How to make Chinese Soups or Herbal Teas: Chinese Soup Design 101

How to make Chinese Soups or Herbal Teas: Chinese Soup Design 101

How to make Chinese Soups or Herbal Teas:

Chinese Soup Design 101

Welcome!

This space is important for me to explore further with my community.

“Give a person a fish, feed them for a day. Teach a person to fish, feed them for life.” 

I am a big believer of teaching for growth. Sustainable growth. And I’ve come to realize a lot of questions I get from the community all point back to teaching some key design and TCM principles. So here’s the start to something great… a series of “learn it yourself” and evolve your soup and tea making beyond what I share as recipes.

GO AND CREATE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL!

 

Why is this useful?

  • I get a lot of questions about replacing ingredients (some are hard to find depending where you are based), so understanding the basic premise is super useful when you can’t find what you need!
  • It’s a mix and match game. Optimize it to support your health needs.
  • Now you have options beyond following recipes. You can tweak based on flavors and conditions with base recipes

As you begin your soup making journey, here are a few things I’ve learned along the way…

 

  • Experiment. Test. Learn. Repeat.
  • Be true to follow your favorite flavors. If you love the outcomes, you’ll do it more.
  • There is not only 1 way to make Chinese soups or teas.  There are many ways.  Follow the key principles and you’ll be perfect!
  • You don’t have to learn everything at once. It’s taken me 18 years to get to where I am. Constantly exploring, learning, asking, testing. 

One guiding principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine is the yin yang theory.  In the natural world, there exists a balance between 2 opposing and co-existing forces and yet, they also exist in each other.  Our bodies, minds, and souls are designed the same way in that to be healthy, we need to be in harmony between these 2 bipolar states.  Yin is receptive and passive, calm and slow, embodying cold and damp qualities (when we are sleeping).  Yang is its exact opposite in aggressive and active, embodying heat, dryness, and movement (when we are awake).

One of our mission at The Chinese Soup Lady is to bring these principles into the foods and drinks we consume in order to support harmony.  

You can explore more about some Traditional Chinese Medicine theories in these posts.

 The example:

A warming healing apple and ginger Chinese herbal tea

You can find the full recipe here.

Teas are the easiest to design. 

 

  • They are primarily made with fruit, roots, and herbs (no vegetables or meats)
  • Teas don’t always mean made with tea leaves.  Traditional Chinese Herbal teas actually don’t contain tea leaves.
  • Some Chinese herbal teas are so easy to make, they are simply steeped with boiling water.
  • Teas are super easy to make!  They can be made in 10 mins.
  • Simple herbal teas can rotate the same bunch of ingredients (either warming [increase yang] or cooling [increase yin] are the 2 main categories).

I would love to hear if you’ve got other ideas!  Drop them in the comments or any of my social channels and I’ll give you a shout out and add it to the post!

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How to soothe a sore throat with salted kumquats with honey

Tea Name: Soothing healing salted kumquat with honey Chinese herbal tea Traditional Chinese Name: 金桔蜂蜜茶 (jīn jú fēng mì chá). The direct translation of this is "kumquat honey tea".  Nature:  Warming Taste: Savory and sweet (You can read this article on the impact on...

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Soup Name: Japanese-styled miso butter ramen noodles soup Traditional Chinese Name: 日本拉麵 (Rì běn lā miàn). The direct translation is Japanese Ramen or Japanese pulled noodles. There are many variations of this dish depending on type of ramen (thin, thick, green tea...

How to make Chinese Soups or Herbal Teas: Chinese Soup Design 101

How to make Chinese Soups or Herbal Teas: Chinese Soup Design 101Welcome! This space is important for me to explore further with my community. "Give a person a fish, feed them for a day. Teach a person to fish, feed them for life."  I am a big believer of teaching for...

How to make a warm healing apple and ginger Chinese herbal tea (post cold run or ride)

Tea Name: Warm healing apple and ginger Chinese herbal tea (post cold exposure) Traditional Chinese Name: 保暖蘋果蕃茶 (bǎo nuǎn píng gān guǒ chá). The direct translation of this is "keep warm apple ginger tea". There are many variations of a "keep warm" tea with the...

