Green Radish and Carrots Chinese Chicken Soup

Green Radish and Carrots Chinese Chicken Soup

Green Radish and Carrots Chinese Chicken Soup

Soup Name:

Green Radish and Carrots Chinese Chicken Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:

青紅蘿蔔雞湯 (qing hóng luóbo yù mǐ jī tāng)

Nature:  Cooling

Taste: Sweet and savory

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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).

This soup is delicious, hearty, and tastes like home!  My family often prepares this and my (grown) children will always ask for it when I ask them what kind of soup they want 🙂

 

What’s involved?
Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 2 hours

Total time: 2 hours and 20 mins

Serves: 6 bowls

Ingredients
  • 3 pieces of boned chicken thighs, sliced, pan fried
  • 2 fresh green radishes, quartered and in 1-inch thickness
  • 3-4 small fresh carrots, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 handful of dried scallops
  • 7-8 dried longans
  • 5-6 dried red dates
  • 3 L of water
Cooking Instructions
  1. Begin to boil your soup water
  2. Optionally slice up your chicken thighs, I do this so that it cooks faster and there are smaller pieces in the soup to be served
  3. In a shallow pan, fry the chicken thighs under cooked and a lot of the skin and fat should render out
  4. Peel and chop up your radish and carrots.  I’m using a smaller cut this time around as I’m not boiling as long, but still want them relatively soft to be eaten
  5. Once your soup boils, drop in the meats, chopped vegetables, and herbs
  6. Cover and boil on medium heat for 2 hours
  7. No salt needed, serve and enjoy!
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!

 

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White Radish

White Radish

Ingredient Name:

White radish, radish, oriental radish, Japanese radish, daikon

Traditional Chinese Name:

白蘿蔔 (bái luóbo)

White radish is cooling with sweet and bitter tones.

 

One of my favorite roots to eat of all time!  Both cooked (in soups, stews, dishes, dim sum) and raw ( as the Japanese appetizers).  This type of root absorbs the flavor of whatever ingredients you use to marinate or cook it in and it has a very particular and unique taste that almost borders slightly bitter, but not quite.

How do I prepare it?

    These big roots come in a variety of sizes and also breeds, but are usually very white in colour with a green stem.  They are mildly flavoured and commonly found in East Asian dishes such as soups and stews. 
    To prepare them, I will wash and peel the skin first.  Peel a bit deeper as the skin is quite thick and is tough to chew (even when boiled for a long time).
    You can slice them thinly, maintaining the round shape, you can quarter or halve them, or cube them for soup.  
    Some times, this is also used raw as part of salads. 

    Where can I buy it and cost?

        • You can purchase these from most supermarkets (Western and Asian a like)
        • These are definitely available at HK wet marts
        • They aren’t very costly if they are available

    Any benefits?

        • White radishes aid in digestion
        • They are low in saturated fats and cholesterol
        • They also make excellent food for weight loss and have a good amount of fiber
        • White radishes also have good shelf life in the fridge.  They can store for up to a few weeks.  To check if they are still good for consumption, they should be relatively firm when squeezed.

    Any precautions?

        • It is considered a cooling food

        • Not ideal to be consumed if you have a cough or cold

        • Pregnant women and those menstruating should take caution as it may cause contractions if consumed in great amounts

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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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