Archive for ‘soup’

January 25, 2013

麻油雞湯 (Sesame Oil Chicken Soup)

by tina


This soup is great for warming up from the cold weather and also great for when you have a cold!

This recipe is from the memory of how my late mother used to make it. There are many variations to making this chicken soup. I think some people use light and/or dark sesame oils.. red or black dates.. rice wine or shao xing wine. But as far as I know, this is the tastiest and best recipe. :P Just kidding. I only say that because… who doesn’t love their mother’s cookings?


  • 1 silkie chicken (~2 lbs. my chicken was 1.85 lbs. you can use regular chicken too)
  • 15 ginger slices, thinly longitudinal (julienne) sliced with the ginger skin unpeeled
  • 1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 4 licorice root slices
  • ~10 dried red dates
  • ~1/8 cup goji berries
  • 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup rice wine
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • salt



First, cut the chicken into small pieces. The trick to cutting the chicken wings and legs is to cut at the “soft” spots where the cartilage connects the limbs. The body portion is a different story. I just hacked away at the bones.. =]


Place the pan on the stove and turn the temperature to high. When the pan is hot, place the ginger slices in and stir (yes, before you place the oil in the pan). This is to take the moisture out of the ginger so that it won’t splatter hot oil at you.

When it looks like the ginger has been dried or becoming a little brown, add 1/4 cup of sesame oil in. Stir.

When the ginger looks browned, add the chicken pieces in. Stir, to get the chicken pieces in the oil.

Add the licorice root, red dates, and half of the goji berries. Mix and Stir to try to evenly cook the chicken.


The pan should be sizzling by now. Then add the 1/4 cup of rice wine in. Stir. Turn the temperature down to medium high. Let it cook a little more and simmer. Stir occassionally to cook evenly.


When there is not a lot of visible liquid left, turn the temperature off.


Boil the water in a large pot. Add all the contents in the pan in the boiling water. Add the 2 tsps sesame oil and 1/8 cup rice wine. Add a few dashes of salt.


After everything comes to a boil, turn the temperature down to medium low-low. Let the chicken cook thoroughly and simmer for about 10-12 minutes. Add more salt to taste.


You could either enjoy as simply a soup or you could add some noodles. ^_^



February 24, 2012

Bamboo Shoots, Stir Fried and Soup

by tina

It’s been a while since my last post. During the past month, I’ve traveled to Asia and back. Had a bunch of delicious foods and learned some new recipes that I can’t wait to attempt to make and share!

From this trip, I brought back some fresh whole bamboo shoots that my relatives had harvested for me. Since they are highly perishable, I’ve had it just about everyday since I’ve gotten back and have learned to cook them two ways =)

Stir Fried recipe – Bamboo Shoots with Pork Belly


  • 2-3 whole bamboo shoots, small to medium sized (picture shows whole and halves)
  • ~0.5 lbs pork belly, thin sliced
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2-2 1/2 tbsps soy sauce (to taste) *this measurement will be split in 2 parts.
  • 2 star anises
  • 1/4 cup water
  • five spice powder
  • sugar


Slice the bamboo shoots into thin and smaller pieces. Slice the pork belly into small pieces (where you can see the short layering of fat, meat, fat, meat. not sure what that kind of cut it’s called).

Turn the temperature to high. When the pan is hot, place the vegetable oil in. Place the garlic in when the oil is hotter. Stir the garlic until you smell the aroma/turning golden light brown. Add the sliced pork belly in. Stir around and when it is half cooked, add 1 tbsp of soy sauce in. Mix thoroughly. Add the 2 star anises. Continue to mix until the pork belly seems more cooked.

Add the sliced bamboo shoots in. Mix. Add the water. Stir for 1-2 mins. Add another 1-1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce (to taste). Stir and mix thoroughly. 

Add a thin layer of five spice powder all around. Dash a little bit of sugar. Mix. Turn the temperature down to medium and let it simmer and cook for 5-7 mins to let the flavors seep in. Stir when needed.

Look at this yumness =D

Soup recipe – Bamboo Shoots with Pork Ribs


  • 2-3 whole bamboo shoots, small to medium sized (picture shows whole and halves)
  • ~0.5 lbs (or 4 strips) pork ribs
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ~4 cups water
  • salt


First, in a pot, boil about 4 cups of water.  After the water comes to a boil, place the strips of ribs in. Continue boiling until you see a little bit of blood coming out of the bones (about 2 minutes). Turn the temperature off and bring the pot over to the sink.  Drain the hot water immediately and then run cold water through the pot. Wash the pork, especially where the bone is to rid of any bone shards (wouldn’t want those to end up in the soup).  Then cut the ribs into small pieces keeping the bone in the center of each piece.

(You may think that boiling the ribs for this first step may be a waste of perfectly good pork soup, but I’ve tried it before where I didn’t boil it and the soup just ended up looking cloudy, and there were pieces of bone shards, so it makes the soup less enjoyable in my opinion).

Slice the bamboo shoots into thin slices.

Place the water in the pot. Smash the 2 garlic cloves and place them in as well. Turn the temperature to high. When the water comes to a boil, place the ribs in.  Place the lid over the pot and let it boil for a good 3 mins. When you open the lid, you’ll probably see some marrow and fat floating on the surface of the soup.  Scoop out the marrow and skim the fat.  Some people, like me, like to leave some fat in for more flavor.

Let it boil for another 3 mins.  Add the sliced bamboo shoots in. Wait for it to reach a boil again. Add salt to taste (I put about 1/2 tsp). Continue boiling for a minute or so and then bring the temperature down to medium low.  Let the soup cook for another 12-15 mins.

I’ve also experimented in making bamboo shoots with chicken soup, and it did not taste as good as pork.

