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.