Classic Cantonese Soups

I love to drink Chinese style soups since young. Almost every day, there is a big bowl of soup on the dining table for dinner. I think this is usual for a Chinese family to have three dishes and a bowl of soup. After moving to Singapore for a few years, I start to learn to boil my own soup. However, I still cannot afford to have three dishes on my dining table, it is too much to finish. Recently, I started to use the programmed rice cooker to slow cook some of the Chinese style soup. As a result, I can enjoy a delicious and taste Cantonese soups from the rice cooker without worrying about drying up the pot when boiling it for hours on the stove.

Lotus Root Soup

Lotus roots are rich in dietary fiber, very low in cholesterol and saturated fats. It is a good source of essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B, Vitamin C, iron, potassium, copper, thiamin, and zinc.

The ingredients that I used can be found in the local supermarket and wet market. I would recommend you to get the dried scallops and dried oysters from the Chinese stalls in the wet market because you can choose the sizes and sometimes, you can self-picked your own dried scallops or dried oysters.

Ingredients: Lotus root, peanuts, dried scallops, dried oysters, dried red dates, and wolfberries (optional).

No need to add salt into the soup because the natural taste from the dried scallops and dried oysters makes the soup flavourful. It can be replaced by using dried squids, and it gives a stronger flavour. Also, you can put pork ribs into the soup. These ingredients mix well with lotus roots and it absorbs all the flavours.

Old Cucumber Soup

Another of my favourite soup, the old cucumber soup. It is tricky when it comes to buying a ready-to-cook old cucumber. If it is too raw, the soup does not turn out to be ‘juicy’. The guide to choosing a good old cucumber is choosing those with darker and more wrinkled skins as they have a richer taste and aroma. Old cucumbers contain iron and vitamins A, B6 and C. In Cantonese culture, Old cucumber soup is a popular home remedy to help soothe sore throats and coughs, and is also believed to have anti-ageing benefits.

Ingredients: old cucumber, pork ribs, red dates, dried longan, wolfberries and salt for taste.

You can add dried scallops and dried oysters into the soup to add flavour. Myself, I added dried longan into the soup to add some sweetness into the soup as a replacement of rock sugar in one of the recipes shared online.

White Radish, Carrot and Chicken Soup

I bought a big white radish and a packet of carrots to cook with the chicken bones. The white radish has plenty of health benefits:

  • Boost immunity – Radish is chock full of dietary fibre, which helps with digestion issues.
  • Help the skin – They also have phosphorous and zinc. These, when combined, can help get rid of dryness, acne and rashes.
  • Aids digestion – Chock full of vitamin A, C, E, B6, potassium, and other minerals, radishes can give your whole body an immunity boost.
  • Regulate blood pressure – Rich in potassium, radishes can help keep blood pressure under control by maintaining the sodium-potassium balance in the body.

During this COVID-19 period, I buy the white radish and carrots quite often to boil soup. For Chinese, this an ordinary soup that every Chinese family cook at home. It is my favourite soup too.

I used the chicken bone as the soup based, and it is nutritious too. The chicken bone helps protect the joints, reduce inflammation and heal the gut. Also, it helps fight osteoarthritis and may aid sleep.

There are plenty of recipes that you can find online. I used the rice cooker to cook the soup by cutting the white radish and carrot into a smaller size. Together with the chicken bone, I put all the ingredients into the rice pot and add the chicken bone broth to cook for 1.5 hours to 2 hours using the slow cook function.

About 30 minutes before I turn off the fire, I add some chicken meat and goji berries into the soup. You can add the red dates if you want too and serve the soup while still hot.


Chee Cheong Fun

I bought some chee cheong fun from the supermarket to try. It is not a good choice as we know it is not going to be as fresh as those from the wet market. I tried to make the steamed chee cheong fun using my electric lunch box. I put in the vegetables and fishballs in the miso soup base in the bigger container and the chee cheong fun on the top container. Then, steamed it until the soup is boiled and ready to be served.
chee cheong fun

Bitter Gourd Soup

I bought a bitter gourd from the supermarket which costs me around S$1.40 and I can make a few dishes with it in few days. One of it was the bitter gourd soup.

Simple by following the recipe online and my version was pretty simple. All I prepared was one third of the bitter gourd, cut some carrots, marinated some cubed chicken meat and some wolfberries.
bitter gourd soup
When the water boiled, put in the bitter gourd and carrots and brought to boil again. After that, put in the chicken meat and the wolfberries and boiled again for another 15 minutes or so. It is so simple, right? Do try it out if you like bitter gourd.