How to soothe a sore throat with salted kumquats with honey

Tea Name: Soothing healing salted kumquat with honey Chinese herbal tea Traditional Chinese Name: 金桔蜂蜜茶 (jīn jú fēng mì chá). The direct translation of this is "kumquat honey tea".  Nature:  Warming Taste: Savory and sweet (You can read this article on the impact on...

How to make a one-pot delicious meatballs with potatoes and carrots stew in sweet soy sauce

Dish Name: One pot delicious meatballs with potatoes and carrots stew in sweet soy sauce Nature:  Neutral Taste: Savory and sweet (You can read this article on the impact on your body of different food tastes!) For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.Another...

How to make an easy delicious Miso Butter Ramen for dinner

Soup Name: Japanese-styled miso butter ramen noodles soup Traditional Chinese Name: 日本拉麵 (Rì běn lā miàn). The direct translation is Japanese Ramen or Japanese pulled noodles. There are many variations of this dish depending on type of ramen (thin, thick, green tea...

How to make Chinese Soups or Herbal Teas: Chinese Soup Design 101

How to make Chinese Soups or Herbal Teas: Chinese Soup Design 101Welcome! This space is important for me to explore further with my community. "Give a person a fish, feed them for a day. Teach a person to fish, feed them for life."  I am a big believer of teaching for...

How to make a warm healing apple and ginger Chinese herbal tea (post cold run or ride)

Tea Name: Warm healing apple and ginger Chinese herbal tea (post cold exposure) Traditional Chinese Name: 保暖蘋果蕃茶 (bǎo nuǎn píng gān guǒ chá). The direct translation of this is "keep warm apple ginger tea". There are many variations of a "keep warm" tea with the...

GIVE YOUR LOVE OF SOUP.

FOLLOW US AND SHARE.

How to make vegetarian green and white radish carrot Chinese herbal soup packs

How to make vegetarian green and white radish carrot Chinese herbal soup packs

How to make vegetarian green and white radish carrot Chinese herbal soup packs

Tea Name: Vegetarian Green and White Radish and Carrots Chinese Herbal Soup Packs

Traditional Chinese Name: 紅青蘿蔔湯 (hóng qing luóbo tang). Literal translation is “red pale radish soup”.  The red means the carrots (usually), the pale means the green radish (usually), but I’ve also added white radish into this vegetarian creation.

Nature:  Slightly cooling

Taste: Sweet and slightly bitter.  The bitter after tones are so slight and come from the dried tangerine peels, dried raw barley, and the radishes.  This is offset by the sweet herbs that include red date and dried longans and the carrots.

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

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

I did my first LIVE production (on Instagram).

You can watch the full soup pack production here.

The design of this soup is for the spring time, to eliminate toxins and liquid from the body.  This is aided by the dried raw barley (which is a diuretic) and the dried tangerine peel.

The soup packs are designed for 3-4 bowls and are meant to fit into a small pot or a 5 cup rice cooker.  I am using a Zojirushi 1L rice cooker that has a host of functions and I just press “cook rice” and it does it thing for an hour and then I have a delicious, healthy, ready-to-serve Chinese soup for dinner! 

The business case for making frozen soup packs in bulk!

This use case continues to amaze me!  Literally, this morning, I was like “I feel like soup” and I took out another one of these soup packs (this one to be precise because I made extra for me and my pescatarian friend) and tossed it into the rice cooker, topped up with water, added a few red dates and an hour later, had soup ready for lunch and dinner.

To start, I did a survey when I first initially created these for friends and the time saving is phenomenal.

On average, it takes someone 2-3 hours of time to make a Chinese soup (beginning to end with checking). Compared to using frozen premade soup packs using a rice cooker, it takes 5 minutes of work (and then 60 mins of no supervision) with an upfront investment of 2-3 hours to make 6 soup packs.  So on average, you are saving 14 hours of time over 6 soups.  The math isn’t perfect, but this was my best estimate based on answers from friends.  That’s HUGE!

    What’s involved?

