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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
- 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]
- 2 [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/fuji-apples-2/”]fuji apples[/url], largely cubed (with skin)
- 2 fresh [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/snow-pears/”]snow pears[/url], largely cubed (with skin)
- 3 L of water (or whatever your volume of double-boiler is)
- Soak all the Chinese herbs in warm water. You can rinse the dried Chinese yams under running water and rub them to remove any sulphur from the drying process.
- Prepare the meat by cutting in to large bite-size, removing all skin and fat.
- In a separate pot of boiling water, blanch all the meat in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Set aside when finished.
- Cut, core, remove seeds and cut the apples and pears into large bite-sizes, keeping on the skin.
- Boil you soup water at half capacity in the double-boiler.
- When the water boils, add all the ingredients into it and top up with hot water (or boiling water from a kettle).
- Boil on medium heat for 30 minutes.
- Turn off heat and set to cool enough that you can move the pot into the outer double-boiler pot.
- Put inner pot into outer pot and fill with enough water to cover up to at least 3/4 of the inner pot.
- Boil on low heat (minimal bubbles) for 3 hours.
- Serve and enjoy – soup stuff included!