Sweet Potato, Corn and Chinese Yam in Fish Soup

Soup Name: Sweet Potato, Corn and Chinese Yam in Fish Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:  蕃薯玉米魚湯 (gān shǔ yù mǐ yú tāng)

Introduction:
This simple and slightly sweet soup is really ideal for kids and children. I originally made this as a base for a lunch (consisting of fish balls and macaroni) and the kids loved it! Soups are so diverse in that you can use it as a base for stews, congee, noodles and other Chinese dishes. Keeping it simple will allow you to diversify your “final” dish and get really creative!

 

What Ingredients are required?

2-3 fresh Grass Carp fillets, chunked
5 slices of fresh ginger
3 foot long pieces of Chinese Yam, peeling is optional, quartered
3 fresh corn, quartered
3 large sweet potatoes, halved

2-3 L of water
salt to taste (optional)

How do I prepare it?

  1. In a shallow pan, fry the fish with the ginger until the meat is cooked and the edges are slightly crispy
  2. When cooked, set aside to cool
  3. Prepare vegetables and take caution with the Chinese Yam (wear gloves or keep the skin on)
  4. Boil your soup water
  5. When the water boils, add all the ingredients together and boil on high for thirty minutes
  6. Reduce heat to simmer for another thirty minutes
  7. Salt to taste if needed, but try it first
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • This soup serves as a great base for noodles or macaroni
  • It is very low in fat
  • A neutral soup that is ideal for the whole family
  • All the ingredients can be consumed

Any precautions?

  • Be careful of bones on the fish fillet if eating as a meal

Bartail Flathead Fish

 

Ingredient Name: Bartail Flathead Fish

Traditional Chinese Name: 牛鰍 (niú qiū)

What is this?
  • This flat headed fish and flat bodied fish is found within the Asian/Indian regions (and South East Asia)
  • The fish is brownish and gray in color and is heavily spotted and can grow up to 80 cm for a male
  • They tend to live in the sand and muddy areas of the ocean
  • This is a common “household” fish used in the Chinese cuisine (and can also be found in Chinese medicine)

How do I prepare it?

  • Have the vendor descale and clean the fish for you and cut in half
  • At home, you can rinse the inside and the outside of the fish in cool running water
  • If you are not cooking the fish immediately, you can slice some pieces of ginger and insert it into the stomach and put in the fridge

Where can I buy this?

  • Commonly found in wet marts across Asia and local supermarkets
  • The wet mart vendor or seller should descale and remove the insides of the fish for you
  • You can have them cut the fish into 2 pieces

What is the cost?

  • The price varies, but averages $40 HKD per catty (or per 500 grams)
  • An average fish (pictured above) cost around $25 HKD

Any benefits?

  • The meat is extremely sweet and one of the ideal fish used in soups
  • It’s doesn’t disintegrate easily and a fish bag isn’t necessary if you have the fish in 2 pieces
  • Since the shape of the body is unique, the fish is easy to filet and often used in that way when cooked

Any precautions?

  • Frying with ginger before soup usage will help the fishiness taste

Additional Information

  • For soups, any of the fish posted on this site will suffice as they are generally used for soups and share one thing in common (they are boiled!)
Chinese Yam with Apples and Corn in Chicken Broth

Chinese Yam with Apples and Corn in Chicken Broth

Soup Name: Chinese Yam with Apples and Corn in Chicken Broth (with Ginger)

Traditional Chinese Name:  蘋果玉米淮山雞湯 (píng guǒ yù mǐ huái shān jī tāng)

Introduction:
A simple, clean chicken broth with just a hint of sweetness and a tang of spice (from the ginger). Depending on who your consumer is, add less or more ginger. For confinement, don’t be scared to throw it all in! This soup is easy to make, it’s got basic neutral ingredients and is great for the whole family!

 

What Ingredients are required?

1 fresh whole chicken, quartered
4-5 whole apples, cored and quartered
2 fresh corn, quartered
2 fresh pieces of Chinese Yam about 1 foot in length, peeling is optional, quartered
150 g of sliced fresh ginger (for confinement purposes)
2 L of water
salt to taste

How do I prepare it?

