Vegetarian Green Radish and Carrots Chinese Soup Packs (optional shrimp for pescatarians)

Vegetarian Green Radish and Carrots Chinese Soup Packs (optional shrimp for pescatarians)

Vegetarian Green Radish and Carrots Chinese Soup Packs (optional shrimp for pescatarians)

Soup Name:

Vegetarian Green Radish and Carrots Chinese Soup Packs (optional shrimp for pescatarians)

Traditional Chinese Name:

紅青蘿蔔湯 (hóng qing luóbo tang)

Nature:  Slightly cooling

Taste: Sweet

You can follow this video first on “How to make Frozen Chinese Soups in bulk“.

 

The business case for making frozen soup packs in bulk!

This use case continues to amaze me!  Literally, this morning, I was like “I feel like soup” and I took out another one of these soup packs (this one to be precise because I made extra for me and my pescatarian friend) and tossed it into the rice cooker, topped up with water, added a few red dates and an hour later, had soup ready for lunch and dinner.

To start, I did a survey when I first initially created these for friends and the time saving is phenomenal.

On average, it takes someone 2-3 hours of time to make a Chinese soup (beginning to end with checking). Compared to using frozen premade soup packs using a rice cooker, it takes 5 minutes of work (and then 60 mins of no supervision) with an upfront investment of 2-3 hours to make 6 soup packs.  So on average, you are saving 14 hours of time over 6 soups.  The math isn’t perfect, but this was my best estimate based on answers from friends.  That’s HUGE!

    This soup was designed originally as vegetarian, but I did throw in some dried scallops and dried shrimp for my pescatarian friend.  

    The beauty of having these resources is the ability to create these soup packs in bulk and custom to your conditions, the weather, and your diet.

    You can custom this as well by adding more or less protein (even throw in pork ribs) as you’d like.  The nuts are great additions, as it adds flavour (in place of meats), but you can also go with dried mushrooms to add that extra flavour as well.

    Key note is that soups without proteins, especially vegetarian soup packs, can be made in almost half the time. I find I spend a lot of time on the meats, particularly if I am blanching or frying.

    What’s involved?

    Prep time: 60 mins

    Cook time: no cook time when preparing soup packs, but if I do cook 1 frozen soup pack in a rice cooker, takes about 60 mins

    Serves: 6 frozen soup packs (each with 4 servings)

    Ingredients
    • 2 large fresh green radish, cubed
    • 3-4 medium sized carrots, cubed
    • 6 teaspoons of fresh peeled peanuts (you can use dried unsalted as well)
    • 18 fresh peeled chestnuts (you can use frozen or pre-peeled and cooked as well)
    • 18 dried figs (any time will do)
    • 3 teaspoons of dried baby shrimp
    • 3 teaspoons of dried baby scallops

    Preparing the soup packs

    1. If you’re using dried shrimp or scallops, you can optionally pan fry them on low heat with a bit of oil until they are golden brown to create a more fragrant taste
    2. Chop up all your vegetables into similar inch-cubes, trying to keep them consistent in size so that they are also stackable.
    3. Also measure out all the Chinese herbs into separate bowls, that way it’s much easier to distribute as you make your soup packs.
    4. Using your soup bags, stack your ingredients starting with vegetables first and then I will sprinkle the additives and herbs around the gaps in between (peanuts, scallops, shrimp, chestnuts) ensuring that I count out evenly so that I can make 6 packs.
    5. Using your vacuum sealer, seal each pack and then freeze immediately for usage later.

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    Making Frozen Chinese Soup in Bulk at Home (Saving Time and Effort)!

    Making Frozen Chinese Soup in Bulk at Home (Saving Time and Effort)!

    Making Frozen Chinese Soup in Bulk at Home (Saving Time and Effort)!

    One guiding principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine is the yin yang theory.  In the natural world, there exists a balance between 2 opposing and co-existing forces and yet, they also exist in each other.  Our bodies, minds, and souls are designed the same way in that to be healthy, we need to be in harmony between these 2 states.  Yin is receptive and passive, calm and slow, embodying cold and damp qualities (when we are sleeping).  Yang is its exact opposite in aggressive and active, embodying heat, dryness, and movement (when we are awake).