    Prep time: 45 mins

    Cook time: 0 mins

    Total time: 45 mins

    Serves: 3-4 bowls x 5 soup packs

    Ingredients

    This is for 5 x soup packs:

    • 2 medium sized fresh green radishes
    • 1 medium sized fresh white radish
    • 5 small carrots (1 each)
    • 4 x 5 dried red dates
    • 4 x 5 dried longans
    • 5 dried small tangerine peels (1 inch in length)
    • 2 x 5 teaspoons of dried raw barley (or fried barley works)
    • 3 x 5 tablespoons of roasted cashews (salted or unsalted is fine)

    You’ll also need:

    Prep Instructions

    1. You can follow along in the YouTube video as well.
    2. Peel and chop all your vegetables. I tend to peel my radishes deeper as the skin is quite tough and thick and unpleasant to eat. I’ll chop the pieces quite small, about 1-inch cubes so that they boil quick and can fit into my rice cooker or smaller soup pot. I’ve had friends who also have used instapots for this recipe!
    3. Count out your Chinese herbs.
    4. I’ll then pack each soup pack starting with the vegetables first, green radish and white radish on the bottom and then layer the carrots around then finally the Chinese herbs into vacant spaces.
    5. Be sure to leave at least 2-inches from the top of where you’d like to seal.  You can cut the bag as well to ensure it’s fit to size.
    6. Don’t forget to label the soup with the date of production.  I’ll normally do this with a permanent market.
    7. Insert into your soup bag into the vacuum sealer and seal!  TA-DA!
    8. Immediately put them into the freezer.
    9. When making this, simply take out of the freezer, cut open the soup pack, drop into a rice cooker, instapot, or small pot.  Fill waterline to max.  Press cook rice (usually 60 minutes) and wait until it’s finished.  Serve and enjoy.

    Tricks and tips on prepping frozen Chinese soup packs

    • You can follow this YouTube video on “How to make frozen Chinese soup packs”
    • Cut your ingredients smaller so that it will fit into a rice cooker (or small pot or instapot)
    • Fully wash, cut, and blanch all meats so that they can drop directly into the soup
    • Pack the largest ingredients on the bottom of the pack, working your way up to the smallest (I’ll typically put meats on the bottom)
    • Consider what ingredients are best for frozen conditions.  This is usually roots, melons, starchier vegetables (like broccoli, cauliflower).  I don’t use leafy vegetables that often in these types of soups, although now that I think about it, would love to try a watercress and see how that freezes!
    • Prepare these packs for 3-4 bowls worth (also depends on the size of the rice cooker)
    • Write the date of production with a permanent market so that you know when it was produced, especially if you have a selection in the freezer.
    • Always reserve at least 2-inches at the top of soup pack before you seal to allow for more room to make the seal
    • Use a wet + dry vacuum sealer if you intend to use some of the juice or water reserves (such as coconut water, which is delicious and sweet!)

    For videos, visit us on YouTube.

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    How to soothe a sore throat with salted kumquats with honey

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    How to make Chinese Soups or Herbal Teas: Chinese Soup Design 101

    How to make Chinese Soups or Herbal Teas: Chinese Soup Design 101Welcome! This space is important for me to explore further with my community. "Give a person a fish, feed them for a day. Teach a person to fish, feed them for life."  I am a big believer of teaching for...

    How to make a warm healing apple and ginger Chinese herbal tea (post cold run or ride)

    Tea Name: Warm healing apple and ginger Chinese herbal tea (post cold exposure) Traditional Chinese Name: 保暖蘋果蕃茶 (bǎo nuǎn píng gān guǒ chá). The direct translation of this is "keep warm apple ginger tea". There are many variations of a "keep warm" tea with the...

    How to soothe a sore throat with salted kumquats with honey

    Tea Name: Soothing healing salted kumquat with honey Chinese herbal tea Traditional Chinese Name: 金桔蜂蜜茶 (jīn jú fēng mì chá). The direct translation of this is "kumquat honey tea".  Nature:  Warming Taste: Savory and sweet (You can read this article on the impact on...

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    Dish Name: One pot delicious meatballs with potatoes and carrots stew in sweet soy sauce Nature:  Neutral Taste: Savory and sweet (You can read this article on the impact on your body of different food tastes!) For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.Another...

    How to make an easy delicious Miso Butter Ramen for dinner

    Soup Name: Japanese-styled miso butter ramen noodles soup Traditional Chinese Name: 日本拉麵 (Rì běn lā miàn). The direct translation is Japanese Ramen or Japanese pulled noodles. There are many variations of this dish depending on type of ramen (thin, thick, green tea...

    How to make Chinese Soups or Herbal Teas: Chinese Soup Design 101

    How to make Chinese Soups or Herbal Teas: Chinese Soup Design 101Welcome! This space is important for me to explore further with my community. "Give a person a fish, feed them for a day. Teach a person to fish, feed them for life."  I am a big believer of teaching for...

