Green radish with carrots & corn in a Chinese herbal pork broth

Green radish with carrots & corn in a Chinese herbal pork broth

Green radish with carrots & corn in a Chinese herbal pork broth

Soup Name:

Green radish with carrots & corn in a Chinese Herbal Pork Broth

Traditional Chinese Name:

紅青蘿蔔湯 (hóng qing luóbo tang)

Nature:  Cooling

Taste: Sweet and savory

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My parents came home last night from a cruise from Italy and are jet lagging and there’s nothing more warming, homecoming, and beautiful than a familiar Chinese soup waiting for them!

I made an easy green radish, carrots, and corn pork herbal broth.  The trick to this soup is to really let it boil out.  I made it early morning and then pretty much let it sit in the thermal pot all day until dinner.  

TIP:  This soup actually tastes even better left overnight!  Don’t forget to boil it before you sleep and don’t open the lid or cover (this will ensure that everything is killed off and isn’t reintroduced, this is how they manufacture canned food and soups in large scale!).  Re-boil the next day and you can still drink it.

 

Traditionally in the Cantonese soup repertoire, this green radish and carrot soup is cooling and often recommended if you’re feeling heaty, want to cool the body, or it’s hot and humid in the summer and autumn months.

It is also commonly found as a dinner soup, where restaurants will serve it at the beginning of the meal known as “lai tong” (or aka, free soup).  You’ll find the bits of carrots and green radish chopped up and along with pork (or chicken).

What’s involved?

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 2-3 hours

Total time: 2 hours and 20 mins

Serves: 10 bowls

Ingredients
Cooking Instructions
  1. Boil both your soup water (3L) and another pot to blanch the pork bones in (enough to cover all the bones)
  2. Once your blanching water boils, gently drop in the pork bones and boil on high for 5-7 minutes, until the brown foam begins to form on top of the water.  You can turn off the stove at this time.
  3. Prepare your vegetables by peeling and chopping into large bite-sizes
  4. Once your soup water boils, transfer the pork bones to your soup pot.  You can either rinse them gently in the water, or do a water rinse under warm water to remove all the debris and foam stuck to the pork bones
  5. Drop in all the ingredients (herbs + vegetables) together
  6. Cover and boil on high for 30 minutes
  7. Transfer to a thermal pot for at least 2-3 hours
  8. Re-boil for 10 minutes prior to serving
If you’d like to quick boil this faster, I’d suggest cutting up the pieces smaller, almost cubed.

Be sure to also buy fresh, firm green radish.  You’ll know they’re fresh because they are super hard to touch and you can’t really squeeze them.  When they get soft, squishy (but not leaky), they’re already drying out and aging.

This combination of green radish and carrots are amazingly delicious!  Some people will also add white radishes, which makes the soup even more cooling, and corn is also a nice addition!  Enjoy!

 

Q&A

A huge thank you to my Instagram community for the questions as they also hugely benefit other readers who may be thinking the same thing!  

 

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Chinese Radish

Chinese Radish

Chinese Radish

Ingredient Name:

Chinese Radish, Japanese Radish, Green Carrot, or Daikon

Traditional Chinese Name:

青蘿蔔(qíng luóbo)

Nature:  Cooling

Taste:  Sweet

Video on “How to Prepare Mushrooms for Chinese Cooking” on YouTube.

This mildly flavoured and quite distinct radish is common found in East Asian dishes such a soups and stews.  They can be found in various colors ranging from white to dark green and everything in between.  They are usually 8-14 inches in length and vary on size as well.  

For soups, these are amazing!  They bring a distinct sweet taste to the soup, especially when combined with carrots and corn (which are their common partners in crime!).  They soften very nicely in soups and are often eaten as part of the meal.  They are considered cooling ingredients and often used in soups to help cool the body and relieve heatiness, most often found in summer and autumn soups.  Due to their flavours, they are also amazing for vegetarian soup!

How do I prepare it?

    To check freshness of green radishes, check firmness.  They should be relatively hard and firm to touch as you squeeze them.  This is a sign of fresh green radish.  They do have really good storage life in the fridge though, storing quite well for up to a few weeks, but check firmness before you buy or use.
    To prepare them, I’ll usually wash and then peel the skin (as they can be quite hard to eat and don’t soften during boiling).  Cut into the size that you wish.  I tend to have quartered 1-inch slices for medium to long boil soups and then cubed for quicker boils, just to ensure that they are completely soft in the soup.
    These legumes are amazing because they don’t disintegrate, holding the same consistency as carrots, which make them great partners in soups!

Where can I buy it and cost?

      • You can buy these in both western and asian supermarkets for similar costs to other root vegetables such as carrots
      • You can buy these fresh in HK wet marts
      • Be sure to buy firm to touch radishes (squeeze them gently).  They should be pretty hard.

Any benefits?

      • The green radish is known to be a cooling ingredients and often used in soups that are cooling and help remove heatiness (often in the summer)
      • Radishes are rich in antioxidants and minerals like calcium and potassium
      • These ingredients have great storage life in the fridge (lasting a few weeks)
      • They are also known to lower blood pressure, reducing risks for heart disease
      • This is a delicious vegetable and quite flavourful, so used to help enhance flavours of soups and stews

Any precautions?

      • As they are cooling, be sure to balance this with the right conditions of your body and season, you can throw in a few slices of ginger to increase the yang in the soup

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