How to make a simple, delicious radish seaweed soup!

How to make a simple, delicious radish seaweed soup!

How to make a simple, delicious radish seaweed soup!

Soup Name: Radish (Kombu) Seaweed Soup (vegetarian)

Chinese Name: 白蘿蔔海藻湯 (bái luóbo hǎi zǎo tāng).  This isn’t really a Chinese soup.  It’s more a blend of using Japanese and Korean radish and kombu (seaweed) components.

Nature: This is a cooling soup.  By design, the ingredients are quite cooling in the white radish and seaweed (you can follow this post on what ingredients are cooling or warming for soups)

Taste: Slightly sweet and savory

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

 

The best are the most simplest of soups!

This is a Japanese-styled white radish and kombu (seaweed) soup which I used as part of dinner.  It’s simple, it’s clean, and it’s meat-free, but still has a delicious umami taste (created by the seaweed and mushrooms).  So it’s both vegan and vegetarian!

I love that it’s very much like home.  It feels and tastes like home.  And it can be served with a variety of carbs and toppings or you can drink it clean.

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 30 minutes 

Total time: 45 mins

Serves: 8 large bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 whole white radish, thinly sliced
  • 1 whole piece of dried seaweed kelp
  • 1 whole white onion, quartered
  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • fresh green onions
  • 13 cups or 2.5 L of water 
  • salt and sesame oil to taste

For my dinner:

  • rice cakes
  • fresh enoki mushrooms
  • fish cakes 

Cooking Instructions

  1. In your soup pot, add in your sliced white onions and dried seaweed kelp
  2. Add in your soup water and cover
  3. Set this on high heat and allow that to come to a boil
  4. During this time, I will also drop in my fresh green onions (cut larger so that I can fish them out later), white radish (sliced very thinly), and dried shiitake mushrooms
  5. Cover and bring this to a full boil and reduce to medium heat and allow that to simmer for another 30 minutes
  6. Taste and salt as needed
  7. You can add this to noodles, rice, or rice cakes!  Top with your favourite toppings.  Serve and enjoy!

There are many soups that use dried seaweed kelp and white radish!

This soup is very similar to my Korean Dashi soup base, which you can add other ingredients to, although this one has dried anchovies, which also creates a different flavor and taste.

I am a big fan of this simple taste base… the seaweed and white radish! 

Would love to see your other suggestions on what you create here! 

 

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How to make a simple, delicious radish seaweed soup!

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Sweet and sour snow fungus and cucumber salad

Sweet and sour snow fungus and cucumber salad

Sweet and sour snow fungus and cucumber salad

Tea Name:

Sweet and sour snow fungus and cucumber salad (with garlic and red dates and goji berries) in a tart delightful mirin vinegrette dressing

Nature:  Slightly warming (due to the garlic, red dates, and vinegar)

Taste: Sweet and sour

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

Making snow fungus 2-ways the other day for dinner.  Since I was soaking one for my soup, I decided to economize my efforts and soak another to make a delicious, tart and sweet appetizer.

Why not more snow fungus?  This powerhouse Chinese herb is amazing at nourishing the yin in the lungs and helps retain moisture and collagen!  (YEAH, did someone say COLLAGEN?).  LOL.  Yah, it’s known to be the “poor man’s” version of bird’s nest, which helps to keep the skin firm and glowing.  In the end, snow fungus is just a mushroom.

I always keep a stash of these in my pantry now because they are perfect for soups, stews, salads, desserts, and even stir fried!  Seriously, get experimental and try it!

 

What’s involved?
 Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: No cooking needed

Total time: 15 mins

Serves: 5 cups (or servings)

Ingredients

The sauce:

 

  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of mirin
  • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons of white sugar
Cooking Instructions
  1. Soak the snow fungus in cool water for at least 10 minutes, ensuring it’s fully covered.  You can check out this video on how to prepare snow fungus.
  2. Wash and dice half a cucumber, keeping the skin on
  3. Dice all the garlic
  4. Once the snow fungus is fully bloomed and relatively soft and squishy, using scissors or a knife, remove the hard orange middle (cut as best as you can as this part is tougher to eat)
  5. Dice the snow fungus into bite-sized pieces
  6. Add in all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and give it a good mix, ensuring all the sauce covers all parts of the salad
  7. Chill and serve.  Enjoy!