  1. Clean, prepare and blanch chicken in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes
  2. Set aside to cool
  3. Wash, prepare apples, corn and Chinese Yam
  4. Slice ginger thinly
  5. Boil your soup water, when it boils, add all the ingredients together
  6. Boil on high for about 30 minutes and reduce to a simmer for 1 hour
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • With ginger, it’s a slightly warm soup, but without it, it’s neutral
  • Pregnancy, confinement and child friendly
  • Sweet and fresh to the taste
  • Excellent source of Vitamins and hearty to eat

Any precautions?

  • For children, go easy on the ginger because that can really spice up the soup!
  • Be sure to clean, peel Chinese Yam with gloves as the outer skin of the Chinese Yam can make your fingers itchy (if you opt to peel the skin)

Similar soups:

Green Papaya, Fish & Dried Octopus Soup

Green Papaya, Fish & Dried Octopus Soup

Soup Name: Green Papaya, Fish & Dried Octopus Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:  木瓜魚湯 (mù gua yú tāng)

Introduction:
A popular and very common soup for confinement, but not limited to this special group of ladies. For confinement, you must use GREEN papaya (ie: raw, raw, raw – smoking green). The dried octopus helps in milk production as well as adding some flavor to the soup. Use small fish where possible (to limit the exposure to mercury) and setting the soup overnight in a thermal pot really helps bring out the flavors. You can make a big pot and drink for about 2-3 days (while reheating it). This soup generates a very rich, milky broth that is super nutritious, delicious and suitable for the whole family. Another key ingredient for confinement is the ginger – don’t discount the power of ginger!

 

What Ingredients are required?

100 g of ginger, sliced thinly
2 fresh fish, halved (for this recipe, I used 2 fresh Bartail Flatheads)
2 large green papayas
1 dried octopus, quartered

1 tsp of oil (to fry the fish & ginger)
2 L of water
salt to taste


How do I prepare it?

  1. Cut and soak the octopus in a bowl of warm water
  2. Thoroughly wash and clean the fish
  3. In a shallow pan on medium heat, add oil and ginger and when the oil is hot, add fish
  4. Fry the fish with the ginger on both sides until golden brown
  5. Remove from stove to let cool
  6. Boil your soup water
  7. Wash and peel papaya skin, cut into large edible portions
  8. When the water boils, add in fish, fried ginger, octopus and papaya
  9. Boil on medium heat for 1.5 hours
  10. Put into a thermal pot to keep warm or for reboil later

Any benefits?

  • This soup is rich vitamin C, carotenes and antioxidants
  • It is said to aid in milk production for breastfeeding women (use green papayas in this case)

Any precautions?

  • Be sure to use smaller fish (not the tiny fish, but a foot in length is OK) as the larger the fish, the more mercury content
  • You can consider using a soup bag for the fish, although the little fish tend to stick together if you just halve it

Similar soups:

The soup is a very rich, milky broth
Wood Ear & Red Dates Tea

Wood Ear & Red Dates Tea

Soup Name: Wood Ear & Red Dates Tea

Traditional Chinese Name:  木耳红枣茶 (mu er hóng zǎo chá)

Introduction:
This tea is posted as a post natal/confinement tea and is drank only within the first 0-5 days of confinement to help eliminate the lochia (not going to go into detail what lochia is, but please google it if you’re not sure). It’s a simple tea with 3 ingredients (the meat is optional if you’re vegetarian) and very easy to make. It’s a sweet, slightly tart tea and must be drank hot/warm. It’s one of the better tasting teas I know available for confinement! You can boil a whole big batch for 5 days worth, refrigerate and then reheat when needed or boil fresh batches everyday. It is recommended to drink 1-2 glasses a day (depending if you’ve got other teas or soups already filling your tummy!). Do not add additives like sugar or salt. Keep it clean, light and natural.

 

What Ingredients are required?

This portion yields only 1 cup of the tea.

100 g of pork shank
50 g of pitted red dates
50 g of dried wood ear
3 cups of water


How do I prepare it?

  1. Soak your dates and wood ear for 10-15 minutes in cool water
  2. Boil your 3 glasses of water
  3. When the water boils, add all the ingredients together and boil on a medium boil (covered) for 1.5 hours
  4. Serve hot/warm directly as is

Any benefits?

  • This tea helps in discharging and eliminating the lochia
  • It helps the body regenerate and replace lost blood

Any precautions?

  • Be sure to pit the dates. The pits are said to be “CHO” – which is very heaty, but not in a good way
Boiled wood ear and red dates