I think this soup can easily pass off as shark fins’ soup, isn’t it ?? But it’s not !! LOL. And it is in absolute stark contrast to the shark fins’ soup. It’s wholly made of winter melon and crabmeat and the shredded strands that you are seeing are actually the egg after it is being stirred.
For those who has a cause for concern for having sharks fins’ soup during the CNY, this soup can easily replace that. Not only does the outlook appears similar, but the taste itself is also comparable to the shark fins’ soup. And best of it all, you could easily enjoy this for all the health benefits as winter melon is loaded with several kinds of nutrients.
And best of of it all, the soup is easily prepared in a one pot style and all it takes is some constant stirring to ensure the ingredients do not get stuck to the bottom of the pot and gets burnt out. Thickening of the soup takes around 40 minutes and you can enjoy this soup right from the pot.
This is indeed a perfect soup to make it to the CNY reunion menu. And you don’t really need something expensive or delicate like sharks fins to make the reunion looks prestigious. This inexpensive yet very nutritional winter melon is definitely something that shouldn’t be missed !
Grab your fresh ingredients from PurelyFresh online to cook up this lovely soup for your CNY reunion meal !
Winter Melon Soup with Crabmeat 冬瓜蟹肉羹
Recipe type: Soup
600g winter melon
250g crabmeat (I used frozen one.)
1 litre chicken stock (can be home made or store bought)
I have been trying much to eat healthier these days. Starting with brown rice which I used to detest, but has generally becomes very acceptable nowadays. And also trying to prepare a home cooked soup as often as possible.
It’s not difficult to prepare any soups, basically is “dumping” everything into a soup boiler or slow cooker which is what I did and allowing it to simmer for a couple of hours. But the question is perhaps what kind of soup is good for what purpose. I have quite a penchant for Herbal soup recently because it somehow helps to “warm up” my body which is rather on the “cold” side. On a Chinese medical note, the herbs used in Herbal Chicken Soup can help to alleviate the “chills” in the body.
Here’s a pictogram on the different herbs that I have used in the soup.
And here’s a very practical summary of the individual herb’s benefits and purposes :
(With credit to : http://www.homemade-chinese-soups.com/chinese-herbs.html & http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/health-benefits-of-american-ginseng/.)
Chinese yam 淮山has been recorded as having the ability to enhance vigour, promote muscle growth and repair worn-out tissue, and alleviate bodily weakness after a long-term illness. This Chinese herb has also been used to counter diabetes, diarrhoea, kidney defects, coughing and dehydration. It can, however, cause frequent urination and perspiration.
Chinese Angelica Root 当归 has a very important place in women’s health. It is highly valued for the treatment for a host of women’s illnesses. It is supposed to strengthen the blood, nourish the female reproductive organs, regulate menstruation and alleviate period pains.
Chinese Wolfberries 枸杞子 is a natural supplement for improving eyesight especially if poor eyesight is caused by malnutrition, vessel expansion and inflammation. Consuming wolfberries may help if you experience eye strain from staring at computer screens and documents for long periods of time. Wolfberries are also beneficial for the liver.
Codonopsis Root 党参 promotes salivation and aid digestion, relieves diarrhoea and severe coughing, reduces nausea and weakness after severe bleeding. Activates metabolism and improves blood circulation, stabilises nervousness and counters extreme mental and physical fatigue.
American Ginseng Root 泡参 influences energy metabolism by helping muscles work longer before becoming fatigued. It promotes normal blood sugar, boosts the immune system, soothes intestinal irritation and supports normal brain function, memory and thought.
Red Dates 红枣 contains Vitamin B, C, E, P, phosphorus, calcium, iron and more. It is also found that cyclic adenosine monophosphate found in red dates can slow down the growth of cancer cells.
