Soup Name: Turtle and Lean Pork Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 水魚瘦豬肉湯 (shuǐ yú shòu zhū ròu tāng)


A warm and healing soup, it’s often recommended for cold winter days or confinement.  The turtle meat is said to be a nourishing meat (similar to chicken) and should be avoided if you are sick.   From our experience, even when properly cleaned, soft-shelled turtle meat may have a taste of the “sea” and may require ginger to counter the taste.

See a lighter variation of this soup here: Longan Meat in Turtle Soup

What Ingredients are required?

1 whole fresh soft shell turtle
1 pound of fresh pork shank
15 dried longans
6 slices of dried Chinese yam
3 slices of ginger
8 dried dates (for sweetness.  Use red dates for confinement soups.)
3 – 4L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Pre-marinate the pork with salt and let sit for at least one hour (overnight is best)
  2. Wash turtle meat and shell
  3. In a pan, fry meat and shell with ginger on high heat until cooked
  4. Blanch the pork in a separate pot of boiling water
  5. Boil your soup water
  6. Soak and wash dried longans, Chinese yams, and dates
  7. When the water boils, add all the ingredients together
  8. Boil on high for 30 minutes and then simmer on medium heat for another 3 hours.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Any Benefits?

  • A nourishing soup ideal for confinement
  • Good for urinary infections and bladder
  • Helps with asthma and breathing complications (such as shortage of breath)
  • The shell is an excellent source of collagen

Any precautions?

  • Thoroughly clean and wash turtle, including the shell
  • This soup is “heaty”
  • Do not drink turtle (or chicken) soup if you are sick