Quick Boil Chinese Soup Tips

Quick Boil Chinese Soup Tips

Quick Boil Chinese Soup Tips

So I’ve had various enquiries as to what constitutes a great quick boil and what are some tips I use for quick boils. It started out as a conversation with a colleague who said “I don’t have time to make these old fire Chinese soups!”, and I thought, well… there is a whole repertoire of quick boils soups available, why don’t I show my readers some and demonstrate just how easy and simple Chinese soups can be?

 

As a start, quick boil soups are soups that you typically can make under 30 minutes of boil, with 10-15 mins of prep time and is ready for immediate consumption.  Basically, you either have limited time or your stomach is demanding something quick.

 

 

Here are some common ingredients used in quick boil Chinese soups:

 

  • Melons make great quick boil candidates (winter melon, bitter melon, fuzzy melon, even watermelon and honey dew can be used!).
  • Fresh leafy greens such as bak choy, choy sum, napa cabbage are easy editions. Leafy vegetables tend to fare better in quick boil soups rather than old fire (or double-boiled soups).
  • Those great (smelly) dried Chinese seafood you find at the wet mart or Chinese herbalists are excellent! These include dried scallops (or conpoys), snails, conch, octopus, squid (cuttlefish), shrimp and whatever else you can find are excellent flavour enhancers when needed on such short notice.
  • Dried Chinese vegetables such as Chinese mushrooms, monkey head mushrooms,  and dried bak choy are also great quick boil additions! You’ll just need to soak the first thing you do if you’re preparing this soup.
  • Ready to go meats such as preserved Chinese Ham, cooked beef, fish, cuttlefish balls that are ready-to-serve or even any leftover meats such as pork ribs, steamed pork patty, chicken wings can be thrown into a quick boil.
  • Tofu! Tofu is a delight to add to quick boil soups. Tofu balls, large tofu chunks, ready-to-serve-tofu, tofu slices, however you can find them – you can definitely use them! A great vegetarian protein addition.
  • Easy meats such as fresh chicken wings, drumsticks, breasts, or sliced beef are good – you can even use frozen ones and use room temperature water to thaw quickly by soaking them in the water and changing the water a few times.

 

Here are also a few tips and tricks I’ve used for quick boil soups. Actually, I’d almost say they are critical to the success of the soup because you’ve got one constraint against you – time.

 

  • Use small cuts for everything – small cubes are best, especially for melons and vegetables such as carrots. Or go thin, like 2 cm thin slices of carrots, radish, mushrooms, etc..
  • Shuck corn if you like the corn separate, this will cook way faster. You can also use the cobs as part of the soup base.
  • Cut meats into smaller bite-sized pieces as well – they will also cook faster and as the water boils, it will release the flavours from more parts quicker.
  • Broths are your friends. If you need to enhance flavours, use chicken, beef or vegetable broth to boost the taste of the soup. Be sure to use MSG free ones.
  • Consider using the soup to help boil other parts of your dinner. For example, I will use the soup to boil broccoli for the children or choy sum for us. It’s a win-win situation!
  • If you’d like the soup to last a few days, you can definitely store leftovers in the fridge to be reheated up to 2-3 days later. I like making a bigger batch so I can consume later as to economize my efforts.

 

Try any of these quick boil soup recipes

Chinese Winter Melon and Parma Ham Stew

Chinese Winter Melon and Parma Ham Stew

Soup Name:  Chinese Winter melon and Ham Stew Traditional Chinese Name:    For more videos, visit us on YouTube.I was inspired to make this soup one day when I walked by the wet mart and saw the vendor carving up this giant fresh winter melon and I thought,...

Bitter Melon Soup with Corn and Pork Meatballs

Bitter Melon Soup with Corn and Pork Meatballs

I made this after work one day and managed to pick up fresh veggies and meat from the wet mart on the way home. Sometimes I plan for soup, sometimes I don't, and this soup is one of those last minute made-up combinations because I felt like having meatballs and bitter...

Quick Boil Pumpkin and Corn Vegetarian Soup

Quick Boil Pumpkin and Corn Vegetarian Soup

Soup Name: Quick Boil Pumpkin and Corn Vegetarian Soup Traditional Chinese Name: 簡單菜湯 (Jiǎn dān cài tāng)What started as a simple vegetable soup, turned into an interesting mix of hot and cold vegetables because I could! The children had the soup warm, served with...

Vegetarian Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes and Corn Broth with Orzo

I know, the orzo doesn't make it very Chinese, but my family loves small-sized pasta that I decided to turn this soup into a solid meal for the children. This is another quick boil vegetarian soup that can be done in under 30 minutes. For my kids, I added pan-fried...

