When my mother came up with the name of her first cookbook the term "All-American" only seemed fit. After all, she was 1st generation Chinese married to an American, Irish, Norwegian man living in Nebraska where traditional Chinese ingredients were not made readily available. It isn't until now that I truly understand the meaning of the All-American... (read more)

Posts Tagged ‘Soup’




Traditional Chinese Chicken Soup

A popular way for families to celebrate the Chinese New Year is to make a big pot of whole chicken soup. It has symbolic meaning to serve the chicken whole for year “round” good luck!


1 whole frying chicken, about 3-½ pounds
1 oz. fresh ginger root
2 scallions, including the green top
4 medium size shiitake dried black mushrooms (soak in warm water for 10 minutes or longer until soft)
2 tablespoons salt
4 quarts (128 fl oz.) of water

Wash and trim any excess fat from chicken. Wash and use a heavier knife to crush the fresh ginger root. Wash and trim scallions, then cut in half. Drain water from the soaking mushrooms. Cut off stems (if any) and cut each mushroom into quarters.

To Cook:
Place the whole chicken in a large soup pot. Add crushed ginger root, green onions, black mushrooms, salt and water (approximately 2 inches of water above the top of the chicken). Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer the chicken for 2½ hours. Meanwhile, the fat that will congeal on the surface and should be removed and discarded from time to time while cooking. When the chicken is tender and nearly falling off from the bone, turn off heat and discard both the ginger root and onions.

At a traditional Chinese New Year meal, the whole chicken with soup is presented in a large bowl on the center of the round table for everyone to help themselves. Or, after the presentation, the host will serve guests some of the chicken meat with broth in an individual small bowl. Serve hot.

Makes 10 to 12 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes




Tofu, Tomato and Spinach Soup

We’re always looking for tasty, healthy options, especially during the holidays when the turkey and stuffing is in overdrive. Here’s a light soup to make you feel good both inside and out!


½ package firm tofu (8oz.)
2 roman tomatoes
1 bunch fresh spinach (12oz.)
6 cups water
3 chicken bouillon cubes (Knorr brand)
1 scallion, including the green top
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Rinse tofu and cut into small ½-inch cubes. Wash and slice the tomatoes lengthwise in half and then into quarters. Cut each quarter twice crosswise. Remove the stems from the spinach if any and wash thoroughly. Cut the spinach into 1-inch pieces. Wash and trim the green onion. Finely chop.

To cook:
Heat oil in a non-stick wok or a medium size pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, brown onion for a few seconds. Add spinach, cook and stir for approximately 1 minute until soft. Add tomato chunks, tofu cubes, salt, sugar, sesame oil and black pepper. Add water and chicken bouillon cubes (cut cubes into small pieces to dissolve quickly). Cook while stirring for 5 to 6 minutes, until the soup is brought to a full boil. Remove from heat. Serve hot.

Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 8 minutes




Wonton Soup

The all-American favorite Chinese soup!

Half package wonton wrappers, ½ pound /about 24 wrappers (You will find the wonton wrappers in the produce section of most supermarkets)
4 cups chicken stock or 2 cans (14 oz. or 15 oz. each) chicken broth
½ cup water for sealing the wontons
1 scallion, including the green top, wash and finely chopped for garnish

Filling & Preparation:
4 oz. fresh ground lean pork
1 oz. sliced canned water chestnuts, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
1 scallion, including the green top, wash and finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt

In a bowl, combine the filling ingredients. Mix together thoroughly and set aside.

To Assemble:
In a small bowl, fill ½ cup water for assembling the wontons. Place a wonton wrapper on the palm of your hand. Place 1 full teaspoon of the filling in center of the wrapper and moisten all sides of the wrapper around the filling with water. Lift the lower right corner and flip it over to the middle of the left side. Seal it. Turn the wonton over and use both hands to overlap the two end corners together. Moisten a corner and pinch the ends firmly together. The result: The wonton filling is in the center with four corners of the wrapper pointing outward. As each wonton is complete, place them on a plate, cover with a dry towel and set aside. For more assembly details, view our recipe for Fried Wontons.

To Cook:
Fill a medium size pot with 6 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat.  Drop the wontons into the boiling water, a few at a time. Use a long handled spoon to stir gently for a few seconds. Reduce the heat to moderate. Boil the wontons uncovered for 4  minutes (careful not over cook them). Meanwhile, heat the chicken broth in a small pot so it is ready to use.

To Serve:
Drain the cooked wontons through a colander. Place 6 wontons in each soup bowl, then pour 1 cup of the hot chicken broth over each of bowl. Sprinkle some finely chopped green onions. Salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 20 to 25 minutes
Cooking time: 4 minutes




Egg Drop Soup

I know a cup of good old fashioned chicken soup is the American cure all when under the weather. Growing up in a Chinese household however, we had rice soup, wonton soup, spicy beef noodle soup and other soups that I couldn’t tell you what was in them expect for fish balls and I’ll leave it at that. Yet this one was my favorite feel good soup because it was simple.  It wasn‘t until recently, I realized how easy it is to whip up on a moments notice. As a bonus, it’s extra light and just 1 point in Weight Watchers speak!

2 cans chicken broth (14.5 oz. each) or 4 cups chicken stock
½ cup frozen peas and carrots
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 4 tablespoons water
2 eggs
1 scallion, including the green top
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
white pepper (optional)

In a small bowl, dissolve 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 4 tablespoons of water together and set aside.
In another small bowl, lightly beat 2 eggs and set aside.
Wash and trim the green, finely chop.

To cook:
In a medium size pot, bring chicken broth, frozen peas, carrots and salt to a full boil over medium-high heat (approx. 4 to 5 minutes).  Stir the dissolved cornstarch again then slowly add into the boiling chicken broth. Stir until the soup is slightly thickened and clear. Carefully pour the beaten eggs through the twines of a fork into the hot soup.  Stir quickly with the fork. Add green onions and sesame oil for flavor. Turn off the heat. Serve hot.
Add white pepper to taste.

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Preparation time:  5 minutes
Cooking time:  7 minutes

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