    One of our mission at The Chinese Soup Lady is to bring these principles into the foods and drinks we consume in order to support harmony.  

    How to use this guide:

    • This is purely a reference guide 
    • Do see a Chinese medicine practitioner as this information is not a replacement for a doctor

    The benefits of making Chinese soup in bulk (frozen).

    This idea started out as a delivery to a friend.  She was sick, super busy, and had a lot going on in her life, so I packed a few soup packs for her.  I was super primitive then, using saran wrap very poorly and causing so much waste, only to have some of them come undone in the freezer!

    So that’s where I tested a few affordable options of vacuum sealers at home.  I wasn’t sure where I was going with it (follow your passion right?).

    However, sharing this because so many people have started asking me how to make these, what equipment I’m using, and what the best combinations are.

    I have also been sharing with friends and seeking feedback to make this a better experience!  Tips below!

    The Business Case

    So, what is the real quantifiable benefit of this?  It’s not an exact science at this point, but I am looking to do a more a thorough time study one day.  Just out of interest.

    I did a survey when I first initially created these for friends and the time saving is phenomenal.

    On average, it takes someone 2-3 hours of time to make a Chinese soup (beginning to end with checking). Compared to using frozen premade soup packs using a rice cooker, it takes 5 minutes of work (and then 60 mins of no supervision) with an upfront investment of 2-3 hours to make 6 soup packs.  So on average, you are saving 14 hours of time over 6 soups.  The math isn’t perfect, but this was my best estimate based on answers from friends.

    I would love to hear about your experience – you can leave it in the comments below or on any of my socials and I will collect it as a data point!

     

    EQUIPMENT USED FOR MAKING FROZEN SOUP PACKS

    I get this question a lot, especially as I am now making more clips of these soup packs as showcased above.  The real additional equipment you'll need is the vacuum sealer and bags.  You can most certainly boil these in pots as well.  I would love to hear your comments on how this is going and how you're finding the different equipment.  My house has now turned into a soup factory - literally!  LOL.

    Start with a low cost option that also comes with a few pre-sealed bags.  You really don't need anything fancy to do this job!

    These come in handy especially as you finish the ones that come with the starter kit.  And I tend to give a lot of my soup packs to friends! HOORAY!

    I get this question a lot about which rice cooker I am using.  It is a 1 L (5 cups) one that I use in both HK and Toronto.  Amazing product!  

    Amazing product in both usability and durability.  Comes in many colours!  I've used this to ladle congee into freezer bags - highly recommend it! To freeze congee in bulk.

    Additional tips for making Chinese soup packs in bulk (for freezing):

    I won’t go into too much detail here as all the details are in the video post, but I will add some overarching things to think about as you embark on this journey!

    • It is all about experimentation and experiencing different recipes and combinations as frozen soup products for you and your family.  Don’t be afraid to try try try… and if it didn’t work out, try something, or try again later.
    • Teach your children to make the soups themselves, too!  This is such a helpful step and if they can use a rice cooker, they can make this soup.
    • Give the love of soup.  See further down.  I am a huge advocate of creating and giving and spreading LOVE and in this way, LOVE is through soups!
    • You can definitely do with sweet Chinese soups as well, such as sweet potato dessert soup!  The vegetables become soft and you can drop in the sugar really towards the end and mix and serve!

     

    GIVE LOVE through SOUPS!

    I actually do this as part of my personal mission to create love, give, and spread love around the world.

    You see, creating love doesn’t have to be this big rah rah thing.  It can be as simple as making extra soup packs for your busy friends, for people who want to make soups (but don’t know how), or people who want to experience Chinese soups and their benefits, or anyone whom you wish to offer your gift (that’s not for me to judge) 💗💗💗.

    And I have found a way I can spread love with something that I am deeply passionate about!  How beautiful!  Just something to think about as you “spread” your own “love” through your highest excitement!  It truly is such a wonderful thing for me, to share this blog, my videos, my experiences, my soup packs to everyone!

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    Simple Ground Beef Congee for Sick Tummies…

    Simple Ground Beef Congee for Sick Tummies…

    Simple Ground Beef Congee for Sick Tummies…

    Soup Name: Simple Ground Beef Congee

    Traditional Chinese Name: 碎牛肉粥 (suì niú ròu zhōu)

    Taste:  Savory

    Nature: Slightly warm

    For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

    My youngest, this morning, woke up and told me her stomach wasn’t feeling well.  I usually keep frozen ground beef in meal portions in the freezer, so it was easy to take one pack out and defrost for this easy congee meal!  