    How to make a warm healing apple and ginger Chinese herbal tea (post cold run or ride)

    Tea Name: Warm healing apple and ginger Chinese herbal tea (post cold exposure) Traditional Chinese Name: 保暖蘋果蕃茶 (bǎo nuǎn píng gān guǒ chá). The direct translation of this is "keep warm apple ginger tea". There are many variations of a "keep warm" tea with the...

    GIVE YOUR LOVE OF SOUP.

    FOLLOW US AND SHARE.

    What basic equipment do I need to get started in making Chinese soups?

    What basic equipment do I need to get started in making Chinese soups?

    WHAT EQUIPMENT IS NEEDED TO MAKE AMAZING CHINESE SOUPS?

    Theoretically, a giant pot is all you need.  I mean, my ancestors certainly did it that way!  But of course, with technology and innovation comes a suite of tools that help us save effort, time, and resources in making delicious and amazing Chinese soups!
    One guiding principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine is the yin yang theory.  In the natural world, there exists a balance between 2 opposing and co-existing forces and yet, they also exist in each other.  Our bodies, minds, and souls are designed the same way in that to be healthy, we need to be in harmony between these 2 bipolar states.  Yin is receptive and passive, calm and slow, embodying cold and damp qualities (when we are sleeping).  Yang is its exact opposite in aggressive and active, embodying heat, dryness, and movement (when we are awake).

    One of our mission at The Chinese Soup Lady is to bring these principles into the foods and drinks we consume in order to support harmony.

    You can explore more about some Traditional Chinese Medicine theories in these posts.

    Links to all products below.  Please do support me if you wish to purchase through my amazon associates link.  Thanks so much for your continued support to produce content!

    💗💗💗

     

    What equipment do you need to make amazing Chinese soups?

     

    SOUP POT!

    Any pot will do.  I mean, any good quality, large pot, easy-to-clean, easy-to-use, sustainable, long life pot will do!  This is your life as a soup, in that pot!  I have a few, but the one I will also default to is my thermal pot.  I also use a cast iron one if I’m doing an all-in-one fry first and soup later.

    You can find a Shuttle Chef Thermal Soup Pot here.  However, if you’re in Canada and can access Zojirushi products, that’s the one I’m using both in Hong Kong and in Toronto.

    I will admit, I also use my rice cooker to make soup!!  It’s possible!  This makes 3-4 portions as I have a 5 cup sized Zojirushi rice cooker.  You can check out this video on how I was experimenting with making soup using a rice cooker because I was curious on how well it would turn out.  As it turns out, time and life savers for those busy bodied people!!

    You can buy my exact rice cooker here on amazon.  It is AMAZING!

     

    OIL SCOOPER!

    A must have if you’re planning on using any ingredients that have oil, meat debris, or little pieces that will float up and out.  These fine meshed scoopers pick up almost anything except the soup.  I’ll use them right after some of the meats boil or right before service.  My mom (grandma) actually uses it like a sieve and pours out soup through it to catch anything her grandchildren may find in the soup.  That’s definitely another way to get creative with this tool!

    I ended up buying a sturdier oil scooper here from Amazon.  I’ve also tried the $2 ones from Temu or the local Chinese supermarket, but these flip and flop around and end up snapping at the head over time.

     

    SOUP BAG (FISH BAG, HERBAL BAG, MESH BAG)

    This is also an amazing tool to have if you’ve got a lot of small herbs (such as barley, beans, apricot kernals, dried flowers) or any fish (especially smaller fish with bones).  This will keep these ingredients together so you don’t have to wade through them or sieve them out of the soup.  I am also a fan of the decomposable and environment-friendly ones, especially one that are reusable!  Just throw out all the used ingredients, flip inside out, and rinse it out with washing fluid like you would a towel.

    Here’s are the soup bags that I use from Amazon that are reusable and environment-friendly!

     

    SOUP LADLE

    Any ladle will do!  But how else will you serve your soup?  The one I find I love using is my green rubbery one, which is heat resistant and dishwasher safe.  It’s pretty huge, scoops a lot of soup, washes easily, and is just overall a really easy ladle to use.