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December 27, 2011

Asari Sakamushi (Sake Steamed Clams)

by tina

I’ve had this before at a Japanese tapas restaurant and it tasted simply delicious. I randomly decided to try to make this when I saw that the live clams were on sale at my nearby grocery store. Can’t go wrong with live clams–They turned out yummy.


  • 15 – 18 clams (about 0.8 lb. I used live Manila clams)
  • ~15 slices of ginger (cut in strips)
  • ~15 pieces of lemon zest (cut in strips)
  • 2 – 3 pieces wakame Or 1 large piece of kombu
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 green onion (cut in thin vertical/longitudinal strips aka julienned)

Soak the clams in water with a little salt for ~4 hrs or overnight. We want the clams to spit out the “dirty” water and/or sand in their system.

After they have been soaked, scrub the clam shells down (I used a toothbrush).

Picture of the ingredients (and the kind of sake) I used:

Place the water in a (smaller) pot and turn the temperature to high and bring it to a boil. (You could start with a little less water in case it’s too diluted for your taste). With the water boiling, place the ginger, lemon zest, and kombu/wakame in. Let them boil for 30 secs. Then add in the clam. Add the sake. Add the salt (start with 1/8 teaspoon). Let it come to a boil, for about 3-5 mins or until the clam shells open. If the soup is not salty enough for you, then add a little more salt at this point. Boil for another minute.

Turn the temperature down.

Transfer into a large bowl and garnish with green onions on top.

November 8, 2011

Hot & Sour Soup (酸辣湯)

by tina


I was craving hot & sour soup last weekend, so I decided to try and make it myself. I gathered all the ingredients that I thought would go in the soup and managed to cook up something pretty good. Here is my 2nd time making it, where I actually wrote down the measurements.

I have to warn you that this soup does takes a while to prepare and cook. I’ve learned my lesson to not make this during a weekday work night :]
–>prep time: ~40 mins. cook time: ~20 mins. total: ~1 hr.


For marinating the pork:

  • 2 pork top loin, thin cut (~0.30 lbs)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper

For all other ingredients for soup:

  • ~7 shitake mushrooms (depending on size)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ~2 bamboo shoots, large slices (canned)
  • ~5 wood ears (optional)
  • 1/2 of a large carrot
  • 1/2 tofu pack

For soup base:

  • 1 cup organic chicken broth, non fat low sodium
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4-5 tablespoons rice vinegar (depends on how sour you like it)
  • 2-4 teaspoons white pepper (depends on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 egg
  • sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch (optional)
  • cilantro (optional garnish)

(yields about 5 servings)

There are two parts to making this soup.

1) Preparation of ingredients: First soak the shitake mushrooms in a bowl of lukewarm water (takes about 30 mins to soften). Then tenderize the pork. Cut into very thin slices. Place the soy sauce, rice wine, and white pepper in a bowl. Mix the sliced pork in. Let the pork marinate while preparing the other ingredients.

Slice the bamboo shoots into thin pieces. Slice the carrot into thin pieces. Slice the tofu into semi-thin and long pieces. By now the shitake mushrooms should be soft, so go ahead and wash them and squeeze the water out and slice into thin and long pieces.

(optional) If you’d like to add wood ears, it would need to be soaked (like the mushrooms) and sliced into thin pieces.

The ingredients now need to be sauteed. Turn the temperature to high. Once the pan is hot, place 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in. When the oil is hot, place the pork in and stir. When the pork is half cooked, place the shitake mushrooms in and stir. Add the 1 tablespoon soy sauce and continue stirring until the pork looks 90% cooked. Add the bamboo and carrot (do not add the tofu in) and stir for 1 more min. Turn the temperature off and move the pan off the stove.

2) Making the soup: In a pot, place the chicken broth and water in.  Temperature on high and wait for it to boil. Add the sauteed ingredients in and also the tofu and stir. While waiting for it to reach another boil, add in the vinegar and soy sauce and white pepper and stir. (Remember to taste it. The measurements that I gave for the vinegar, soy sauce, and white pepper is based on my personal taste.  You can add more or less if you like.) Turn the temperature down to medium. Beat the egg and very slowly add it into the soup to make egg flower–Add in small segments and give it 1 or 2 light stirs after every segment until all the egg has been added in.

(optional) You can make the soup more dense by thickening it with corn starch. In a small bowl, add a little water to the 2 tablespoons of corn starch. Stir until there are no more clumps and looks super milky. Add this in the soup and stir thoroughly.

Add a small splash of sesame oil.

Place the lid on and let the soup simmer for about more 5 mins on medium low.

Here’s to a bowl of hot & sour soup!

October 30, 2011

Soy Sauce Chicken Soup

by tina

Another chicken soup!! You can see how lazy I am :P


  • 4-4 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 of a whole chicken, cut into small pieces (approx. 1.5 lbs, so whole chicken was about 3 lbs. I used the other half of the chicken when I made the winter melon soup)
  • ~10 ginger slices, thin
  • 1-1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce (to taste)
  • ~5 shitake mushrooms
  • goji berries

In a large pot, place the water and ginger in and turn the temperature to high. Once it reaches a boil, place the chicken in. Put the lid on for about 3 mins.  The fats should be bubbling and forming on the surface of the soup and you’d want to scoop that out. I like a little fat in my soup for the flavor, so I don’t scoop all of it out completely. Let the soup boil for about 3 more mins.

Add the 1 tablespoon soy sauce in and stir. (You can always add a little more soy sauce later if needed.) Add the shitake mushrooms and sprinkle a few goji berries in. Place the lid back on and turn the temperature down to medium.

After about 5 mins, turn the temperature down to medium low. Let the soup simmer a little more and then it’ll be ready to be served.

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