Hong Kong Styled Russian Borscht Soup

Hong Kong Styled Russian Borscht Soup

Hong Kong Styled Russian Borscht Soup

Soup Name:

Hong Kong Styled Russian Borscht (with oxtail)

Traditional Chinese Name:

羅宋湯 (luó sòng tāng)

Nature:  Warming

Taste: Savory, sweet, and slightly sour

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

 

Did you know the secret ingredient to an HK-styled Russian Borscht is Worcestershire sauce (and some lemon juice)?

Falling off the bone oxtail?

Soft delicious veggies?

Savory and a hint of tart delicious broth?

Yes, the Hong Kong Styled Russian Borscht is a classically adopted fusion soup that is very different and uniquely different to the traditional European borscht (no beetroots or cream).  Instead, it’s a tomato based beef broth and a range of choice vegetables diced small. 

I love the subtle tart flavours of the soup, but yet incredibly savory and hearty.  This soup indeed eats like a meal!

What’s involved?

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 120 minutes 

Total time: 150 mins

Serves: 8 bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 full oxtail
  • Optional pieces of beef flank
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and largely cubed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and largely cubed
  • 2 celery stalks, peeled and largely cubed2 tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, slicked thin
  • 3 dried dates
  • Fresh green onions

Flavouring

  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1 lemon
  • 5 dried bay leaves
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons or Worcestershire sauce
  • 11-12 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Cooking Instructions

  1. In your soup pot, with a bit of oil on med heat, pan fry the garlic cloves and oxtails until golden brown and fragrant (they smell so good!).  I don’t blanch and will do this instead.
  2. Add the cubed beef flanks and potatoes, allowing them to also brown nicely
  3. Add in your soup water, about 11-12 cups of water and turn on high heat
  4. I will then drop in my vegetables, tomatoes, celery, onion, carrots, and the dried dates
  5. Cover and let it come to a full boil, then reduce to med heat for another 1.5 hours
  6. Here you can now add in the flavouring of the soup (this is what really makes it distinct as a the HK-styled Russian Borscht)
  7. I will also throw in the cabbage
  8. Cover and let that simmer for another 30 minutes
  9. Garnish with fresh green onions, serve, and enjoy!

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Making a Delicious Lotus Root with Vegetables in Pork Broth Chinese Soup (with Roasted Fresh Peanuts!)

Making a Delicious Lotus Root with Vegetables in Pork Broth Chinese Soup (with Roasted Fresh Peanuts!)

Making a Delicious Lotus Root with Vegetables in Pork Broth Chinese Soup (with Roasted Fresh Peanuts!)

Soup Name:

Making a Delicious Lotus Root with Vegetables in Pork Broth Chinese Soup (with Roasted Fresh Peanuts!)

Traditional Chinese Name:

蓮藕豬骨湯 (Lián’ǒu zhū gǔ tāng)

Nature: Neutral

Taste: Sweet 

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube. 

For this post, I made 6 x 2 person portions (freezing them in packs and giving some to friends).  I didn’t really make a pot that big.  LOL.

You’ll see in the image that they fit neatly into 6 packs, which are vacuum sealed (try this vacuum seal starter kit that comes with the machine and the bags) and frozen.  That means the it’s literally a take-out-and-drop soup.  NO WORK needed!  I’ve even prepped and blanched the meat so it comes clean into the soup.  

I used a frozen pack the other day and it was AMAZING.  Literally 2 minutes of work for me first thing in the morning before my meetings.  I dropped the whole frozen pack into my rice cooker, added water to the max water line, and pressed COOK RICE.  That means, I had a delicious hearty soup ready for lunch, which I had with rice.  It was PERFECT! 

This is a great, earthy, slightly nutty light soup great for the whole family!

I know, I went a bit crazy on the portions, but stay with me 🙂  I actually made extra to freeze (and give to friends)!  Each packs are made in 2 person portions and I actually tried one in the rice cooker and it was AMAZING!  I know each device is different, so the rice cooker I’m using is a Zojirushi one, which is fantastic.  I’ve been using this brand from Hong Kong and has to rebuy in Canada.

This soup is easy to make and with common ingredients.  Lotus roots are very accessible in Canada and Hong Kong and make for an amazing meal as part of the soup with the hearty vegetables and pork ribs.

 

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 60 minutes (in rice cooker)

Total time: 90 mins

Serves: 4 bowls (2 people portion)

Ingredients

Cooking Instructions

  1. I will first pre-soak the dried mushrooms to allow them rehydrate
  2. Cut and wash your pork ribs
  3. In a small pot of cold water with a teaspoon of salt (to lower the boiling point), add your ribs to blanch and set to a high boil.  Once that boils, you can remove the pork bones
  4. Drain the pork ribs and rinse one more time with cool water to get rid of any debris, bones, or foam
  5. Peel and slice your lotus roots
  6. Peel and slice your carrots
  7. Cut your corn into bite-sized portions
  8. Using the flat side of a butcher’s knife, gently crack the peanuts and remove the fresh peanuts from the shell
  9. In a shallow pan with a little bit of oil, pan fry the peanuts with a pinch of salt until golden brown on medium heat
  10. Optional to fry the rehydrated shiitake mushrooms at this point with the peanuts
  11. In your soup pot add all the ingredients together and bring to a boil covered.  Once that boils, reduce heat and let it simmer for another 60 minutes covered.  Or you can try to use a rice cooker, which worked amazing for me!
  12. Serve and enjoy!

Tips for making this soup:

  • Use fresh lotus roots.  You’ll know they’re fresh when they are super crunchy and as you cut through it, it’s pale and looks clean.  Be sure to wash thoroughly as lotus roots do have a lot of mud as they are grown under water.
  • Buy fresh peanuts (available from Asian supermarkets).  This takes a bit of work to process, but produces deeper, darker flavours versus using pre-processed roasted peanuts (which tend to be pretty salty).  But both work just as great!
  • Pan frying mushrooms ahead of time really brings out the flavour of the dried shiitake mushrooms.

For videos, visit us on YouTube. 

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Cooling Snow Pears and Apples in a Chrysanthemum Tea

Cooling Snow Pears and Apples in a Chrysanthemum Tea

Cooling Snow Pears and Apples in a Chrysanthemum Tea

Tea Name:

Cooling Snow Pears and Apples in a Chrysanthemum Tea

Traditional Chinese Name:

雪梨蘋果菊花清熱茶 (xuě lí píng guǒ jú huā qīng rè chá) 

Nature:  Cooling

Taste: Sweet and sour

(You can read this article on the impact on your body of different food tastes!)

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

When it’s hot, stuffy and the temperatures are blowing the thermometers through the roof, this deliciously sweet and tart tea is perfect for this type of weather!

The mercury hit 32 C yesterday and what better way to cool the body than with a cooling, sweet tea that can help reduce internal heat, clears and disperses dryness, and moistens the lungs and stomach.   

The amazing thing about this tea is that you can also enjoy the snow pear and apples as part of the tea.  With the right cook time of 10 minutes, parts of the fruit are still semi-crunchy!  So delicious!  And you don’t need to add any sugar or honey because of the natural sugars of the fruit.

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

Total time: 30 mins

Serves: 2 cups

Ingredients
Cooking Instructions
  1. Cut up your snow pears and apples into cubes, keeping the skin on.  This helps hold it together and not disintegrate, but actually, from a Traditional Chinese Medicine benefit perspective, it’s the skins that hold the most value!  I talk about this below a little more!
  2. In a stove top safe ceramic or glass pot, add all your ingredients together
  3. Boil on medium high for 10 minutes, or until it’s bubbling for at least a good 5 minutes to really get the flavours out
  4. Serve and enjoy!
  5. You don’t need to add any honey or sugars at all!  

Snow pear are amazing for cooling and moisturizing the body, targeting the lungs and stomach.  It’s perfect for yin deficiencies (which includes cough) and reducing fire in the body and lungs.

It’s actually the skin of the snow pear that has the most power!  That’s why I keep them on when I’m making a tea with them or a soup.  And they provide a good source of fiber for the body.

Alternatively, if you don’t eat snow pear skins when you’re having the fruit, I would suggest to keep the peeled skin to dry, or freeze in a ziploc to save for use in soups or teas, but you don’t need to eat them!

 

EQUIPMENT USED

To answer your questions on what equipment I'm using, I've built a section here where you can find and explore what I'm using to make soups.  Ingredients are a little harder, but I will do my best as I source them around.  However, you can always message me on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or Facebook, and I will reply and try to point you in some direction!  

A great help for fish or small bones in soups, including small ingredients such as barley, fox nuts, spices just to keep everything together.

A MUST HAVE in the kitchen!  Energy saving, cost effective, and perfect for busy chefs!  Check out my article here that explains it.

Another MUST HAVE in the kitchen for soups!  It's so fine that it will scoop off the top oil and foam layer when using meats in your soup!

I use these types of stove top safe tea pots to make most of my herbal teas!

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Green radish with carrots & corn in a Chinese herbal pork broth

Green radish with carrots & corn in a Chinese herbal pork broth

Green radish with carrots & corn in a Chinese herbal pork broth

Soup Name:

Green radish with carrots & corn in a Chinese Herbal Pork Broth

Traditional Chinese Name:

紅青蘿蔔湯 (hóng qing luóbo tang)

Nature:  Cooling

Taste: Sweet and savory

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

My parents came home last night from a cruise from Italy and are jet lagging and there’s nothing more warming, homecoming, and beautiful than a familiar Chinese soup waiting for them!