    My basic Chinese kitchen pantry also has dried conpoy as a staple and I usually do also keep dried shrimp on the side (which are great additions to Chinese dishes such as stir fry and steamed dishes).  

     

    OH THE TOPPINGS!

    The amazing thing about plain congee is how you can have a host of toppings available for any taste, condition, discerning critic (or congee food taster)!

    Here are some of the interesting ones I’m using today:

     

    • Preserved sweet and sour cucumbers (these come in jars which you can purchase in the supermarket).  They are slightly sweet and slightly tart and super appetizing with rice or congee!
    • Dried seaweed.  Adds a bit of savory crunch!
    • Kimchi.  I know, it’s not very Chinese of me, but I couldn’t help myself!  It was calling to me!
    • Preserved savory olives.  This is a very Chiu Chou-styled topping and is commonly served with plain white congee.  It’s part of my Chiu Chou background that I have jars and jars of these in my pantry!
    • Sesame seeds – both black and white.  This is a great warming ingredient that is both flavourful and adds a different texture!
    • Sesame oil – drizzle a small portion on top and it makes the congee extra fragrant!
    • Fresh green onions.  A staple topping that provides a fresh twist! 

    What’s involved?

    Prep time: 5 mins

    Cook time: 30 mins+

    Total time: 35 mins+

    Serves: 6 bowls

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups of white rice (my kids like using sushi rice for congee sometimes or I blend long grain and sushi rice)

    • 8 cups of water

    • 10 small dried scallops or conpoys

    • 10 dried shrimp
    • 250g of lean ground beef

    • 1 tsp of salt
    • 1 tsp of white pepper
    • sliced ginger optional
    • fresh green onions optional
    • Your fine selection of congee toppings (I have many in my pantry and fridge just because that’s how I roll)

    Cooking Instructions

    1. Add a bit of cooking oil to your cooking pot and fry on medium heat ginger, dried scallops and shrimp, until slightly browned
    2. Add in ground beef and stir fry until cooked
    3. Add in 2 cups of white rice and stir until mixed
    4. Pour in water
    5. Cover and bring to a full boil and then reduce heat to medium for another 30 minutes or until rice soft and mushy
    6. Add in salt and white pepper, garnish and serve!

    EQUIPMENT USED

    To answer your questions on what equipment I'm using, I've built a section here where you can find and explore what I'm using to make soups.  Ingredients are a little harder, but I will do my best as I source them around.  However, you can always message me on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or Facebook, and I will reply and try to point you in some direction!  

    A great help for fish or small bones in soups, including small ingredients such as barley, fox nuts, spices just to keep everything together.

    A MUST HAVE in the kitchen!  Energy saving, cost effective, and perfect for busy chefs!  Check out my article here that explains it.

    Another MUST HAVE in the kitchen for soups!  It's so fine that it will scoop off the top oil and foam layer when using meats in your soup!

    I use these types of stove top safe tea pots to make most of my herbal teas!

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    Tea Name: Chinese orange monk fruit herbal tea Traditional Chinese Name: 止咳茶 (zhǐké chá) – direct translation here is “anti-cough” tea.  There are many teas that have earned the right to this label, so it’s just easier to use it as such instead of labeling all the...

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    Tea Name: Spleen strengthening damp removing herbal tea Traditional Chinese Name: 健脾祛濕茶 (jiàn pí qū shī chá) – direct translation here is “spleen strength remove damp” tea.  This is also quite a generic name in terms of the function of the tea rather than the...

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    Soup Name: Fragrant salted egg soup base with vermicelli and napa cabbage (optional vegetarian-styled) Traditional Chinese Name: 鹹蛋集菜湯 (xián dàn jí cài tāng) – direct translation here is "salty egg vegetable soup". Nature:  Neutral Taste: Salty and sweet (You can read...

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    Tea Name: Chinese orange monk fruit herbal tea Traditional Chinese Name: 止咳茶 (zhǐké chá) – direct translation here is “anti-cough” tea.  There are many teas that have earned the right to this label, so it’s just easier to use it as such instead of labeling all the...

