With winter well on it’s way, I can’t think of a better way to warm up after returning home from the cool outdoors than by drinking a warm Chinese soup — it will warm you from the inside out.
This one is relatively easy to make, is great for children and may be helpful as we are well into cold & flu seasons as there are mild benefits that may be helpful. The chicken soup base provides a nutritious base, while the apricot kernels help with phlegm expulsion (for those pesky coughs). In addition, the wolfberries are high in antioxidants, irons and vitamin A and C. The carrots and Chinese radish add sweetness and, if you eat them (which we hope you do!) are deliciously filling, too.
Hope you enjoy this soup and bundle up!
Soup Name: Chinese Radish and Chicken Soup
Traditional Chinese Soup Name: 青紅蘿蔔雞湯 (qing hóng luóbo ji tāng)
This soup is an easy and sweet soup that is perfect to warm you up on a chilly autumn or winter’s day. Chicken is considered to be very nourishing (補) and can give your body a good kick of healthy heartiness (this is similarly recognized by Westerners who drink chicken noodle soup when sick). To sweeten the soup, red dates are added. We also suggest adding a palmful of wolfberries to boost the qi or “chi” which is ideal for cool weather. Carrots round out this simple yet delicious soup. You can see from the photo that this recipe results in a rich, deeply-colored broth and I can assure you, it’s tasty, too! (Yes, I’m drinking as I type this post.) Depending on whether you use a fresh, whole chicken or alternatives, the difficulty of creating this soup can vary from 1-star (from pre-washed and cut chicken with minimal preparation) to 4-star (whole chicken from scratch).
Add red dates to your soup water and bring to a boil
When the water boils, combine all the ingredients together
Boil on medium-high for at least 1 hour
A warm soup that is perfect for autumn or winter
Chicken is very nourishing (補) and creates a healthful soup
Red dates are an excellent source of Vitamin C
Red dates are also used in throat-soothing drinks
Wolfberries are high in antioxidants and contain 6 essential vitamins, Beta-Carotene, Calcium, Potassium, Iron and Zinc
Wolfberries are also known to enhance the qi or “chi” in your body
Any tips or precautions?
Whenever using real, whole chicken, it’s useful to have an oil scooper on hand to help scoop out the fat and any large or small particles that float to the top of your soup. I usually need to use the scoop two or three times — once after the soup is fully boiled and still hot and there is an abundance of oil floating on the top, then once again after the soup has cooled slightly and you have additional oil and particles that have had time to float to the surface, and usually once again upon re-heating (possibly the next day).
Feel free to drink the same soup the next day after re-boiling. I like to make an extra big pot and any that isn’t finished can be drank and finished off the next day.
Dish Name: Soy Sauce Chicken Wings and Feet (for Chinese Confinement)
Traditional Chinese Name: 醬油雞腳 (jiàng yóu jī jiǎo)
This is a very common Canton (Chinese-styled) dish. The soy sauce base can be used with pork, chicken (various parts), duck (wings are best), pigeon and any other meats with bones as best. The trick to this dish is that it must be simmered for some time (or use a pressure cooker) to let both the sauce seep deep into the meat and enable the meet to be almost falling off the bone. Why this particular dish is called out for Chinese confinement is that the chicken feet provides a healthy amount of collagen – and adding warming ingredients such as ginger, star anise and cinnamon help keep the body warm and heated throughout this period. My mom actually used to keep the sauce after she made it in a glass jar in the fridge, to be used again the next time around. The more it’s used, the tastier it gets. You can simply skim off the accumulated fat once it’s cooled and add more soy sauce if it’s been reduced too far. A delicious, easy-to-make, easy-to-keep Chinese confinement dish for any postpartum mother.
Soup Name: Quick Boil Hairy Gourd, Bamboo and Chicken Soup
Traditional Chinese Name: 节瓜竹筍雞肉湯 ( jié guā zhú sǔn ji ròu tāng)
To follow other quick boil soups we’ve made recently, here’s another quick soup idea. Although this soup can be made the traditional way (with a whole chicken and fresh bamboo), if you’re in a hurry, we can suggest some short-cuts, too. Use chicken pieces to replace the whole chicken and canned bamboo to replace fresh bamboo and you can have a delicious and nutritious soup ready in about 30 minutes — perfect after a long day at work or if the kids are hungry. Bump up the nutrition levels and the color by adding carrots or corn to your soup.
What ingredients are required?
1 pound of chicken pieces 1 large hairy gourd (a.k.a fuzzy melon) 2 large fresh bamboo shoots, cut into slices (or canned) 2 large carrots (peeled and cut into pieces) 1 L of chicken broth/stock 2 L of water
How do I prepare it?
Pour water and chicken broth together into a large pot and turn on high heat to boil
Wash, peel and slice the hairy gourd into edible pieces
Wash, peel and cut carrots into pieces
Prepare bamboo and cut into slices
When the water boils, add all the ingredients together
Boil on high for 30 minutes
Serve and enjoy!
Removes heat from the body and is mildly cooling
Bamboo shoots are an excellent source of fiber, potassium and are high in antioxidants
Easy soup to make that is tasty and the winter melon absorbs the flavor of the meat and broth making it very tasty to eat
You can substitute the chicken stock with water, but add some salt for flavoring
A child-friendly soup
Too much bamboo may be hard to digest (due to the high fiber content)
Traditional Chinese Name: 旗參海底椰理氣降火湯 (Qí cān hǎi dǐ yē lǐ qì jiàng huǒ tāng)
This soup is great for reducing internal heat where you may have sore throat, canker/cold sores, sore muscles (from the fire in your bones) and overall heatiness in your body. It’s not actually particular to any season, but more to a condition of the body caused by illness or circumstances. It is healing for the throat, lungs and respiratory system and eliminates unwanted heat.