Snow Pear and Dragon’s Eye Sweet Dessert Soup

Snow Pear and Dragon’s Eye Sweet Dessert Soup

Soup Name: Snow Pear and Dragon's Eye Sweet Dessert SoupOne day, in the thick of a winter evening, when all the children lay sleeping, I suddenly had this urge for something sweet, crunchy and hot.  No panic.  Taking a peek in the fridge, I found one giant snow pear...

Quick Boil Winter Melon, Mushrooms with Corn in Chicken Broth

  This is the start of the "Quick Boil Series" of soups.  It was requested by a friend who wanted to know how to make healthy, but quick soups for those busy-body people.  In general, quick boil soups take around 10 minutes to prepare and about 25-30 minutes to...

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Cooking Chinese Soups With a Thermal Induction Pot

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Chinese Winter Melon and Parma Ham Stew

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Apple Chinese Herbal Tea (For Coughs)

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Basic Chinese Chicken Soup Stock (Soup Base)

Basic Chinese Chicken Soup Stock (Soup Base)

Basic Chinese Chicken Soup Stock (Soup Base)

Soup Name

Basic Chinese Chicken Soup Stock (Soup Base)

Traditional Chinese Name:  

清雞湯 (qīng jī tāng)

 

This is the base Chinese Chicken Soup stock that I make for any of my Chinese soups. It’s simple, straight-forward, and delicious on its own. It does take some preparation in that you need to blanch all the meats, soak the conpoys for at least 10 minutes, quarter the chicken, and then add everything together. And then patience, for a few hours to let it all simmer together. This is perfect for freezing for usage with soups later on, so I do suggest to make more! Perfect for the whole family and any condition.

The benefits:

  • Perfect for any soup base. You can simply add your favourite vegetables or even Chinese herbs.
  • This soup is perfect for cooler days as it’s slightly warming
  • Perfect for confinement, postpartum, and post period
  • Ideal for the whole family, including children
  • These ingredients are readily available in most Chinese supermarkets around the world, all you need is just a chicken!
  • Be sure to to consult your (Chinese) doctor first if you’re unsure of consumption or suitability
  • You can store this soup base in a plastic container (or jar with a wide mouth so it’s easier to use back later) for up to 6 months in the freezer

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 3 hours

Total time: 3 hours 30 mins

Serves: 8 bowls 

Ingredients

Cooking Instructions

  1. Optional step the night before is to salt the pork shanks and chicken overnight and wrap and store in the fridge to let it sit.  This will allow the flavors to marinate and soften the meat.
  2. Begin to boil a separate pot for blanching the meat
  3. Soak the dried conpoys in warm water for 10 minutes
  4. Prepare your chicken and cutting it into quarters (or any size you prefer)
  5. When your blanching water boils, add in the pork and chicken and boil on high heat for 5 minutes. Make sure the water is boiling and you should see residue, fat, grim, and even foam come to the surface.
  6. Begin to boil your soup water
  7. Once your soup water boils, remove the meat from the blanching pot and shake off any excess and slowly lower into your soup water
  8. Add in dried conpoys
  9. Boil on medium heat for 30 minutes
  10. Reduce heat to the lowest and cover and let it simmer like that for another 2-3 hours (or use a thermal pot). The soup should now be a rich, golden color after boiling for so long. Be sure to scoop out any oil, fat bits, or skin from the top with an oil scooper

For video on “7 Basic Chinese Soup Pantry Ingredients”, visit us on YouTube.

Monkey Head Mushroom with Chinese Yam in Pork Broth

Monkey Head Mushroom with Chinese Yam in Pork Broth

Soup Name: Monkey Head Mushroom with Chinese Yam in Pork Broth

Chinese Name: 猴頭菇豬湯 (hóu tóu gū zhū tāng)

Introduction:

Fresh monkey head mushrooms are a seasonal buy so you can imagine that when they are available, the veggie vendors all recommend this product.  It is an extremely versatile product in that you can use it with a variety of vegetables, meats and additives.  It is commonly found as a dried product for soup usage as well.  This soup was made to help address cough and bugs in the family during the winter season.  You can use a chicken soup base if you’d like it warmer, but I went with a pork base and threw in a good piece of dried tangerine peel to help with the cough.  This soup is quite tasty, mildly sweet and savory, easy on the stomach, and perfect for the whole family!

 

What Ingredients are required?

mushroom head pork shank soup 01

How do I prepare it?

  1. Start boiling your soup water
  2. In a separate smaller pot, boil some water and when the water boils, blanch your pork
  3. Rinse all the herbs in warm water and set aside
  4. Separately, use a small sharp-edged knife to scrape the dark (outer) side of the dried tangerine peel.  This will help reduce the bitterness somewhat of the peel, but this is completely up to you on how pungent of a taste you’d like in the soup!
  5. Wash and cut the corn
  6. Using gloves, wash, peel, and cut the fresh Chinese Yam.  You’ll need gloves because they tend to make your hands itchy if you touch them with bare hands.
  7. When your soup water boils, add all the ingredients together
  8. Boil on high heat for 30 minutes and reduce to a simmer for another 2.5 hours
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Excellent soup for the lungs to help relieve cough
  • Helps moisten the lungs and throat
  • This soup is said to help strengthen the lungs

Any precautions?