    Here’s the soup ladle available on amazon.  I actually bought it in HK and took it back with me to Toronto.  It’s THAT good!

     

    TONGS

    You’d be surprised how heavy meats can get when you’re trying to blanch them in soup or trying to move them from one pot to another!  I must admit, my chopstick skills are good… but maybe I need more muscle strengthening in my hands because carrying a whole chicken carcass with regular chopsticks just wasn’t doing it.  Tongs are my next best friend when it comes to making soups!!

    Here’s a locking tong that I’m using from Amazon as well.  Works well, has great grip for those slippery oily meats, and is dishwasher safe, too!

     

    Some or all of these links may contain Amazon product referral links; as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. If you decide to use them, I would be grateful. If not, I am always thankful for your continued support! ❤️❤️❤️

    There’s making soups.
    And then there’s making soup BY DESIGN.

     

    HOW DO YOU KNOW WHICH SOUP TO MAKE? HERE’S MY DECISION MAKING PROCESS WHEN DECIDING WHAT SOUP TO MAKE!

     

    EXPLORE MORE

    How to soothe a sore throat with salted kumquats with honey

    Tea Name: Soothing healing salted kumquat with honey Chinese herbal tea Traditional Chinese Name: 金桔蜂蜜茶 (jīn jú fēng mì chá). The direct translation of this is "kumquat honey tea".  Nature:  Warming Taste: Savory and sweet (You can read this article on the impact on...

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    Dish Name: One pot delicious meatballs with potatoes and carrots stew in sweet soy sauce Nature:  Neutral Taste: Savory and sweet (You can read this article on the impact on your body of different food tastes!) For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.Another...

    How to make an easy delicious Miso Butter Ramen for dinner

    Soup Name: Japanese-styled miso butter ramen noodles soup Traditional Chinese Name: 日本拉麵 (Rì běn lā miàn). The direct translation is Japanese Ramen or Japanese pulled noodles. There are many variations of this dish depending on type of ramen (thin, thick, green tea...

    How to make Chinese Soups or Herbal Teas: Chinese Soup Design 101

    How to make Chinese Soups or Herbal Teas: Chinese Soup Design 101Welcome! This space is important for me to explore further with my community. "Give a person a fish, feed them for a day. Teach a person to fish, feed them for life."  I am a big believer of teaching for...

    How to make a warm healing apple and ginger Chinese herbal tea (post cold run or ride)

    Tea Name: Warm healing apple and ginger Chinese herbal tea (post cold exposure) Traditional Chinese Name: 保暖蘋果蕃茶 (bǎo nuǎn píng gān guǒ chá). The direct translation of this is "keep warm apple ginger tea". There are many variations of a "keep warm" tea with the...

    How to soothe a sore throat with salted kumquats with honey

    Tea Name: Soothing healing salted kumquat with honey Chinese herbal tea Traditional Chinese Name: 金桔蜂蜜茶 (jīn jú fēng mì chá). The direct translation of this is "kumquat honey tea".  Nature:  Warming Taste: Savory and sweet (You can read this article on the impact on...

    How to make a one-pot delicious meatballs with potatoes and carrots stew in sweet soy sauce

    Dish Name: One pot delicious meatballs with potatoes and carrots stew in sweet soy sauce Nature:  Neutral Taste: Savory and sweet (You can read this article on the impact on your body of different food tastes!) For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.Another...

    How to make an easy delicious Miso Butter Ramen for dinner

    Soup Name: Japanese-styled miso butter ramen noodles soup Traditional Chinese Name: 日本拉麵 (Rì běn lā miàn). The direct translation is Japanese Ramen or Japanese pulled noodles. There are many variations of this dish depending on type of ramen (thin, thick, green tea...

    How to make Chinese Soups or Herbal Teas: Chinese Soup Design 101

    How to make Chinese Soups or Herbal Teas: Chinese Soup Design 101Welcome! This space is important for me to explore further with my community. "Give a person a fish, feed them for a day. Teach a person to fish, feed them for life."  I am a big believer of teaching for...

    How to make a warm healing apple and ginger Chinese herbal tea (post cold run or ride)

    Tea Name: Warm healing apple and ginger Chinese herbal tea (post cold exposure) Traditional Chinese Name: 保暖蘋果蕃茶 (bǎo nuǎn píng gān guǒ chá). The direct translation of this is "keep warm apple ginger tea". There are many variations of a "keep warm" tea with the...