I made an easy green radish, carrots, and corn pork herbal broth.  The trick to this soup is to really let it boil out.  I made it early morning and then pretty much let it sit in the thermal pot all day until dinner.  

TIP:  This soup actually tastes even better left overnight!  Don’t forget to boil it before you sleep and don’t open the lid or cover (this will ensure that everything is killed off and isn’t reintroduced, this is how they manufacture canned food and soups in large scale!).  Re-boil the next day and you can still drink it.

 

Traditionally in the Cantonese soup repertoire, this green radish and carrot soup is cooling and often recommended if you’re feeling heaty, want to cool the body, or it’s hot and humid in the summer and autumn months.

It is also commonly found as a dinner soup, where restaurants will serve it at the beginning of the meal known as “lai tong” (or aka, free soup).  You’ll find the bits of carrots and green radish chopped up and along with pork (or chicken).

What’s involved?

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 2-3 hours

Total time: 2 hours and 20 mins

Serves: 10 bowls

Ingredients
Cooking Instructions
  1. Boil both your soup water (3L) and another pot to blanch the pork bones in (enough to cover all the bones)
  2. Once your blanching water boils, gently drop in the pork bones and boil on high for 5-7 minutes, until the brown foam begins to form on top of the water.  You can turn off the stove at this time.
  3. Prepare your vegetables by peeling and chopping into large bite-sizes
  4. Once your soup water boils, transfer the pork bones to your soup pot.  You can either rinse them gently in the water, or do a water rinse under warm water to remove all the debris and foam stuck to the pork bones
  5. Drop in all the ingredients (herbs + vegetables) together
  6. Cover and boil on high for 30 minutes
  7. Transfer to a thermal pot for at least 2-3 hours
  8. Re-boil for 10 minutes prior to serving
If you’d like to quick boil this faster, I’d suggest cutting up the pieces smaller, almost cubed.

Be sure to also buy fresh, firm green radish.  You’ll know they’re fresh because they are super hard to touch and you can’t really squeeze them.  When they get soft, squishy (but not leaky), they’re already drying out and aging.

This combination of green radish and carrots are amazingly delicious!  Some people will also add white radishes, which makes the soup even more cooling, and corn is also a nice addition!  Enjoy!

 

Q&A

A huge thank you to my Instagram community for the questions as they also hugely benefit other readers who may be thinking the same thing!  

 

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Chinese-Styled Cream of Corn Egg Drop Soup

Chinese-Styled Cream of Corn Egg Drop Soup

Chinese-Styled Cream of Corn Egg Drop Soup

Tea Name:

Chinese-Styled Cream of Corn and Egg Drop Soup

Chinese Name: 

玉米湯 (yù mǐ tāng)  

Nature:  Warm

Taste:  Sweet, Salty

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

There are as many versions of a Chinese-styled corn and egg drop soup as there are likely ABC soups!  This is a staple in lots of Cantonese cuisines, with a thinner consistency over an American Chinese version (which uses corn starch as a thickener).

It is also known as the “egg flower soup”, which I love!  Because the idea is that the egg drop flowers into the soup as you pour it in, giving it a beautiful non-uniform design inside the soup!

 

This is actually one of my dad’s favourites and you can find the very basic version of the soup, the Corn and Egg Drop Basic Soup here.  I remember having this very often as a kid, especially as it’s super easy to make, the ingredients are readily available, and it is delicious served on rice!!  It’s almost like a sauce, but not quite!

With this version, I’ve gone a bit Chinese with some of the herbal additives just because I wanted a slightly warmer take on it and definitely a heartier version with the potatoes because I know my kids love potatoes!  Honestly, I would recommend you tweak, build, or create whatever inspires you!  This is the beauty of cooking (versus baking… but we can save that debate for another day!). 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