Solomon’s Seal 玉竹 contains Vitamin A and is believed to be moisturising and therefore an excellent Chinese herb for use in dry winters where skin tends to become very dry. It is also used in the lowering of blood sugar levels and prevention of hardening of the arteries. Solomon’s seal is believed to be excellent for alleviating a host of ills, including throat and lungs ailments. Excellent for diabetic patients suffering from thirst and dryness.
Hopefully this little summary can enable all of us to have better understanding of the benefits of the herbs use and at least we understand what we are actually eating and how they are affecting our health.
And I have the habit of blanching any poultry in boiling water (沸水) prior to simmering them in the soup to remove the excess oils and impurities so that the soup can turn out clearer. I would also do an extra step of skimming off the oils and impurities that float onto the surface on the soup a second time, to ensure the soup is even clearer. Might seem tedious and extra but since the time and effort is already taken to ensure a healthy soup is brewed, might as well ensure what you gonna have is something that’s pure and good for its best purposes, isn’t it ?
And fresh chicken from PurelyFresh online is what I used to ensure the home brewed soup is at its all time goodness !
Chinese Herbal Chicken Soup 中式药材鸡汤
Recipe type: Soups
1 whole chicken leg, bone in
1 pc of chinese yam
2 pcs of chinese angelica root
2 pcs of codonopsis root
1 tbsp wolfberries
3 pcs red dates
4-5 pcs of american gineseng root
4-5 pcs of soloman’s seal
600ml of water
salt / chicken powder to taste
Cut the chicken into small pieces and blanch them in boiling water for approximately 1 minute.
Drain the chicken parts well.
Place all the herbs,chicken and water in a slow cooker and allow it to simmer for approximately 3 hours on “auto” mode. Alternatively, you can simmer it over a stove top for around 1 hour.
Add and adjust salt or chicken powder to taste. Serve hot.
I am on a soup binging craving recently and have been trying to incorporate some kind of soup in my meals recently. People often say it’s difficult to cook for 1 to 2 persons, but I have been trying to manage the portions moderately well such that there’s no wastage of food or whatsoever. So this serving of Lotus Root Peanut soup is good for 1 to 2 pax nicely if you are not a huge eater.
I love all kinds of warm and hearty soups, because they are actually what our Mum used to cook and they bring back such warm consolation. And I am one of those who would drink the soup but can set aside all the other ingredients used to cook the soup. So just the soup itself is good enough to make me feel all contented. So if that’s someone who will help to clear all the rest of the ingredients in the soup, I am more than happy ! LOL.
In fact, I do not fancy lotus root by itself at all. But amazingly, together with some peanuts, this soup came off perfectly delicious ! I should really bravo at the originator who discover the pairing of lotus root with peanuts and making it into a soup. The combination is like a perfect match in heaven. And guess what, I used totally zero seasoning in this soup but the taste and flavor is still in existence. I credit much of this to my homemade stock that’s made out of pork bones and chicken carcass.
So is this one of your favourite soup too ? More soup collections coming the way soon too…
Grab some fresh pork ribs and other fresh ingredients from PurelyFresh online to serve up this dish today !!
Lotus Root Peanut Soup 莲藕花生汤
Recipe type: Main
250g pork ribs
2 stems of lotus root (cut away the top and bottom, remove the skin and sliced thickly)
50g raw peanuts, rinsed with some water and drained
3 red dates
400ml home made stock (if not available, can replace with water)
salt to taste (optional)
Blanch the pork ribs in some boiling water for approximately 1 minute. Remove and drain.
Place the blanched pork ribs, together with the peanuts, lotus roots and red dates int the stock and water in a slow cooker to cook for approximately 3 hours or till the pork ribs are tender. If using a gas stove, simmer on low heat for approximately 1 hour or till the pork ribs are tender.
Skim away the fats and impurities that float on the surface of the soup. Add salt (if using). Serve hot.
Lotus root tend to turn slight greyish in colour if they are simmer for too long. Made a check on this and understand that this is perfectly normal. However, if you are really concerned about this, you can add the lotus root during the last hour of simmering in a slow cooker or last 30 minutes of simmering over a gas stove.
