Vegetables and Dried Octopus with Mung Beans Soup

Soup Name: Vegetables and Dried Octopus with Mung Beans Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 雜菜綠豆章魚湯 (Zá cài lǜ dòu zhāng yú tāng)

Introduction:

When it rains, the Chinese like using beans to absorb moisture from the body. Mung beans, dried beans, red beans, green beans, yellow beans, big beans and little beans – any type of beans will do really! The octopus is known to be a heaty ingredient and therefore is balanced with the cooler mung beans. This combination with lotus root is a delicious Spring Chinese soup ideal for the whole family. I’ve also added a variety of vegetables to sweeten it and dilute the unique taste of the octopus that my children pick up on. On top of this, it gives you a hearty soup that you can eat as a meal or additional dishes to your meal – like the corn.

What ingredients are required?

1 one-foot long lotus root, cut into bite size
1 whole dried octopus, sliced
100 g of mung beans
3 large fresh carrots, sliced
3 large fresh corn, quartered
2 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Soak dried octopus in cold water for about 30 minutes
  2. Boil your soup water
  3. Slice octopus in slices or quartered
  4. Wash and cut lotus root, carrots and corn
  5. Add all the ingredients into your boiling soup water
  6. Boil on high for thirty minutes and reduce to medium boil for another hour
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Excellent Chinese soup for Spring in absorbing wetness from the body
  • This soup is an excellent source of protein and low in fat
  • No salt required as the octopus already provides enough sodium
  • Octopus is rich in calcium, phosphorous, and iron
  • Dried Octopus aids in the prevention of anemia, relieves fatigue and restores eyesight and improves liver functions

Any precautions?

  • Be sure to purchase dried Chinese products from a reputable source
  • Sometimes the octopus is really salty, so if you want to reduce the saltiness, soak in warm water for a few hours
  • Dried octopus is high in cholesterol
  • People who are allergic to shellfish may be allergic to octopus

Lotus Root with Dried Octopus in Chicken Soup

Lotus Root with Dried Octopus in Chicken Soup

Soup Name:

Lotus Root with Dried Octopus in Chicken Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:

章魚幹蓮藕雞湯 (zhāng yú gàn liánǒu jī tāng)

Nature:  This soup is neutral

Taste:  This soup is sweet to taste

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

This is a simple, easy-to-make soup that doesn’t require many ingredients. It’s a heavy sweet (not a light sweet) and appropriate for spring weather. This soup is quite neutral and ideal for children and adults. The dried octopus & dried mussels do give the soup a little bit of a “fishy” taste if you put too much, but use less if you’re concerned. It’s a similar taste to dried scallops almost. A naturally delicious soup for the whole family.

This combination of octopus and chicken works amazing with many types of roots, such as arrowroot, lotus root, or fresh Chinese yam.  It goes nicely with earthy tastes as it really brings out the flavours of the roots.  And the amazing thing is that it eats like a meal!  I will serve the roots and the chicken meat, with a small plate of soy sauce, and it’s delicious! 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 1 hour

Total time: 1 hour and 30 mins

Serves: 4 bowls

Ingredients
Cooking Instructions
  1. Prepare chicken (see chicken post) and blanch in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes, drain and set aside
  2. Soak dried octopus and baby mussels in water for about 30 minutes
  3. Boil your soup water
  4. Slice octopus in slices or quartered
  5. Peel and cut arrowroot into large cubes
  6. Add all the ingredients into your boiling soup water
  7. Boil on high for thirty minutes and reduce to medium boil for another hour
  8. Serve and enjoy!

An alternative which is often used with lotus roots is to stuff the lotus root with green or yellow (mung) beans.  The beans are slightly cooling, but you can drop in a slice of ginger to balance it out.  This is a very popular way of making lotus roots in southern China, particularly Guangzhou and is often served in large portions for large families.

Lotus roots can also be stuffed with sticky rice (yum!), pan fried, sliced, marinated raw in a beautiful vinaigrette, and a host of other preparation method!  It’s definitely one of my favourite and most diverse roots in the Chinese menu! 