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Dried Red Rose Buds

Dried Red Rose Buds

Dried Red Rose Buds

Ingredient Name:

Dried roses, dried rose buds, rose rugosa, China rose, red roses

Traditional Chinese Name:

玫瑰花 (méi guī huā)

Nature:  Slightly warming (due to the drying and heating process of the flowers)

Taste:  Sweet, bitter

You can get started on your Chinese Soup Kitchen Pantry from this video!  While dried flowers aren’t usually used in Chinese soups, they are certainly staple in Chinese Herbal Teas!

 

 

I’m a big fan of roses!  They remind me of smiles and love.  While not commonly used in Chinese Herbal Teas so much, they are very popular in the Western selection of teas and stem from way back in Western culture especially in an apothecary and healing capacity.  However, rose buds and roses are used in so many cuisines and dishes, such as teas (hot and cold), desserts, cakes, as flavouring, or as decorative in and on food.

What’s used are the dried rose petals and buds of the flower.  They are fragrant, slightly sweet (and bitter), and have quite a unique taste to the tea.  I usually keep a bag of these in my herbal tea pantry and they have amazing shelf life!  You can harvest your own red rose petals or buds from your own rose garden (if you have one!).  The buds are before the flower blooms  or after bloom, you can simply take the petals as well.  

The best thing for me about rose buds in Chinese Herbal teas is that they help with stagnant Qi and blood.  Stagnant Qi shows up as mood swings, irritability, annoyance (sometimes the onset of PMS) and greatly helps with this during menopause as well.  Roses are an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamins (C and E) and helps to improve sleep and moods.

How do I prepare it?

      • Typically no preparation needed.  If I’m using purchased rose buds or petals, I will use directly from the bag into my tea cup or glass stove top safe tea pot.
      • You can presoak or rinse in cool water to remove any bugs, debris, or 

What is the cost & where to buy?

      • The price will range depending on the size, make, and brand of the dried flowers, especially if it’s organic or not

      • There are smaller full buds, which tend to be more expensive, or the shredded bloomed ones, which are cheaper
      • In general, one ounce of dried loose flowers can cost around $3-4 CAD (but I have seen the range quite wide)
      • Red roses are commonly found in both Western and Eastern stores (both online and instore)

Any benefits?

      • Dried rose buds helps regulate Qi and blood
      • Often used to support blood stagnation and promote blood flow in the body.
      • Qi stagnation usually shows up as psychological such as depression, irritability, anxiousness, or mood swing (roses can help!), which is often found with premenstrual syndrome or menopause.
      • This is great to take during your periods or during menopause to help the Qi flow

Any precautions?

Looking to build your basic Chinese Soup Pantry?

 

 

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Heat Clearing Sugarcane and Water Chestnuts and Imperatae Root Herbal Tea

Heat Clearing Sugarcane and Water Chestnuts and Imperatae Root Herbal Tea

Heat Clearing Sugarcane and Water Chestnuts and Imperatae Root Herbal Tea

Soup Name:

Heat clearing sugarcane and water chestnuts and imperatae root herbal tea

Traditional Chinese Name:

竹蔗茅根馬蹄湯 (zhú zhè máogēn mǎtí tāng)

 

For videos, visit us on YouTube. 

A traditional Chinese drink which helps cool the body, reduce heatiness, and clear phlegm and unwanted body fluids. It’s natural sweetness is perfect for hot summer days and this can be drank cold or hot. It is commonly found as a drink in most herbal dessert shops and is even bottled commercially.

The key to this heat clearing tea is the water chestnuts.  I don’t use them often as this version also uses corn, carrots, or corn silk, but I’ve kept it simple for heat clearing only.  The water chestnuts are a very cooling ingredient and combined with the imperatae (or mao gen) root, is extra potent to clear excess yang.  

What’s involved?

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 30 minutes

Total time: 40 mins

Serves: 6 bowls

Ingredients

 

Cooking Instructions

  1. Prepare your sugar cane by chopping into smaller 2-inch length pieces
  2. Rinse, peel and rinse the water chestnuts.  You can cut into bite-sized edible pieces if you also like eating them.  
  3. Add to cold water into your soup pot
  4. Boil on medium heat covered for 30 minutes
  5. 5 minutes before serving, drop in your rock sugar.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • This is a great tea for BBQ’ing or hotpot as it’s cooling and removes heat from the body, especially the stomach
  • It can served as a tea or soup
  • It is vegetarian, so perfect for any soup or tea drinker
  • This can be drank cold or hot (you’ll often find this as a heated drink served in the streets of Hong Kong)
  • You can make a big pot and store in the fridge for one week.  Just be sure to let it sit to room temperature or heat up before consumption
  • You can have a few variations of this soup or tea depending on ingredients at home (such as adding sugared dried winter melon, water chestnuts, or simply using sugar cane and imperatae)

For videos, visit us on YouTube. 