As mentioned in my previous post, I am on a soup bing-ing journey. Hence, this is my next installment of it ! It’s the Three Carrots Pork Ribs Soup !
We often used the radish (white carrot) with pork ribs for soup and the orange carrots for ABC soup. So how about the green carrots ? Mum told me traditionally green carrots are only available during the CNY where they are used for the yu sheng. However, I managed to get them from PurelyFresh online and also saw them available from Sheng Shiong supermarket. Didn’t get to spot any from NTUC though and not so sure about the wet markets.
However, the 3 carrots combination definitely is an eye pleaser with all the colours in the soup and which makes it a very sweet and tasty one too.
Have been sick for these few days which makes me even crave for more of such soupy affairs to keep the body warm. Now that’s the down side of declaring independency and staying by yourself where you need to fight for everything yourself, including sickness. This makes me really miss home cooked soups even more.
We probably already know all the benefits of carrots, hence this 3 carrots combination is as nutritious and healthy and as delicious as it could be. Hope everyone will enjoy this colourful and appetising soup !
Three Carrots Pork Ribs Soup 三萝卜排骨汤
Recipe type: Main
½ radish (white carrot), cut into chunks
1 carrot, cut into chunks
½ green carrot, cut into chunks
1 onion, sliced
3 red dates
500g pork ribs
1 – 1.2L of water
½ tsp chicken powder / salt, to taste
Blanch the pork ribs in some boiling water till they turn white in color.
Combine the sliced onions, carrots, red dates and pork ribs with the water and stock in a large pot. Once the water boils, reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer for a further 1.5 to 2 hours till the pork ribs are soft and falling off the bones.
Skim off the fats and oils floating on the surface of the soup. Add in the chicken powder or salt to taste. Mix well and off the flame. Serve hot.
You can also cook this soup in a slow cooker or pressure cooker. The time to cook will vary according to the appliance used.
This is like my total comfort food more especially so at times when I am sick. And using my own home made collagen broth that’s made from pork bones, chicken carcass and chicken feet, this Fishball Kway Teow soup should be the one of a kind which cannot be found elsewhere.
For the broth, it is basically simmering the pork bones, chicken carcass and chicken feet in a huge pot of water for a painstaking 10 hours or more on the gas stove till the chicken bones disintegrate and the colour of the water turns milky. That’s essentially where the “collagen” comes from. Whenever possible, I will cook a huge pot of it, separate them into various smaller containers and freeze them for future use.
Started to fall sick on friday night and following a long night of sleep thereafter, felt so much better and this dish just came to my mind. And it’s practically the right timing for a recovering patient, isn’t it ? This healthy and light dish became very satisfying and fulfilling as such.
Using a combination of the collagen broth and ikan bilis, the soup is better enhanced too. Sometimes the simplest food in life tends to be the most comforting ones too, isnt’ it ? And you don’t really need to head to the hawker or coffee shop to get a share of this simple and comforting dish from now on.
Grab all your fresh groceries from PurelyFresh online to serve up this comforting home made hawker staple today ! Enjoy !!
Fishball Kway Teow Soup 鱼圆粿条汤
Recipe type: Main
500ml home-cooked stock (cooked from simmering pork bones/chicken carcass and chicken feet in water for 10 hrs or more over gas stove)/ water
1 tsp fried pork lard (method as Step 1 below)
2-3 servings kway teow (flat rice noodles) / noodles (blanch them briefly in boiling water till softened and drained) / vermicelli / or any kinds of noodles preferred
12 pcs fishballs
1 pc fishcake, sliced
½ tbsp dong cai (preserved vegetable, 冬菜, rinsed in water, drained and squeezed out the excess water）
20g ikan bilis (rinsed and placed them in a soup stock bag)
I enjoy a variety of dishes in my food, however to many, it might seem a tough task to cook varied choices when you are not able to cook them in a larger volume. Especially when you are cooking for a very small family for one or two, it does not seem to be anyway economical. So here’s what I usually do, if you have done your groceries in bulk, try separating them into smaller portions and servings before freezing them. Each time you need to cook, you only need to handle one small portion of the separated serving which makes de-frosting of it faster and easier too !
