Posts Tagged ‘soup’

old cucumber soup

November 8, 2009



> 600g Pork Bones (or chicken)

> Dried Red Dates, Wolfberries & Dried Scallops

> 1 Old Cucumber (lao huang gua)

> 2 Litres Water

> Salt to taste

Put the pork bones into a pot of water and bring to a boil. Boil a further 5 mins to remove the blood. Wash the cooked pork bones and scrape off any traces of blood. Discard the used water. Prepare another 2 Litres of water and place the pork bones into the pot. Bring to a boil. Add the Red Dates, Wolfberry and Dried Scallops and simmer on low fire for 2 hours. Stop the fire and cool. 3 hours before dinner, bring soup to a boil and add cucumber. Simmer the soup until ready to serve for dinner.

The longer the soup is simmered, the tastier it would be. However, I like to cool the soup and allow the flavours to seep before re-simmering. Saves gas this way too! Hence, the soup is usually prepared in the mornings. However, do note that the cucumber disintegrates easily, so add them later.

Old Cucumber : The more wrinkles at the ends, the better. Scrub the cucumber. Slice the cucumbers and scrape off the seeds. Do not remove the skin otherwise it would disintegrate, forming a mushy messy soup.


lotus root soup + steam fish

September 1, 2009

The high costs of ingredients in my estate’s market has driven me to get my supply of fresh goodies from Toa Payoh at 2/3 the price here. I would take a lift in my FIL’s car to Bishan MRT Station and join the others on their trainrides to work. I like it! Hehe. Being the odd one out, I am ALWAYS amused. ME in my T-shirts, berms and flip flops vs THEM in dresses and heels.

OK. Back to the market. My conclusion is this, Jurong is STILL the CHEAPEST. Alas, Jurong is on the other side of Singapore. Sigh. Since Toa Payoh is an established estate with MANY elderly residents, the prices are pretty reasonable. In fact, the stalls are all manned by old aunties and uncles in their 60s-70s! For one particular stall, the uncle was so old, you queue to pay whilst he slowly lifts each basket of veggies to weigh!

So here it is! My fresh buys from Toa Payoh’s Wet Market.




> 600g Pork Bones (or chicken)

> 10 Dried Red Dates & Wolfberry

> 3 Dried Oysters

> 1 Lotus Root (10cm diameter, 20cm length)

> 2 Litres Water

> Salt to taste

Put the pork bones into a pot of water and bring to a boil. Boil a further 5 mins to remove the blood. Wash the cooked pork bones and scrape off any traces of blood. Discard used water. Prepare another 2 Litres of water and place the pork bone into the pot. Bring to a boil. Add the sliced Lotus Root, Red Dates, Wolfberry and Oysters and boil another 30mins-1hour. Simmer on low fire for a further 4 hours.

If the soup tastes bland due to excess water, just increase the boiling time to intensify the flavours.

The Lotus Roots sold in the markets are covered in mud. Just wash the mud off, peel the skin off the root and slice.


steamed fish


> Fresh Fish  (check with the Fishmonger which to steam or fry)

> Salt

> Chinese Wine

> ‘Old’ Ginger (sliced)

> Spring Onions (cut to 1 inch length)

> 1 tbsp Light Soya Sauce

> 1 tsp Sesame Oil

Clean out the gills and all. There is a huge vein running along the rib of the fish which you can see from the opened belly. Make sure that vein is removed (before freezing as well). This would remove the fishy smell from the fish. Rub salt over the fish. Drizzle Chinese Wine over. Stuff Ginger slices and Spring Onions into the fish stomach. Plate the fish. Lay the remaining ginger slices and spring onions above and below the fish. Cling wrap and refrigerate until use.

Boil water in a wok or other steaming appliance. After the water has boiled, place the plate of fish into the wok and steam for 7-10mins (depending on the size of the fish). Poke the fish with a fork. If the meat comes loose easily, it is cooked. Drizzle Light Soy Sauce and Sesame Oil over. Garnish with chopped onions, chinese parsley, fried garlic or fried onions. Serve.

Fresh fish – Choose fishes with bright clear eyes, bright red gills (when you lift the gills) and firm meat.

Tell me how it goes!

roasted pumpkin soup

June 20, 2009

roasted pumpkin soup2

Pumpkin soup seems to me, a good recipe to use the beautiful pumpkin I just bought yesterday from the market (see previous post). It is simple and a breeze to make. Heh. I went through a few recipes and incorporated a bit of everything to come up with something on my own. It’s healthy and delicious and everyone liked it!

roasted pumpkin soup-1


> 600g Australian Pumpkin cut into chunks to get more roasted surfaces, unpeeled.

> 1 medium sized Carrot peeled

> 2 medium sized Purple Onions cubed

> 3 cloves of Garlic

> 1/2 cup Chicken Stock I use Swanson’s Chicken Broth with no preservatives

> 3 cups Water

Rub the pumpkin and carrot with olive oil (or butter). Roast the pumpkin and carrot in the oven at 180 deg for 40 mins or until brown at edges (depending on the accuracy of your oven). The pumpkins are cooked if a knife cuts through them readily. In the meantime, caramalise the onions, garlic and a pinch of salt, in olive oil (or butter) in a pan by stirring the mixture constantly over a small fire for 30 mins. Do not let it burn or fry up. Set aside the above ingredients to cool. Peel the cooled pumpkin.

Chuck pumpkin, carrots, onions and garlic into a blender. Add 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup of stock. Blend into a smooth texture. Transfer the mixture into a pot to cook. Add the remaining 2 cups of water and simmer over low fire stirring constantly. If the fire is too big, little specks will form. Just take the pot off from the fire and stir vigorously.

Note: Depending on the capacity of your blender, you can add all the water when blending or do so later after transferring to a pot. In fact you can vary the water added to control the consistency of the soup. The stock can be varied to taste as well. Go ahead and experiment!

roasted pumpkin soup1

The recipe worked out 8 bowls of soup. The leftover soup can be refrigerated, reheated and served hot with warm crusty breads for a hearty breakfast. Try adding sour cream or creme fraiche for an added creamy texture.

soup stock tokyo

June 8, 2009


Had an interesting conversation with L about soups today. It was about L’s vision and love for her soups and the quality of take-away soups sold in Singapore.

Our parents are Cantonese hence soups play an important part in our meals. Whenever I’m home, my parents would spend hours going through the boiling, washing, boil again, simmer and then boil again processes to eek out 6 small bowls of delicious soup for all of us. They would experiment with ingredients, timing and processes to create that perfect bowl of nourishing soup. It feels particularly special now that I no longer live with my parents. Their soups mean alot to me. To me, it is parental love.

Since Chinese soup requires hours to prepare, we figured that is the reason why good Chinese soup cannot be take-aways. Double boiled soups need to be ordered a day in advance in Chinese restaurants. Even the ‘soup of the day’ is limited.

I guess Western soups is still an economically viable option.

This brought to mind an amazing take-away soup I had tried in Tokyo. It’s from Soup Stock Tokyo. It was a winter special. I could not remember the name of the soup but it had beef, potatoes, carrots, cheese and it’s tomato based. The soup was DELICIOUS. I made sure I kept a tiny morsel of bread (that came with it) so that I could wipe off every drop of soup from the bowl. Trust me. It will blow you away.

IMG_3166 copy

Will someone with money please bring them over !!!