in a small piece of pork shank. This makes the soup very sweet and rich in flavours.
Soup Name: Double-boiled Apple and Pear Chinese Herbal Soup
Traditional Chinese Soup Name: 蘋果雪梨燉雞湯 (píng guǒ xuě lí dùn jī tāng)
To see the full recipe, scroll down to skip my commentary.
For this recipe, you’ll need: A bunch of Chinese herbs (in mine, I have dried dates, dried longans, dried conpoys or scallops, dried Chinese yam, and wolfberries), some pork, a whole chicken, fuji apples, and snow pears.
To start, soak you herbs in warm water to soften. You can also scrub the Chinese Yam in running water before soaking to rinse off the sulphur that is sometimes used to process it. I just eyeball the amount of each herbs depending on the size of the pot, so it’s literally a handful of this and handful of that.
Soaking herbs ready for soup
Prepare your meats by removing as much fat as possible. This means, going with lean pork shank and removing all the skin and fat from the chicken. I tried to get as small as a chicken as possible because my pot isn’t that big – in a previous post, I used chicken drumsticks – which work perfectly because of their size, portions and you get both bone and meat. In a separate pot, blanch the meats in boiling hot water for 5 minutes to remove scum, oil, dirt, blood and any extras that like to make their way out of the bones and meat and into your soup. Once blanched, remove the meat from the soup and set aside to cool and to add to your soup later.
My overly ambitious portions of meat – a mix of pork and chicken
Keep the skin on the apples and snow pears. Firstly, this will help keep them intact and not disintegrate too much into the soup and secondly, it will help you scoop it out when you need to. Plus, the skin has its own unique flavour too – just be sure to rinse really well!
Start boiling your double-boiler (inner pot) outside on the stove with half the volume of water that the container will hold. It’s easier to add more water later if you need to top up. When the water more or less boils, throw all the ingredients into the pot. In my case, I can say OOPS! I was still missing one snow pear and 1 apple and ended up removing the ends of the drumsticks to make it all squeeze in. See, it’s all sticking out!
Adding all the ingredients into the double-boiler
Double-boil for 30 minutes first
Cover (if you can) and set to let it boil on medium heat for about 30 minutes. Do note that snow pears actually RELEASE more water as it boils, so the risk that it spills over is almost certain!
My double-boiled soup now overspilling!
After 30 minutes of medium boil, turn off the heat and let the pot cool. Once it cools sufficiently for you to put into its outer double-boiler, add the inner pot into the larger outer pot. You can add water later – but when you add water to the outer pot – add hot water! This will reduce the temperature flux of your inner pot. Fill it with enough water so that you can cover the inner double-boiler and this outer pot water won’t spill into the double-boiler. Cover and set on a low boil (you can still see small bubbles) for about 3 hours.
The double-boiler inside an outer pot
You’ll know your soup is progressing well when you see the pears and apples and colour of the soup turn into a rich golden liquid. Most double-boiled soups some in this golden colour and you’ll know that the flavours are intense and rich.
Rich soup colour of the double-boiled soup when it’s almost ready
Once your soup is ready, scoop out whatever you’d like and serve HOT! NO SALT NEEDED! That’s how sweet it is! Some people will like to eat the meats, dipped on soy sauce – by all means, do it! The meat is delicious as well. In my situation, I had leftover fruit, so I simply drank 2 bowls the size of rice bowls, threw in the rest of the fruit and added some more water and continued to double-boil it for another hour until dinner. Enjoy! I certainly did!
Double-boiled Apple and Pear Chinese Soup
Double-boiled Apple and Pear Chinese Herbal Soup
Recipe Type: Soup
Serves: 6 soup bowls
1 whole fresh [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/chicken-whole/”]chicken[/url], cut small (skin removed)
1/2 pound of fresh [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/pork-shank/”]pork shank[/url], cut small
1 tablespoon of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/scallops-dried-conpoy/”]dried conpoy[/url]
1 tablespoon of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/wolfberries-dried/”]dried wolfberries[/url]
1 tablespoon of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/longan-dried/”]dried longans[/url]
1 tablespoon of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/red-dates/”]dried red dates[/url]
3 pieces of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/chinese-yam-dried/”]dried Chinese Yam[/url]