And for full time workers like myself who does not have the luxury of time to prepare elaborate dishes at times, some very practical appliances can be pretty useful, and in particular a pressure cooker. All that you gotta do is to dump everything in the huge pot, pressure cook it, and you get your piping hot dish in a fraction of the time.
Here’s to cooking a fuss free and simple meal for 1 to 2 in 30 minutes. I pressure cook a Szechuan Vegetable Pork Ribs soup in the new Tefal Clipsominut Duo 2 in 1 Pressure cooker for approximately 30 minutes.
And while it is cooking, I fried the eggs, cooked the vegetables and grilled a salmon fish respectively. If you are looking for a healthy weekday home-cooked dinner with varieties yet effortlessly, here’s quite the best you can get. A pressure cooker is pretty awesome in my opinion, as it does not requires me to keep a tab on it and the fact that you can get the pork ribs in your soup so tenderly soft that it’s falling off the bones in a fraction of the time as compared to normal cooking. This, in particularly, is most ideal for someone like me who’s forever pressed for time yet desiring home cooked food that needs to be stirred up efficiently henceforth.
I love kitchen appliances that are useful friendly and does not require me to scratch my heads over its functions and use. So this Tefal Clipsominut Duo 2 in 1 Pressure cooker suits me well, considering it has only 3 easy functions to maneuver, pressure cook, release pressure and stewed mode.
Isn’t it comforting and warm to go back to a bowl of piping hot home cooked soup waiting for you after a day’s of hard work in your job ? Kudos to such invention that allows none-stay-at-home-cooks to be able to still stir up something healthy and delightful at the end of each work day !
Szechuan Vegetable Pork Ribs Soup 四川菜排骨汤
Recipe type: Main
150g Sichuan vegetable (cut into quarters, soaked for at least half an hour and drained well)
Cooked Macaroni soup with Ham for a quick dinner over the weekend. This dish is really nostalgic locally because it’s something that most of us have had when we were kids. But somehow as we grew older, we don’t seem to fancy this dish that much anymore but it still remains as a core breakfast staple in the hearts of the people in Hong Kong.
And since I have some macaroni to clear, thought it’s time I re-kindle myself back with this dish. Instead of ham, you could also opt for shredded chicken breast meat which would be equally great and perhaps healthier too. But the ham added some savoriness to the soup which I thought made it more tasty.
Some of you asked me if I cooked my own chicken soup stock or whether I got those off from the shelves. Technically speaking, I have both. If I cooked my own soup stock, I would cook a huge batch of them and freeze the extra. But if I decide to do some last minute cooking and I simply do not have the time to thaw the soup, then I will use the store bought ones. The one which I’ve always used is from the Japanese brand Mizkan. They have a couple of different kinds of soup bases, and the ones which I used most commonly will be the pork and chicken.
So here’s sharing to sharing this really quick and fuss free Macaroni soup with ham recipe. And somehow while this dish reminds me of Hong Kong, I do hope that the situation there get better soon and I’ll be able to make a holiday trip there once again.
Loved this super easy and fuss free yee mee noodles soup because it’s packed with a collagen loaded home cooked soup base. Recently I started to make my own soup stock again using pork big bones, chicken feet, chicken carcass and simmering it over the gas stove for 5 hours, which is not my longest for the records though. My longest was liked 10 hours and there was when the chicken feet and carcass totally dis-integrate into the soup and turns all collagen-ally milky white.
But for this time, I actually halved the time because I started off late in the day. Nevertheless, it was still good as a soup base. All I did was some light seasoning of the soup with a touch of shallot oil and salt and pepper to taste. Added some minced meat and lots of green vegetables and further topped with a beaten egg and fried ikan bilis. As simple as it gets but as delicious as it can !