    GIVE YOUR LOVE OF SOUP.

    FOLLOW US AND SHARE.

    Here are 5 ways to prepare meats for Chinese soups!

    Here are 5 ways to prepare meats for Chinese soups!

    HERE ARE 5 ways to PREPARE MEATS for CHINESE SOUPS!

    What’s all that “stuff” floating around in my soup? Almost all bones and bone-in meats will have a little something extra extra.

    One guiding principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine is the yin yang theory.  In the natural world, there exists a balance between 2 opposing and co-existing forces and yet, they also exist in each other.  Our bodies, minds, and souls are designed the same way in that to be healthy, we need to be in harmony between these 2 bipolar states.  Yin is receptive and passive, calm and slow, embodying cold and damp qualities (when we are sleeping).  Yang is its exact opposite in aggressive and active, embodying heat, dryness, and movement (when we are awake).

    One of our mission at The Chinese Soup Lady is to bring these principles into the foods and drinks we consume in order to support harmony.  

    You can explore more about some Traditional Chinese Medicine theories in these posts.

    The back story…

    I know everyone has a different process or methodology about how they make Chinese soups and I welcome all methods and suggestions.  I can attest that I didn’t have TikTok or Instagram or YouTube growing up, so when my mom taught me to make Chinese soups, it’s was good old show and tell.  Even the ladies at the wet marts were amazingly helpful and would always share wisdom and tidbits as I was grocery shopping.  This is essentially where I learned most of my techniques and recipes and over time, eventually built my own, integrating science, Traditional Chinese medicine, and experimental cooking!

    Why I prepare my meats before using them in soups?

    There are many reasons why I take time and effort to clean, wash, and properly prepare my protein before using them in soups.  Here’s why:

    • I’m not always sure how it’s been processed before purchase.  It’s nice to assume that whomever was cutting it was using a clean knife or blade, but I never know.  The first and easiest thing I’ll do it to wash meats in cool running water first.  I know some cooking techniques tell you not to do this with chicken (salmonella risk), but I know I’m usually blanching or boiling anyways.
    • This will remove any debris left from preparation such as blood, bone bits, skin, fat bits, or marrow content.  This helps keep my soup clean without “weird” floating stuff around the soup that my grown children still make comments about.
    • It will keep the taste of the soup clean.  Marrow and blood have a certain taste and texture when cooked and I’m conscious to not dilute the soup with other taste if I’ve properly designed my soup for taste and benefits.  
    • Helps render and melt fat off the meats so the soup is healthier and has less fat content.  This is particularly true for whole chicken (including chicken thighs and sometimes chicken bones as it isn’t completely fat free), fatter cuts of pork, or ox tails (which have quite a bit of fat content wrapped around the tail).  
    • This also helps tone down and eliminate fishy or raw tastes of protein so it also doesn’t takeover the flavour of the soup and you can truly bring all out all the amazing blended flavours that it was intended to be!

    Here are 5 ways you can prepare meats for Chinese soups

    There’s making soups.
    And then there’s making soup BY DESIGN.

    HOW DO YOU KNOW WHICH SOUP TO MAKE? HERE’S MY DECISION MAKING PROCESS WHEN DECIDING WHAT SOUP TO MAKE!

    EXPLORE MORE

    How to soothe a sore throat with salted kumquats with honey

    Tea Name: Soothing healing salted kumquat with honey Chinese herbal tea Traditional Chinese Name: 金桔蜂蜜茶 (jīn jú fēng mì chá). The direct translation of this is "kumquat honey tea".  Nature:  Warming Taste: Savory and sweet (You can read this article on the impact on...

    How to make a one-pot delicious meatballs with potatoes and carrots stew in sweet soy sauce

    Dish Name: One pot delicious meatballs with potatoes and carrots stew in sweet soy sauce Nature:  Neutral Taste: Savory and sweet (You can read this article on the impact on your body of different food tastes!) For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.Another...

    How to make an easy delicious Miso Butter Ramen for dinner

    Soup Name: Japanese-styled miso butter ramen noodles soup Traditional Chinese Name: 日本拉麵 (Rì běn lā miàn). The direct translation is Japanese Ramen or Japanese pulled noodles. There are many variations of this dish depending on type of ramen (thin, thick, green tea...