Total time: 35 mins

Serves: 8 bowls of soup

Ingredients
Cooking Instructions
  1. You can prepare all your ingredients first, primarily the onions, garlic, potatoes, and fresh corn on the cob
  2. Chop your onions quite finely into cubes
  3. Dice up your garlic
  4. Remove the ears from the corn and shuck the corn, taking only the kernels.  I tend to snap the corn in half first so that it stands on the flat side so I can just shuck it down (see video)
  5. Wash, peel, and cube your potatoes into bite-sized pieces
  6. In your soup pot, with a bit of oil and on low heat, fry the onions on low heat to cook and slightly caramelize 
  7. Once the onions are soft, throw in the diced garlic to fry for 5 minutes on low heat
  8. Add in all the shucked corn kernels and stir for 5 minutes
  9. Turn up the heat to high now and add 2L water (or chicken broth)
  10. Allow this to come to a boil
  11. Once it boils, add in your Chinese herbs and the cubed potatoes
  12. Add in the canned cream of corn at this point
  13. Cover the soup
  14. Be sure to stir this soup once in awhile to prevent any of the ingredients from sticking to the bottom
  15. Once that boils again, you can reduce the boil to a low heat, keeping it covered for 10 minutes to allow the potatoes to fully soften
  16. In a bowl, crack your eggs and scramble
  17. Gently stir the soup in circles as you drizzle the egg drop into the soup, allow the eggs to cook as it enters the soup and not in clumps
  18. Serve, garnish, and enjoy!

Tips:

  • This is designed as a quick boil soup which means that the ingredients are cut up quite small (so they cook quicker)
  • For a true warm soup, consider adding sliced ginger, sliced tangerine peels, and even sesame oil (which is delicious and fragrant!)
  • I tend not to use a corn starch thickener here, but this really quite personal.  If you do use corn starch, be sure to dissolve the corn starch in cold water first and gently pour into the soup and stir
  • You can use frozen corn as well (although it doesn’t taste as yummy, but still works!)
  • Be sure to continuously stir as this soup cooks as to avoid any ingredients sticking to the bottom and burning
  • SERVE WITH RICE!!  SO YUMMY!

CHECK OUT OTHER SIMILAR SOUPS

EQUIPMENT USED

To answer your questions on what equipment I'm using, I've built a section here where you can find and explore what I'm using to make soups.  Ingredients are a little harder, but I will do my best as I source them around.  However, you can always message me on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or Facebook, and I will reply and try to point you in some direction!  

A great help for fish or small bones in soups, including small ingredients such as barley, fox nuts, spices just to keep everything together.

A MUST HAVE in the kitchen!  Energy saving, cost effective, and perfect for busy chefs!  Check out my article here that explains it.

Another MUST HAVE in the kitchen for soups!  It's so fine that it will scoop off the top oil and foam layer when using meats in your soup!

I use these types of stove top safe tea pots to make most of my herbal teas!

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Green Radish and Carrots Chinese Chicken Soup

Green Radish and Carrots Chinese Chicken Soup

Green Radish and Carrots Chinese Chicken Soup

Soup Name:

Green Radish and Carrots Chinese Chicken Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:

青紅蘿蔔雞湯 (qing hóng luóbo yù mǐ jī tāng)

Nature:  Cooling

Taste: Sweet and savory

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

Traditionally in the Cantonese soup repertoire, this green radish and carrot soup is cooling and often recommended if you’re feeling heaty, want to cool the body, or it’s hot and humid in the summer and autumn months.

It is also commonly found as a dinner soup, where restaurants will serve it at the beginning of the meal known as “lai tong” (or aka, free soup).  You’ll find the bits of carrots and green radish chopped up and along with pork (or chicken).

This soup is delicious, hearty, and tastes like home!  My family often prepares this and my (grown) children will always ask for it when I ask them what kind of soup they want 🙂

 

What’s involved?
Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 2 hours

Total time: 2 hours and 20 mins

Serves: 6 bowls

Ingredients
  • 3 pieces of boned chicken thighs, sliced, pan fried
  • 2 fresh green radishes, quartered and in 1-inch thickness
  • 3-4 small fresh carrots, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 handful of dried scallops
  • 7-8 dried longans
  • 5-6 dried red dates
  • 3 L of water
Cooking Instructions
  1. Begin to boil your soup water
  2. Optionally slice up your chicken thighs, I do this so that it cooks faster and there are smaller pieces in the soup to be served
  3. In a shallow pan, fry the chicken thighs under cooked and a lot of the skin and fat should render out
  4. Peel and chop up your radish and carrots.  I’m using a smaller cut this time around as I’m not boiling as long, but still want them relatively soft to be eaten
  5. Once your soup boils, drop in the meats, chopped vegetables, and herbs
  6. Cover and boil on medium heat for 2 hours
  7. No salt needed, serve and enjoy!
If you’d like to quick boil this faster, I’d suggest cutting up the pieces smaller, almost cubed.

Be sure to also buy fresh, firm green radish.  You’ll know they’re fresh because they are super hard to touch and you can’t really squeeze them.  When they get soft, squishy (but not leaky), they’re already drying out and aging.

This combination of green radish and carrots are amazingly delicious!  Some people will also add white radishes, which makes the soup even more cooling, and corn is also a nice addition!  Enjoy!

 

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