  • Mushrooms can irritate people with gout conditions, so take precaution when consuming
  • Be sure to buy dried mushrooms from a reputable source
  • Ginseng is optional as too much can actually be too cooling

 

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Chinese Chicken Herbal Soup

Chinese Chicken Herbal Soup

Chinese Chicken Herbal Soup

Soup Name

Chinese Chicken Herbal Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:  

清雞湯 (qīng jī tāng)

 

The Chinese have a whole repertoire of herbs which can be added to Chinese soups and is no exception.  Among these herbs, there are a variety of traditional herbs that go well with Chicken.  I’ve selected a few for the purpose of this soup ensuring a light combination of herbs for the whole family.  This is actually designed for my teenage daughter who has recently started her period.  So something light, but sufficient enough for her bodily needs.

What’s involved?

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 2 hours

Total time: 2 hours 30 mins

Serves: 4-6 bowls

Ingredients

Cooking Instructions

  1. Begin to soak all the herbs in warm water (to clean them) for about 15 minutes and rinse
  2. You can begin to boil your soup pot water
  3. In a separate pot, blanch the quartered chicken ensuring that it is all boiling within the water for 7 minutes.  This process will both clean it and remove the initial fat.  You can keep the skin on if you’d like, but be sure to use an oil scooper to remove the top layer of fat.  Drain and set aside for soup use.
  4. Once your soup water boils, add the blanched chicken into the water and all the soaking herbal ingredients
  5. Bring to a medium boil for 30 minutes covered
  6. You can now either reduce boil to a low heat, but be sure it’s still simmering for another 1.5 hours covered, or transfer to a self cooking thermal pot for another 2 hours.
  7. Salt as needed, although to be honest, if there are dried seafood ingredients, less salt is needed.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Soup Benefits:

  • This soup is perfect for cooler days as it’s slightly warming, so a great transition soup for Autumn
  • It’s also great for as a winter soup, particularly if you add Black Silkie Chicken
  • A majority of the herbal ingredients can be found in a Chinese Soup Basic Ingredients Pantry
  • Perfect for confinement, postpartum, and post period
  • Ideal for the whole family, including children
  • These ingredients are readily available in most Chinese supermarkets around the world, all you need is just a chicken!
  • Be sure to to consult your (Chinese) doctor first if you’re unsure of consumption or suitability

Chinese Winter Melon and Parma Ham Stew

Chinese Winter Melon and Parma Ham Stew

Chinese Winter Melon and Parma Ham Stew

Soup Name

Chinese Winter melon and Ham Stew

Traditional Chinese Name:  

 

For more videos, visit us on YouTube.

I was inspired to make this soup one day when I walked by the wet mart and saw the vendor carving up this giant fresh winter melon and I thought, “Gosh, that’s be amazing to use!”.  I didn’t want to make a soup that day, but really wanted something savory, tasty, and soft.  So another way to make winter melon is to stew it!  And normally, you can pair winter melon with Chinese ham, but I went for a western spin and decided to make a fusion version with Parma Ham instead (which is equally salty).

What’s involved?

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 45 mins

Total time: 1 hour

Serves: 4-5 people

Ingredients

  • 1 slice of fresh winter melon (about 2-3 inches thick is good)
  • 1 bowl of smaller dried Chinese mushrooms
  • 1 bowl of fresh, cored gingko bilobas
  • 1 pack of Parma Ham
  • 9-10 cloves of fresh garlic
  • A sprinkling of preserved Chinese vegetables

Cooking Instructions

  1. Start by soaking the Chinese mushrooms in room temperature water for about an hour to soften them
  2. I like to use giant butcher’s knives for chopping most things because the weight and leverage just lessens the work!  Chop your winter melon into large-sized pieces, removing the seeds and keeping the skin.  This will help keep in place as it softens in your stew and not disintegrate into a million pieces and become blah…
  3. The go about removing the ends of the mushrooms.  A sharp knife or kitchen scissors will do the job!
  4. In your soup pot, with a bit of oil and on medium heat, pan fry the garlic cloves until they are brown (and smell yummy!), then you toss in the mushroom and pan fry for about 3 minutes.
  5. Drop in the gingko bilobas and also fry for 3 minutes
  6. Then you extract the Parma Ham and just place it on top of the other ingredients and stir slightly
  7. Add in 2 cups of boiling water and a sprinkling of Chinese preserved vegetables and mix it altogether
  8. Cover and boil for 45 minutes, stirring every once in a while so it doesn’t stick, or that you still have enough liquid in the pot

For more videos, visit us on YouTube