    How to make Chinese Soups or Herbal Teas: Chinese Soup Design 101

    How to make Chinese Soups or Herbal Teas: Chinese Soup Design 101Welcome! This space is important for me to explore further with my community. "Give a person a fish, feed them for a day. Teach a person to fish, feed them for life."  I am a big believer of teaching for...

    How to make a warm healing apple and ginger Chinese herbal tea (post cold run or ride)

    Tea Name: Warm healing apple and ginger Chinese herbal tea (post cold exposure) Traditional Chinese Name: 保暖蘋果蕃茶 (bǎo nuǎn píng gān guǒ chá). The direct translation of this is "keep warm apple ginger tea". There are many variations of a "keep warm" tea with the...

    How to soothe a sore throat with salted kumquats with honey

    Tea Name: Soothing healing salted kumquat with honey Chinese herbal tea Traditional Chinese Name: 金桔蜂蜜茶 (jīn jú fēng mì chá). The direct translation of this is "kumquat honey tea".  Nature:  Warming Taste: Savory and sweet (You can read this article on the impact on...

    How to make a one-pot delicious meatballs with potatoes and carrots stew in sweet soy sauce

    Dish Name: One pot delicious meatballs with potatoes and carrots stew in sweet soy sauce Nature:  Neutral Taste: Savory and sweet (You can read this article on the impact on your body of different food tastes!) For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.Another...

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    FOLLOW US AND SHARE.

    What soup to make?  Here’s how I decide what Chinese soups to make…

    What soup to make? Here’s how I decide what Chinese soups to make…

    HOW DO YOU KNOW WHICH SOUP TO MAKE? HERE’s MY DECISION MAKING PROCESS WHEN DECIDING WHAT SOUP TO MAKE!

    There’s no exact science to this, but guided by a combination of 4 factors that I consider: 

    The consumer, conditions, preferences, and external factors.  

    One guiding principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine is the yin yang theory.  In the natural world, there exists a balance between 2 opposing and co-existing forces and yet, they also exist in each other.  Our bodies, minds, and souls are designed the same way in that to be healthy, we need to be in harmony between these 2 bipolar states.  Yin is receptive and passive, calm and slow, embodying cold and damp qualities (when we are sleeping).  Yang is its exact opposite in aggressive and active, embodying heat, dryness, and movement (when we are awake).

    One of our mission at The Chinese Soup Lady is to bring these principles into the foods and drinks we consume in order to support harmony.  

    You can explore more about some Traditional Chinese Medicine theories in these posts.

    Read more below on HOW MY BRAIN WORKS!

    And I tried really hard to document this in a more logical process.

    There’s making soups.
    And then there’s making soup BY DESIGN.

    And here’s my thinking process outlined into an infographic.  Stay with me!  One of my challenges is brain dumping my thinking on to a page.  It’s simple enough in my brain, that’s why I need a full blog for this!

    How I define what to look at (merging some of my experience in Retail):

    1. Who is the consumer?  Who is consuming the soup?  Even if it’s yourself, it matters.  The point is to ensure your consumer is having an AMAZING experience consuming your soup or tea.  Eating, drinking, savouring, tasting is meant to be enjoyable.  This is why we continue to cook, continue to serve, continue to make.  It’s because it was an enjoyable experience!

    2. Are there any immediate things to address?  And this is second priority because symptoms are superficial and short-lived.  The idea is to relieve these symptoms so we can get to the root of true balance in the body.  This can include a cough, a cold, having gone through a certain life body stage (such as birthing [or confinement] or menopause or a surgery).  This step usually informs the type of herbs (and ingredients) I will use.

    3.  Any dietary considerations?  This step helps with determining my soup base, usually the meat (or not) involved.  My 2 primary default meats are chicken or pork.  Chicken usually for more warming soups (such as Herbal healing soups) and pork for more cooling soups (like a winter melon double boiled soup).

    4.  Any external factors to consider that impact the long term balance in the body?  This includes weather, humidity, or anything not covered in step 2 around conditions.  This will also inform some of the herbs (but not as primary input) and ingredients, such as using winter melons in the summer and more beans in the spring to help dispel moisture from the body.

     

    HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES

    USE CASE 1:

    Having a barbeque (PARTY!!) and it’s in the dead of summer.  Which means the external conditions are hot and dry.  Consuming barbeque, hot pot, or anything deep fried creates excess yang (or heatiness) in the body.  

