My herbalist recommended I make this soup given the recent change of temperature and humidity. She actually only provides the “dried goodies” – see below – in terms of herbs. She will tell you that you additionally need a pork shank and chayotes to complete the soup. This soup is targeted to help reduce wetness in the body and aid with the dampness that comes with Spring in Hong Kong. It’s slightly sweet to taste, and surprisingly, my children drank it all!
Soup Name: Spring Chayotes and Figs in Pork Broth
Traditional Chinese Name: 合掌瓜豬展湯 (hup jeung gwa zhū zhǎn tāng)
Spring Chayotes and Figs in Pork Broth
Recipe Type: Soup
Cuisine: Chinese Soup
1 pound of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/pork-shank/”]fresh pork shank[/url], cut and blanched
3 [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/chayote/”]fresh chayotes[/url], largely cubed with skin
30 g [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/apricot-kernals/”]apricot kernals[/url]
30 g [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/lily-bulbs/”]dried lily bulbs[/url]
40 g [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/lotus-seed/”]dried lotus seeds[/url]
40 g of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/fu-ling-or-tuckahoe/”]dried fu ling (or tuckahoe)[/url]
2-3 L of water
salt to taste
Start boiling your soup water and immediately (while the water is still cold) throw in all the dried herbs (figs, honey dates, apricot kernals, lily bulbs, lotus seeds)
In a separate pot, blanch the pork shank for 5 minutes, drain and set aside
Once the water boils, add in cubed chayotes (with the skin on so it won’t completely disintegrate in the soup) and pork shank
Boil on high for 30 minutes
Reduce to a medium boil for another 1.5 hours (or put it in a thermal pot)
Salt to salt
Serve and enjoy!
[b]Any benefits?[/b][br][br]The combination of chayotes and figs help relieve wetness from the body as chayotes are diuretic.[br]The soup is high in potassium (which help remove water from the body).[br]Chayotes are often used in cleansing diets or used as the season changes to help cleanse the body.[br]Chayotes are rich in amino acids.[br]The soup is good for removing damp heat (from the fu ling).[br][br][b]Any precautions?[/b][br][br]Add the figs into the soup while it’s cold or it will turn the soup sour if you add it in hot. I have never tried it, but this is what both my mother and my herbalist tell me![br]Most melon soups, chayotes included, will sour the day after, so consume the soup that day.
This is the base of the soup. Just add chayotes and any type of meat (either pork, chicken or fish).
It’s almost Spring time! Can’t you feel the warm sun on your face? Can’t you feel gentle wind without that bitter, cold bite?
Spring is a unique season – well, there are only 4 – so that’s pretty unique already. What makes Spring so different is one key thing (especially in Asia) – humidity. You can’t run from it – especially if you happen to live on an island in Asia or even South East Asia. And like all seasons in the Chinese circle of life, there are soups that are targeted for this season to help:
reduce moisture in your body
tone & strengthen Qi & blood
relieve heaviness in the head and body
For me, being a western-raised Chinese, the key is removing dampness (all the others aren’t as tangible to me). I can feel it in my blankets, in my bedsheets, on the walls and especially on my skin. To remove the “feeling” of dampness in my home, the humidifier is the next great thing after sliced bread in the Spring. I have 2 of these machines that run around the clock in my house to make sure that both my bedsheets and walls don’t start molding on me – it happens – especially given that I live facing a harbor. Spring is a great prelude to Summer, so I’m neither a hater nor a lover. So how do you deal with the dampness that affects the body? Drink soups – in great quantities.
Over the past 8 years living in Hong Kong, there are the same key soups that my meat, veggie and herbal vendors all tell me to make. Even the old ladies that I knock elbows with at the market tell me the same thing, and of course, my own mother. So it’s not coincidence that through generations of knowledge and teaching, the Chinese have narrowed down their soup recommendations for various personal and environment conditions.
There are always KEY ingredients associated with the Spring and you can mix and match the various vegetables and additives as needed for this season. You can also use a combination of pork, chicken and fish with the proposed “Spring” ingredients for variety.
Some Spring ingredients:
old cucumber – with its diuretic effect, it helps you urinate and release the moisture in your body.
adzuki beans – another natural diuretic, this ingredient can dispel both excess body moisture and heat. It also helps strengthen the spleen.
black eye beans – similar to adzuki beans in dispelling excess moisture from the body.
lentils – helps to also dispel moisture from the body and a great source of protein.
barley, job’s tears – another natural diuretic and used to promote urination and has mildly cooling properties.
Soup Name: Vegetables and Dried Octopus with Mung Beans Soup
Traditional Chinese Name: 雜菜綠豆章魚湯 (Zá cài lǜ dòu zhāng yú tāng)
When it rains, the Chinese like using beans to absorb moisture from the body. Mung beans, dried beans, red beans, green beans, yellow beans, big beans and little beans – any type of beans will do really! The octopus is known to be a heaty ingredient and therefore is balanced with the cooler mung beans. This combination with lotus root is a delicious Spring Chinese soup ideal for the whole family. I’ve also added a variety of vegetables to sweeten it and dilute the unique taste of the octopus that my children pick up on. On top of this, it gives you a hearty soup that you can eat as a meal or additional dishes to your meal – like the corn.
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)
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.
A bean-filled vegetarian soup that packs a punch in proteins. With seven different types of “beans”, it is a hearty meal that is easy to make and light to drink. By adding a Japanese pumpkin, it makes it slightly sweet and refreshing. The soup itself is very clear and slightly sweet. You can also add other vegetables such as corn, carrots, and onions to make it an even heartier broth.