 

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Lotus Roots with Mung Beans in Dried Octopus Soup

Lotus Roots with Mung Beans in Dried Octopus Soup

Soup Name:

Lotus Roots with Mung Beans and Dried Octopus Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:

蓮藕綠豆章魚湯 (liánǒu lǜdòu zhāng yú tāng)

Nature:  This soup is slightly cooling

Taste:  This soup is sweet to taste

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When making any dried octopus soup, this is the most basic and common set of ingredients. It’s simple (with only 3 ingredients), easy to prepare and delicious (and slightly cooling). To me, most dried seafood tastes the same, something a little fishy and slightly sweet. In fact, you can substitute dried “insert your seafood here” for these type of soups. Other types of octopus soups also include peanuts or various other vegetables (like chayotes). I’ll have to make other types to demonstrate the diverseness of dried octopus, but here’s my first.

What’s involved?

Prep time: 1 hour 15 mins

Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins

Total time: 2 hour and 45 mins

Serves: 4 bowls

Ingredients
Cooking Instructions
  1. Rinse and soak the dried octopus and mung beans in warm water for an hour
  2. Boil your soup water
  3. Prepare lotus roots by washing and cutting into edible portions
  4. Using scissors or a sharp knife, slice the dried octopus into thin slices (or quartered if you don’t plan to eat it)
  5. When your water boils, add all the ingredients in and boil on high for 30 minutes.  Reduce to a medium boil for another hour.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

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Pork Bones and Lotus Root with Chestnuts Soup

Soup Name: Pork Bones and Arrowroot Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 蓮藕栗子湯 (lián ou lì zi tāng)


Introduction:

This savory soup is sweet in taste and healthy to eat.  It’s rich in vitamins and fiber and is neutral for your body.  Caution may need to be taken with chestnuts as it can potentially be allergenic, although it is not very common.


What Ingredients are required?

1 pound of fresh pork bones
2 large lotus roots
3 large dried dates
5-6 pieces of dried scallop
10 – 15 chestnuts

1 teaspoon of salt (to marinate the pork bones)

How do I prepare it?

  1. Mix salt and pork bones together and let sit in a bag for at least an hour (best overnight)
  2. Wash the pork bones thoroughly in cool running water
  3. Start boiling your water soup and add the dried dates and conpoys
  4. In a separate pot, blanch the pork bones and strain it to remove any dirt and debris from the blanching
  5. Add the pork bones and chopped lotus root to the boiling water of your soup
  6. In a separate pot, boil the chestnuts for 5 minutes
  7. Strain and immediately peel the shell and outer skin
  8. Put the peeled and boiled chestnuts into your boiling soup
  9. Boil together for at least 60-90 minutes on high heat.  The longer you boil it, the tastier the soup.  It is best eaten when the pork is falling off the bones.

Any benefits?

  • This soup is high in fiber and is good for muscles, nerves and veinous system

Any precautions?

  • The longer you boil this soup, the tastier it gets, but that also means the chestnuts will begin to disintegrate.  If boiled too long, the chestnuts will thicken the soup and its remnants will sink to the bottom.

Pork Bones with Lotus Root Soup

Soup Name:  Pork Bones with Lotus Root Soup
 
Traditional Chinese Name:  蓮藕湯 (lián ou tāng)
 
Introduction:
 
This is a hearty soup that can double as a meal.  The lotus root is very filling and is a good source of dietary fiber.  Since the soup is boiled for some time, the lotus roots will have absorbed all the goodness of the other ingredients (same as the pork bones) and serves as a delicious addition to the soup.

 
What Ingredients are required?

1 pound of fresh pork bones
2-3 whole lotus roots
5-6 pieces of dried scallop
3 large dried dates

How do I prepare it?

  1. Start boiling your water soup
  2. Optional:  You can marinate the pork bones with 1 tablespoon of salt an hour prior to boiling, but make sure you rinse the pork bones well with cool water
  3. In a separate pot, blanch the pork bones and strain it removing any dirt and debris from the blanching
  4. Add the pork bones to the boiling water of your soup
  5. Add the dried scallops, large dates and lotus roots to your soup
  6. Boil for at least 60-90 minutes on high heat.  The longer you boil it, the tastier the soup!

 Any benefits?

  • The lotus roots are a great source of dietary fiber and have plenty of vitamin C and B6

Any precautions?

  • The roots can contain dirt and potential parasites, make sure you clean it thoroughly and boil thoroughly before consumption