    Sometimes you’ll either develop canker sores, a rough cracking red tongue, or pimples, these are all signs of excess yang in the body.  This is explained in this guide to using TCM in teas and soups here.  I’ll make a soup that’s more cooling (reducing yang) with pork that can help eliminate heat in the body.  Ingredients include winter melons, fresh snow pears, chayotes, green radish are a few.  This is also why the Chinese love serving watermelons and drinking prune juice during hot pots!  I’ll also prepare teas that help cool the body, which can include water chestnuts, fresh and dried snow pears, or American ginseng and honey.

     

    USE CASE 2:

    I run and ride outdoors A LOT!  This includes during questionable weather conditions where I know it’s bad for me, but I still do it thinking I’ve bundled myself well enough and thinking I can always make a warming, yin reducing tea.  LOL.  I know I’ve accumulated too much yin, especially in the lungs when my extremeties become numb and cold (like hands and feet and fingers), I have a runny nose immediately to exposure (a lot of us get this), and I’ll develop a surface cough in the throat in the evening.  You want to catch the pathogen before it goes too deep into the lungs!

    What I’ll make is a tea right away to warm the body (increasing yang), such as a red dates, longans, and ginger tea, or decreasing yin tea with monk fruit, ginger, and rock sugar.  

     

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    GIVE YOUR LOVE OF SOUP.

    FOLLOW US AND SHARE.

    Is your fish too fishy for soups? How to use fish in Chinese soups

    Is your fish too fishy for soups? How to use fish in Chinese soups

    Is your FISH too fishy for your soup? 
    HERE’s How to use Fish in CHINESe SOUPS 

    Thank you for your questions!  These make great topics for me to explore further and share my love of making soups and the best way to do it!  So if you have any comments or questions, or would love to be features, do leave a comment in any of my social channels, links all below.

    One guiding principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine is the yin yang theory.  In the natural world, there exists a balance between 2 opposing and co-existing forces and yet, they also exist in each other.  Our bodies, minds, and souls are designed the same way in that to be healthy, we need to be in harmony between these 2 bipolar states.  Yin is receptive and passive, calm and slow, embodying cold and damp qualities (when we are sleeping).  Yang is its exact opposite in aggressive and active, embodying heat, dryness, and movement (when we are awake).

    One of our mission at The Chinese Soup Lady is to bring these principles into the foods and drinks we consume in order to support harmony.  

    You can explore more about some Traditional Chinese Medicine theories in these posts.

    Thank you for the question!

    This is a great observation and question from a follower.  I kind of took for granted that because I knew how to use fish, that it would be common knowledge, but now that I think back on it, I actually avoided using fish for a large part of my cooking career because of this exact thought about “fishy” fish.

     

    Throughout my journey, I’ve learned there are so many ways to address the “fishiness” in using fresh fish in soups.  The Japanese versus the Koreans versus the Chinese and even versus the South East Asians all have different methods in which to handle fish.  I’ve explored a few in this video on YouTube.

    Here are some tips for using fish in soups:

    • You can either pan-fry or blanch your fish with ginger to minimize the fishy taste.  I prefer pan-frying because it really creates that fragrant smell and enhances the flavors of the soup!
    • Use a fish bag!  This is important especially if you’re using small fish.  This will help keep the fish together and the bones from disintegrating all over the soup.
    • I tend to use fish for quick boils soup as they cook really fast and begin to break down and shred the longer it boils, especially if the water is bubbling more, or use a fish bag.
    • I’ll use fish with bones in to keep the fish intact.  If you want to use filets, flash boil them or do a genuine quick boil (20 minutes or less) on medium heat.  This type of fish is used less for the taste of the broth and more as a protein in the soup.  
    • In general though, Chinese will use pork (pork shank or pork bones) along with fish (to add more flavours).
    • There are so many types of fish to use in soups such as:  Grass carp, salmon bones, all types of fish heads (bass, grouper, carp).

    The great thing about understanding how yin and yang is balanced is that this also pairs with the cooking styles of Chinese soups!

    You can follow this post on “How Different Styles of Chinese Soups are Made“.

     

    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!

    EXPLORE MORE

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    GIVE YOUR LOVE OF SOUP.

    FOLLOW US AND SHARE.