I am a big eater of noodles so I really enjoyed anything relating to noodles. And this yee mee noodles is one of my favorites. In fact, it goes on very well with fish soup too. And with a ready home cooked stock, this meal is easily beefed up in less than 20 minutes. Just slightly longer than instant noodles but much healthier and no MSG !
With thanks to the folks at Mingfa, I got to churn out some delicious Fuzhou Fishballs and Sambal Shrimp Fishballs with Mee Tak Bak (Silver noodles) in soup and dry versions recently. Mingfa is our homegrown Fishballs noodles chain where you can find many of their stalls in our local hawker centres. And being established as it is, they even branched out selling their signature fishballs in supermarkets now. In case you are not sure what’s a Fuzhou fishball, it’s actually a fishball that contains minced meat fillings within. And recently you can also find the launch of their new product, being the Sambal Shrimp balls.
The Sambal Shrimp balls boost of a spicy and savory filling which will squint in your mouth, hence do eat them with caution especially when they are still piping hot !
Using a pre-cooked home based soup stock, the rest of the cooking is literally a breeze. With preserved vegetables 冬菜, garlic oil, salt, pepper and a twinge of shaoxing wine as light seasoning, the soup version is all good to go. And all this takes is a quick 15 minutes of cooking.
And if you prefer the dry version, you can make do with one that’s seeing the noodles tossed in a mixture of chili oil or sauce, tomato sauce, garlic or shallot oil, light soya sauce, sugar, pepper and a tablespoon or two of the soup. To some, an addition of a dash of black vinegar might be essential too. But I usually do not include that in as the pungent of vinegar isn’t exactly my favorite.
This might not exactly be the most authentic fishballs soup or dry recipe you’ve seen around but it’s definitely one of my home favorites to go. And all because it goes without MSG, I felt it’s way healthier and better. With the plus fact that the soup stock was churned entirely from my own kitchen, it makes the dish all the way more meaningful.
And if you are ever in need of some fishballs to complete this dish, you can jolly well find them from Mingfa which are also made available from selected Fairprice outlets at Tampines Mall / Sun Plaza / RIvervale Mall / Orchard Grand Court / Kallang Wave Mall and Fairprice online under “YumSing”.
Because their fishballs can be ideally frozen, hence you do need not worry about having to finish a huge pack of fishballs at one go too. Hope this local simplistic dish will appeal to you as much as I do !
Riding on the wave that a number of spinach soup stalls has sprouted up recently in our local hawker centers, I decide to cook this soup too ! Well although spinach is generally good for health as advertised, but based on what the old folks say, not everyone is suitable to consume spinach because too much of it tends to be too “cooling” for the body in the Asian context. And furthermore, with the addition of century eggs and salted eggs, I do wonder if it is really that healthy as advertised.
Nevertheless, I feel everything should still be consumed in moderation and that would be generally fine. It’s not as if you are gonna have all the eggs on an everyday basis. So this soup is still good in its own context. In fact, I think without all the century eggs and stuffs, it probably won’t stand out as much too. And pairing tri-eggs with spinach seem ideally compatible. And it’s the first time I am having macaroni this way, and I suppose it works pretty decently too !
You can use any soup base for this to your preference. Whilst some will probably prefer an ikan bilis soup base, I used a pork bones and chicken one instead. And with additions such as mushrooms, minced meat and slice pork to accompany the soup. So it’s literally a soup packed with alot of ingredients indeed.
The spinach tends to shrink quite a fair bit after cooking so don’t be intimidated by throwing one huge bunch of them to cook. I tend to remove the stems and pluck only the leaves from the spinach for cooking because some of the stems can get stringy and difficult to eat after cooking. And spinach are known to contain alot of sand, so be mindful to wash and rinse them a few times before cooking too.
This soup is really delicious and I will cook it again using an ikan bilis soup stock the next round !