Spinach

Fresh spinach

Ingredient Name:  Fresh Spinach

Traditional Chinese Name: 菠菜 (bō cài)

What is this?

  • A dark green, leafy vegetable that is used in all cuisines around the world
  • Spinach can be eaten cooked or raw
  • There are variants of the spinach which are available in the wet mart or your local supermarket, but in general they have large leaves and a shorter, stumpier stem (all parts are edible)
  • In Chinese cuisine, spinach is more commonly cooked as a vegetable dish versus a soup dish, but on occasions you will find spinach used in stews
  • Spinach does leave a grainier taste in your mouth (both in dishes and soups)

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse well in cool water removing all debris
  • To keep the spinach fresh and crisp, store in the fridge after rinsing (prior to use)

Where can I buy this?

  • Most supermarkets will carry this

What is the cost?

  • In Hong Kong, 1 catty costs around $15 HKD
  • The cost will vary depending on whether it’s organic, the make of spinach and how in season they are in general at the time of purchase

Any benefits?

  • Spinach is extremely high in nutritional value and is rich in iron, Calcium C and antioxidants (great for fighting free radicals who increase signs of aging)
  • This vegetable is also an excellent source of fibre
  • Spinach improves blood glucose levels, lowers the risk of cancer, lowers blood pressure, and improving bone health

Any precautions?

  • Spinach is known to increase gout, so caution should be taken with those who have gout

 

Spinach and Water Chestnuts in Chicken Broth

 

This is a variation on a restaurant-styled spinach soup I had at a Chinese restaurant. In their version, the spinach was less dense and more coarse and it was called a “gung” in Cantonese – meaning a thick stew type of soup. I wanted something lighter, healthier for the kids and lighter on the corn starch, so kind of made this up. It turned out to be delicious and the water chestnuts added a refreshing and crunchy texture that I loved! For the vegetarian version, use vegetable broth instead.

 

Soup Name: Spinach and Water Chestnuts in Chicken Broth

Traditional Chinese Name:  菠菜馬蹄雞湯 (bō cài tāng mǎ tí jī tāng)

Spinach and Water Chestnuts in Chicken Broth
Recipe Type: Chinese Soup
Cuisine: Chinese Soup
Author: LadyTong
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic, finely diced
  • 1/2 fresh white [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/onions-fresh/”]onion[/url], finely chopped
  • 6 bunches of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/spinach/”]fresh spinach[/url], chopped
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 10 fresh [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/water-chestnuts/”]water chestnuts[/url], peeled
Instructions
  1. Finely chop both onions and garlic
  2. In your soup pot, add a teaspoon of cooking oil and fry garlic and onions until the onions are caramelized
  3. Throw in the chopped spinach and cook for another 5 minutes while continuously stirring
  4. Add in chicken broth and water
  5. Boil on medium for another 10 minutes (or until boiling)
  6. Remove from heat and using a hand blender, blend the soup until it runs smooth
  7. In a pot of hot water, boil the peeled water chestnuts for 5 minutes
  8. When ready, remove and finely chop the water chesnuts
  9. Sprinkle the water chestnuts on top of the soup and serve!
Notes
[b]Any Benefits[/b][br]This soup is extremely high in iron, calcium and antioxidants (that help kill free radicals and slow down the sign of aging).[br]It’s suitable for the whole family.[br]It’s an easy and quick soup that you can whip up in less than half an hour.[br][br][b]Any Precautions[/b][br]Be sure to thoroughly wash the Spinach.[br]Not recommended for those with gout to take in large portions as Spinach contributes to gout.

 

Cooked garlic, onions and spinach in preparation for blending