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Chinese Black Bean Soup

Chinese Black Bean Soup
Nourishing Chinese Soup: Black Bean Soup

Black bean soup (黑豆汤) is one of my favourite Chinese soups. Black beans (also known as black turtle beans due to their shiny, dark, shell-like appearance) are super nourishing, they have a deep “meaty” taste akin to mushrooms, and are packed with antioxidants. They are also known to be an excellent source of cholesterol-lowering fiber and high quality protein. Pregnant women love to consume this soup during their pregnancy and confinement. My mum used to cook this soup quite often when I was young so this is comfort food for me. It never fails to perk me up when I am feeling tired. I also like the fact that this soup does not require many ingredients and is so easy to make.

(Makes 2-3 bowls)

– 200g pork ribs
– 1 dried cuttlefish
– 2 litres water
– 150g black beans, rinsed thoroughly till water runs clear
– 8 red dates

Chinese Black Bean Soup
Some of the ingredients

1. Blanch pork ribs in boiling water to remove scum.
2. Place blanched pork ribs, and the rest of the ingredients in a pot.
3. Bring into a rapid boil for about 10 minutes, and then simmer on lower fire for approximately 50 minutes. Season with a bit of salt if preferred.

Cooking Note: When I normally cook Chinese soups especially those containing Chinese herbs, it’s usually preferred to simmer the soup for a long time to bring out the flavours. But in the case of the black bean soup, I personally find that once the flavours come out, the soup is sweet upon tasting and the water is reduced significantly, you don’t have to continue simmering for hours. This is because the black beans absorb the water and boiling accelerates it, so you won’t be left with much soup if you were to simmer it for hours. Besides boiling, you can try slow cooking or double boiling.

Further reading on black beans
The Chinese Soup Lady

Black Bean Soup
A spoonful of goodness

I’m sending this nourishing soup to Lori Lynn – Taste with the Eyes who is the hostess this month for My Legume Love Affair 11th Helping, a legume-cooking food event started by my dear friend Susan aka The Well-Seasoned Cook.

By the way, regular visitors may have noticed the new look of my food blog. The previous design was quite plain and I have been wanting to revamp it for a while. I’m so glad it is finally done and I’m quite pleased with it. I hope you find the new design more pleasing and easier to use. Do give me some feedback if you have any ;)

Leave a Comment

65 Responses to “Chinese Black Bean Soup”

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  1. b — May 17, 2009 @ 11:45 pm

    Yum, I love black bean soup. Been drinking it since young too. :D


  2. pigpigscorner — May 18, 2009 @ 2:31 am

    I miss black bean soup! My grandmother used to cook this a lot with fish.


    • wiffy replied: — May 19th, 2009 @ 10:23 am

      I haven’t tried the combi of black bean with fish before but it sounds really nice!


  3. LCOM — May 18, 2009 @ 3:13 am

    I just made this soup last week. I only used black beans and pork ribs for mine and always turned out sweet and delicious with just a dash of salt. Loved your picture of this soup.


    • wiffy replied: — May 19th, 2009 @ 10:27 am

      Yes … Chinese soups are so easy … pork ribs + main ingredients + salt can cook already :up:


  4. Bob — May 18, 2009 @ 7:01 am

    I’ve never heard of this kind of soup before, sounds nice and simple. Heh, my girlfriend would never be able to eat it, she thinks cuttlefish are adorable. :)


    • wiffy replied: — May 19th, 2009 @ 10:24 am

      hehe, you can skip the cuttlefish if you can’t find it ;)


  5. Reeni — May 18, 2009 @ 7:31 am

    This looks so easy but so delicious. I’ve never seen dates in soup, before what a sweet touch.


    • wiffy replied: — May 19th, 2009 @ 10:29 am

      red dates are a common addition in Chinese soups. They look cute don’t they :wink:


  6. Edith — May 18, 2009 @ 8:05 am

    My mom makes this soup often during my childhood too. Thanks for bringing back fond memories.



  7. Eat. Travel. Eat! — May 18, 2009 @ 10:21 am

    I also like black bean soup too! A very flavorful and yummy soup.

    I like the redesign! The brown and orange tones give a “warm” feeling to your blog :).


  8. Selba — May 18, 2009 @ 10:37 am

    Whooaaaa… a new blog template. It feels so warm and nice :)

    I hardly eat chinese black bean soup, usually I eat chinese black bean with fish from the can, hehehe…


  9. HoppingHammy — May 18, 2009 @ 10:44 am

    Wow look at the awesome new layout! I loved the old too, but I agree with Selba…..this is very warm and cozy feeling. Great work on the graphics and everything. I envy your creativity with colors, style, layout, etc.

    Black beans are yummy! This looks good. :D


  10. food-4tots — May 18, 2009 @ 2:02 pm

    The new layout looks so eye-pleasing and impressive!!! My family loves black bean soup. Just made some recently. Will try out your version in future. ;)


    • wiffy replied: — May 19th, 2009 @ 10:24 am

      Thanks! I luv your new layout too :D


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