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    GIVE YOUR LOVE OF SOUP.

    FOLLOW US AND SHARE.

    How to improve blood circulation and increase Qi and yang (from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective)

    How to improve blood circulation and increase Qi and yang (from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective)

    How to improve blood circulation and increase Qi and yang (from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective)

    One guiding principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine is the yin yang theory.  In the natural world, there exists a balance between 2 opposing and co-existing forces and yet, they also exist in each other.  Our bodies, minds, and souls are designed the same way in that to be healthy, we need to be in harmony between these 2 bipolar states.  Yin is receptive and passive, calm and slow, embodying cold and damp qualities (when we are sleeping).  Yang is its exact opposite in aggressive and active, embodying heat, dryness, and movement (when we are awake).

    One of our mission at The Chinese Soup Lady is to bring these principles into the foods and drinks we consume in order to support harmony.  

    How to use this guide:

    • This is purely a reference guide 
    • Do see a Chinese medicine practitioner as this information is not a replacement for a doctor

    This post started from an extended question around another post on “What does it mean to have cold hands and feet? How to replenish qi and yang“: 

    How to improve blood circulation and increase Qi and yang (Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective) with lifestyle changes (beyond the soups and teas!).

    As we age, we lose our yang naturally and become more yin, which is why we tend to slow down and are not as active as children.

    This is particularly true for women 35+ and men 40+ and this can be seen in the physical changes (especially women who potentially start perimenopause).

    How do you know?  And what can you do about it?

    Explore this video to learn about some of the signs that can indicate slowed Qi and yang and 5 lifestyle changes (and soups and teas) that can help you improve and maintain it so that you can be as healthy as possible into your “forever youth”.

    This is because my body is not the same as it used to be when I was younger and it’s important to maintain this one home that I’ve got!

    What is Qi (or yang) depletion?

    • is includes cold hands and feet where you feel they are cold all the time.  This is particularly obvious to me when I’m running or riding in cooler weather, even at 10C, my hands will feel cold pretty quickly and I’ll need gloves.  I see people in Toronto running in shorts in 5C and I’m in awe.  I can’t!  LOL… your hands and feet are one of the first body parts to be “sacrificed” when your body needs more warmth for the main meridians.  
    • Feeling cold all the time is similar to cold hands and feet, but this is progressively moving towards your body.  You’ll want to feel like you want a warm space or to increase the heat.  I’ve also started wearing wooly socks to bed to keep this part warm and it seems to help me stay comfortable.  It’s the worst with cold feet! 
    • Uneasy or restless sleep also occurs if your yang is out of balance.  Normally, when you’re sleeping, yin is increased and yang is decreased (yang being the active state in the body from a Traditional Chinese medicine perspective), however, when you’re off balance, sleep is one of the key things you’ll also notice, unless you’re deathly exhausted, but keep a tab over a period of a few weeks.  Everyone has their own circadian rhythms, but that’s what you’re looking for – consistency in the rhythm. 
    • Difficulty to focus or remain calm as our shen or spirit is also disturbed.  This is also connected to the sleep in that we sometimes feel uneasy or unsettled and may have more outbursts or unable to stay relaxed.  Having emotions are normal, that is part of human beings, but when the emotions become so central and focused on how we make decisions and live our lives, that’s when we aren’t able to let go and allow our body to destress.  There is a huge connection between mental, psychological stress and how healthy our body shows up. 
    • Slower or more difficulty in movements is connected to the slower flow of a weaker or slower pulse.  This is because the Qi and yang does not flow as it should in the body and there are blockages.   
    • Paler complexion or lip color is also a sign of the slower blood flow.  This is also indicated by the color of the tongue, which should normally be a vibrant red, but when the yang is depleted, the tongue will often show up paler and more on the pink-white side.

    Type of soups and teas to make to replenish qi and yang (for yang deficiency):

    Here are a few key principles to think about when designing or making soups that will help with yang deficiency and to help you replenish qi and yang.