Fresh water chestnuts are crispy, firm, and high in water content.  They don’t have the best storage life, so keep them in the fridge as much as you can.  As the water chestnuts “age”, they’ll breakdown and become starchy, have a crumbly texture, and lose it’s moisture content.  Which in turn, makes your soup or tea cloudy, which is still OK, as long as the water chestnuts still hold some of their firmness. 

For other variations of this tea:

Sugar Cane and Imperatae Drink

 

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Sugar Cane and Imperatae Drink

Sugar Cane and Imperatae Drink

Sugar Cane and Imperatae Drink

Soup Name:

Sugar Cane and Imperatae Drink

Traditional Chinese Name:

竹蔗茅根 (zhú zhè máogēn)

 

For videos, visit us on YouTube. 

A traditional Chinese drink which helps cool the body and reduce heatiness. It’s natural sweetness is perfect for hot summer days and this can be drank cold or hot. It is commonly found as a drink in most herbal dessert shops and is even bottled commercially.

There are a few options for this tea such as adding sugared dried winter melon and corn silk or baby corn.  The key ingredient is the imperatae, which is grass type plant that is cooling and sweet.  It targets the stomach, lungs, and bladder and supports heat removal, or excess of Yang qi in the body.

What’s involved?

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 60 minutes

Total time: 70 mins

Serves: 6 bowls

Ingredients

 

Cooking Instructions

  1. Begin boiling your soup water
  2. Begin boiling another pot of water to blanch Imperatae
  3. Cut carrots, corn, water chestnuts and sugar cane
  4. When second water boils, blanch Imperatae
  5. When soup water boils, add all ingredients together
  6. Boil on medium heat for a good 1 hour
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • This is a great tea for BBQ’ing or hotpot as it’s cooling and removes heat from the body, especially the stomach
  • It can served as a tea or soup
  • It is vegetarian, so perfect for any soup or tea drinker
  • This can be drank cold or hot (you’ll often find this as a heated drink served in the streets of Hong Kong)
  • You can make a big pot and store in the fridge for one week.  Just be sure to let it sit to room temperature or heat up before consumption
  • You can have a few variations of this soup or tea depending on ingredients at home (such as adding sugared dried winter melon, water chestnuts, or simply using sugar cane and imperatae)

For videos, visit us on YouTube. 

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Tea Name: Chinese orange monk fruit herbal tea Traditional Chinese Name: 止咳茶 (zhǐké chá) – direct translation here is “anti-cough” tea.  There are many teas that have earned the right to this label, so it’s just easier to use it as such instead of labeling all the...

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Vegetarian Lotus Root with Chestnuts and Carrots Chinese Soup

Vegetarian Lotus Root with Chestnuts and Carrots Chinese Soup

Vegetarian Lotus Root with Chestnuts and Carrots Chinese Soup

Soup Name:

Vegetarian Lotus Root with Chestnuts and Carrots Chinese Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:

蓮藕栗子素湯 (Lián’ǒu lìzǐ sù tāng)

 

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

I’m using dried mushrooms to replace pork bones and trying to honour the flavour profile of the lotus roots and carrots.  Slightly sweet, slightly earthy, that hint of nuttiness, but in a light broth that’s savory and smooth.

You can explore more vegetarian substitutes for meats in Chinese soups and get creative!

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 2 hour and 30 mins

Total time: 2 hour and 45 mins

Serves: 8 bowls

Ingredients

Cooking Instructions

  1. Pre-soak your dried Chinese shiitake mushrooms in a bowl for 2 hours until they soften
  2. Remove the stems from the mushrooms
  3. Prepare your soup water on high heat with the 2 L of cold water in your thermal soup pot
  4. In a shallow pan, add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and on medium heat, pan fry the mushrooms with a bit of salt until fragrant and slightly browned on both sides
  5. Wash & peel the lotus root, cutting into large pieces
  6. Wash, peel, and cut carrot into large cubes
  7. Wash, peel, and cut corn into large pieces 
  8. When the water boils, add all the ingredients together
  9. Boil on medium to high heat for 30 minutes
  10. You can continue to boil on low heat for another 2 hours or put into your thermal pot 
  11. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • A neutral soup ideal for the whole family
  • Better for dryer, cooler weather as chestnuts are known to be a little bit wet and warming in nature
  • A versatile soup where you can change it up a bit and add other vegetables such as Chinese Yam, chayotes, or potatoes
  • Be sure to buy good quality Chinese dried mushrooms

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