Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Joe can cook! Season 2 Episode 2: Good Old Lotus Root Soup

One of the things I miss most about home is the soup that Mom cooks almost on a daily basis. The extra effort of cooking it over charcoal outside the house and letting it simmer from day to dawn is to die for after a long day's work. Not to mention (I suspect) a big bowl of soup helps me fill up since I was almost on a 3-4 weekday carb free dinner regime over the last few years. 

It never cross my mind that I should venture into cooking soup on my own, I mean how hard is it to chop a few carrots, potatoes, onions and chicken and simmer in a pot of boiling water for a couple of hours (which by the way makes for a good ABC soup). 

Hankering for some lotus root soup, the day came when we saw some at the market. After buying some, I realised I still had no idea how to make it so after resorting to the internet, we found an easy recipe from Rasa Malaysia which I hope she doesn't mind if i share with you all with a couple of tweaks.

Despite my mother's practice of not keeping leftovers especially soup, I love how I can make a big batch and individually freeze them for a simple dinner the day after so its up to you.


My best purchase for the kitchen so far, a 8.9 litre stock pot which sadly has gone into repair after a couple of months when one of the handles dropped off!


Drink it as a first course or eat it with some rice, its up to you!


1. The recipe roughly calls for 300 grams of pork (bone or meat) to 1 litre of water.
For the soup, I use a mix of pork bone, soft pork bone and pork ribs (the asian butcher at the Valley is a good source, especially their special pork ribs)

2. Boil your meat before hand to get rid of the impurities - 5-10 minutes in boiling water should get rid of some but not all, any longer and I believe you are eating into the flavour.

3. Boil the water and put in your pre-boiled meat and bones, bring to a boil and let it simmer.

4. Skim away the impurities as they float to the surface, preferably skim away majority of it before you proceed with putting the below ingredients. This should take a good 15-20 minutes.

5. With the lotus roots, peel off the skin, wash and cut in medium size slices before putting it into the pot.

6. Finally, the magic ingredient to put in is dates. The recipe calls for red dates and dried honey dates. Use 5 red dates and 1 dried honey date per 1 litre of water. Can be easily found in an asian grocer. The dried honey dates give the soup a very sweet tone to it so if you don't fancy the soup being too sweet, skip it or reduce the quantity. 

7. Let it simmer away for as long as you can, I say 2-3 hours will be good but more time means more flavour. However keep in mind if you do put in some meaty pork ribs, it is perfect after 2 hours of cooking and can be too soft to eat if you cook it any longer (so if you want to cook it for half a day, add the pork ribs in the last 2 hours of cooking time). 

    8. Have a taste and if you think there's a need to season with salt, go ahead, its a personal preference.

9. To serve, pour yourself a bowl of soup, add a couple of the lotus root and the pork ribs you put in ( you can throw away the pork bones). 

Lets hope I can get through the lazy cooking bug and actually cook something worthy of a recipe post soon!


Michelle Chin said...

ah, i love my mom's soup as well. :( especially old cucumber soup.

these days, i've been making miso soup only. the last time i prepared something so time consuming was the papaya and chicken soup... haha.

glad to hear that you are cooking!

Sean said...

this is one of my favorite traditional soups too. i wonder if there'll ever be an easier way to make this, using something "instant" out of a can or packet (but it wouldn't taste as good as the old-fashioned way, i guess) :D

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

sean: its easy enough to make already! unless someone packages this as instant haha.

mchin: i guess u need someone to keep an eye on the stove with a soup, otherwise its just prep work that you got to do.

UnkaLeong said...

Looks very "kau"! Good Effort bro!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

unkaleong: i wonder if i boil this the whole nite, if it will turn into a super super kao broth vs a soup haha.

Winston said...

Looks good, Joe!! Definitely one of my fav soups to drink at home... Have to get my hands on some lotus root soon and make this! Loooove this! =)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

winston: haha get some at an asian grocery!