If there’s one thing we missed about living at home, it’s the soup that our parents used to make us. We generally prefer drinking Chinese soup opposed to western soup as it tends to be more light. I don’t think you’ll ever see heavy cream being used in a Chinese soup recipe lol. Surprisingly enough, Chinese soup is pretty easy to make but getting the right ingredients can be tricky.
Before I moved out, I asked my dad to give me his Chinese wintermelon soup recipe. It’s quite common for Chinese people to not follow a recipe and just wing it so he did his best to give me his guestimations when it came to how much of each ingredient to put in. We made this several times now and let’s just say the Chinese dried mushrooms made a huge difference in terms of adding flavour!
It’s best to let this soup sit overnight to help the flavours really develop. You can still drink this right away and it’ll taste good but it’ll taste even better tomorrow so try to make this a day in advance 🙂
Here’s how we made the soup:
First, gather your ingredients. As you can see, there aren’t that many.
There are a few key things to note:
- Presoak your dried Chinese shiitake mushrooms and dried dates (found in your local chinese supermarket – likely dried soup mix section) in warm water for at least an hour
- Do NOT throw away the water which it was soaking in. These ingredients released a lot of flavour so do not waste them. Save them for the soup later.
- Try to have a mixture of pork and chicken bones to make the stock. This will enhance the flavour of the soup
Once you have all those items ready, it’s time to parbroil your chicken and pork bones to get rid of all the impurities. Do this for 5 minutes and then rinse it under cold water. Make sure to give them a good rub to really get rid of all the dirty.
After parbroiling the bones, put it back into a large stock pot along with the rest of the ingredients (and the water which the mushrooms and dates were soaking in!) and fill the pot up until all the ingredients are covered. Bring it up to a boil and once boiling, turn it down to a gentle simmer for at least 1 hour.
Check the soup occasionally and skim off excess foam. After it has simmered for one hour, add salt to taste (~2 tsp). If you have extra piece of meat you want to throw in here, now is the time. Let it simmer for another hour. Season to taste when done. If it’s still lacking in flavour, feel free to add a few teaspoons of chicken broth powder.
To see the measurements for this recipe, see below.