    •  Use dried red dates in your teas or soups and be sure to have the pits removed as they are fiery and can create too much heat in the body.  Red dates help tonify the qi and blood, which also replenishes qi and blood, and helps those who have too much “cold” in the body, helping it warm up. 
    • Use fresh ginger as well, to support yang deficiency.  This is a powerhouse ingredient that warms and helps with qi circulation, especially around the middle burner (section around the stomach and contains all the digestive organs). 
    • The best protein for warming soups and to support yang deficiency is chicken.  My Chinese doctor recommends chicken breast (versus chicken with bones) so that you can maximize all the protein possible from the meat.  You can also use a black silkie chicken for this purpose.
    • Drink a power soup weekly (if you’re over 40 for a woman, as men can start at 50 and still be OK), especially if it’s winter. This is also a power soup for women who have just had a baby as “the postpartum period is critical for maternal health status after childbirth [1]”.

    1. Yang, Xiao et al. “Maternal postnatal confinement practices and postpartum depression in Chinese populations: A systematic review.” PloS one vol. 18,10 e0293667. 30 Oct. 2023, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0293667

    EQUIPMENT USED

    To answer your questions on what equipment I'm using, I've built a section here where you can find and explore what I'm using to make soups.  Ingredients are a little harder, but I will do my best as I source them around.  However, you can always message me on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or Facebook, and I will reply and try to point you in some direction!  

    A great help for fish or small bones in soups, including small ingredients such as barley, fox nuts, spices just to keep everything together.

    A MUST HAVE in the kitchen!  Energy saving, cost effective, and perfect for busy chefs!  Check out my article here that explains it.

    Another MUST HAVE in the kitchen for soups!  It's so fine that it will scoop off the top oil and foam layer when using meats in your soup!

    I use these types of stove top safe tea pots to make most of my herbal teas!

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    Warming Sweet Yam with Ginger and Red Dates Dessert Soup

    Warming Sweet Yam with Ginger and Red Dates Dessert Soup

    Warming Sweet Yam with Ginger and Red Dates Dessert Soup

    Soup Name:

    Warming Sweet Yam with Ginger and Red Dates Dessert Soup

    Traditional Chinese Name:

    蕃薯糖水 (gān shǔ táng shuǐ)

    Nature:  Warming

    Taste: Sweet

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    Tips for an amazing sweet yam and ginger dessert soup:

     

    • I tend to use smaller cuts of sweet yam, about 1-inch cubes, because they are bite-sized and cook faster
    • Adjust your ginger accordingly.  The more you put in, the spicier it becomes.  When my girls were small children, I’d put less ginger, but now that they’re practically adults, I load on the ginger, especially during the winter and after their periods
    • Adjust your sugar as well based on taste.  You can also use brown sugar or cane sugar.  I’m not a fan of white processed sugar for this type of dessert soup because it doesn’t have that rich, golden flavour that the rock or cane sugar offers.
    • This dessert soup can keep in the fridge for a few days.  Just re-boil and serve and it’s just as delicious!

    This sweet dessert is traditional to Hong Kong and the Chinese.  Literally, in Cantonese it means “Sweet Potato Sugar Water”. The simplest form of it is found here, although variations can have different herbs and ingredients that make it far more unique.  It is a warm and heaty dessert (especially if you use more ginger) and said to be extremely nourishing and helps removes toxins.  I enjoy this dessert all year round and my children especially love it.  Keep the sugar and ginger content low if intended for children.

    What’s involved?

    Prep time: 5 mins

    Cook time: 30 mins

    Total time: 35 mins

    Serves: 6 bowls

    Ingredients
    • 2-3 medium sized sweet potatoes (can use any variety of sweet potatoes) – for this one, I went with the harder orange variety.  The skin and flesh are both orange.
    • 10 thin slices of ginger
    • 5 dried red dates, halved and cored
    • rock sugar (adjust accordingly to taste)
    • 2 L of water
    Cooking Instructions
    1. Start boiling your soup water
    2. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into bite-sized cubes
    3. Slice ginger thinly (with or without skin) and drop into your soup
    4. Add in the dried red dates
    5. Cover and boil on medium for 30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft. I will use a chopstick to poke them, usually around 15 minutes on high heat will suffice.
    6. Add in your rock sugar and adjust taste accordingly.  I don’t like it overly sweet, so it’s really based on personal preference!
    7. Serve and enjoy!

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