Noob Cook Recipes



What's
New
Fermented Bean Curd (Nam Yee) Chicken Wings Recipe MyKuali White Curry Noodles Easy Waffles Recipe Samyang Fried Chicken Ramyun Air-fried Vegetarian Zai Er Recipe Ipoh Hor Fun Recipe

Old Cucumber Soup

   

Old Cucumber Soup
Old Cucumber Soup 老黄瓜汤

In Chinese Herbology, foods have ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ properties. Yin foods have ‘cooling’ properties while yang foods, on the other hand, have ‘heaty’ properties. Some foods are ‘neutral’. Since ancient times, the Chinese firmly believed that diet (along with other factors like stress, climate and lifestyle) plays an important part in acheiving a balanced ying/yang quotient for an individual. So in a country like Singapore, where it is warm & humid all year round, consuming cooling foods to counter the ‘heat’ – such as this old cucumber soup – is definitely a must. I think this soup is also very beneficial for those in other countries who are experiencing summer now.

Old Cucumber Soup

The Chinese name of this vegetable (yes, I know technically it is a fruit, but I don’t think it’s wrong to call it a vegetable in cooking :P) is 老黄瓜, literally translated as ‘old yellow cucumber’. According to this site, old cucumber is actually matured cucumber, hence its brown, wrinkled and hard skin. Looking at its dried-out skin, you might never have guess that consuming it is good for the skin and helps prevent aging! It is also high in dietary fiber, calcium, iron and rich in vitamin A, B6, and C. So, are you sold on the wonderful properties of this soup yet? If you are, let’s start cooking!

Ingredients
(Serves 3)

- One small to medium size Chinese old cucumber
- 1.3 litres of water
- 10 red dates
- 6 dried scallops
- 200g pork ribs
-  1 piece dried cuttlefish
- 1 sweet corn, cut to small pieces
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut (
- salt, to taste

Directions
1. Scrub the skin of the old cucumber clean and cut it in half, length-wise. Scoop out the seeds using a spoon. Cut into smaller chunks.
2. In a small pot, blanch the pork ribs in boiling water for a few minutes (so as to remove the scum bits). Drain the pork ribs and set aside.
3. In a soup pot, add old cucumber chunks, blanched pork, water, red dates, dried scallops, dried cuttlefish, sweet corn and carrots. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer the soup over low heat for about 40 minutes. For best results, keep warm in thermal pot for four hours prior to serving. Season to taste with salt.

Cooking Notes

1. The reason for leaving the skin on the old cucumber chunks is to prevent the flesh from turning mushy after cooking.
2. Some people like to consume the seeds so if you do, then you don’t have to scoop them out.

dried_cuttlefish
Adding a piece of dried cuttlefish (along with the dried scallops, red dates & other ingredients) makes the soup sweeter.

De-seeding old cucumber
Scoop out the seeds using a spoon.

Old Cucumber Soup

Another ‘Yin’ soup
- Watercress Soup

Further Reading about Yin and Yang Foods
- Yin & Yang of Chinese Cooking
- Chinese Food Theraphy
- Yin & Yang: balancing health with food

This recipe is submitted to Weekend Herb Blogging, a food blog event started by Kalyn’s Kitchen and hosted this week by Archana’s Kitchen.

                                           

Leave a Comment





33 Responses to “Old Cucumber Soup”

  1. tigerfish — July 21, 2008 @ 9:42 pm

    Your soup has got a lot of “liao” (ingredients) :D

    Wish for some now…

    Reply

  2. Kevin — July 22, 2008 @ 10:28 am

    I don’t think I have ever seen a cucumber like that. The cucumber soup looks good.

    Reply

  3. wiffy — July 22, 2008 @ 12:39 pm

    Katie: It’s hard for me to describe the taste, but to me I think it gives a sweet and slightly fishy taste (in a good way) to Chinese-styled clear soups. Oh btw, the dried cuttlefish is used to flavour the soup and is not meant to be eaten. It’s usually discarded after the boiling. :)

    Reply

  4. Kalyn — July 22, 2008 @ 10:51 pm

    Occasionally one of my cucumbers gets hidden and gets very old and hard-skinned. Now I know what to make with it. I love learning more about the yin and yang foods!

    Reply

  5. Cindy — July 23, 2008 @ 7:40 am

    Ha I always like to dump a bowl of rice in the soup and just finish everything in 10 mins!

    Reply

  6. Kens soup recipes — July 23, 2008 @ 10:58 am

    I’ve never seen a cucumber like this before. If I could find one and a dried cuddlefish I would try this recipe.

    Reply

  7. wiffy — July 31, 2008 @ 1:27 pm

    Kens soup recipes: Feel free to try it even if you can’t find the dried cuttlefish… the rest of the ingredients should make the soup sweet too … thanks for visiting :)

    Reply

  8. Tastes of Home — October 7, 2008 @ 12:16 am

    wow, this is one of my favourite soups, I LOVE a hot piping bowl of soup, especially since it’s getting cooler here, I think it’s time to boil some soup! Old cucumber soup is very nutritious I believe, and I do love to put dried cuttlefish into my soups too :)

    Reply

  9. wiffy — October 7, 2008 @ 10:08 am

    Tastes of Home, I’m envying your cool weather now … and yes I agree it’s perfect for soups and stews now! Thanks for visiting me 8)

    Reply

  10. This is awesome, I used to have this in HK a lot. but pity that the old cucumber is not accessible here in CH. My mom makes the soup in a slightly different way.

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks