A Chinese soup best enjoyed as a naturally sweet, hearty and comforting stew of tender pork ribs with water chestnuts, carrots, dried figs and red dates in a rich broth.
You know how when you buy a bunch of water chestnuts, you probably have more than enough to make that one dish you had in mind?
If you’ve followed my posts, you’ll know that I recently used a couple of water chestnuts in making a classic Chinese savoury dish of steamed minced pork patties with water chestnut.
So what to do with the rest? Hmm… waiting for a light bulb to turn on in your mental library of recipes? You don’t have to think too hard when it comes to Chinese cooking.
An easy, simple Chinese soup of water chestnuts stewed with sweet carrots and tender pork ribs makes for an extremely easy, healthy and highly nutritious meal. And yes, it can use up all those remaining water chestnuts! In fact the more you throw into your soup, the sweeter it’ll be!
This is one of those Chinese soups that is best enjoyed as a naturally sweet, hearty and comforting stew. The water chestnut perfectly retains its crunch, sweetness and texture, even after hours of stewing. This soup is very flavourful, with the added sweetness of carrots, dried figs and red dates. And if you’ve got home-made meat stock or broth that needs using up, use it as the soup’s base – it’s deliciousness will be off the charts!
If you follow traditional Chinese medicinal theory, you’ll know that the water chestnut is considered to have cooling properties – drinking its juice can bring down body temperature. It is particularly valued as a medicinal ingredient for its ability to alleviate nausea, improve appetite, and relieve cough. It also possesses detoxifying properties. It is extremely nutrient-rich, with a high concentration of the essential mineral, potassium.
With all that goodness and nutritiousness, I sincerely hope you’ll make this a regular soup for yourself and your family!
Water Chestnut & Pork Ribs Soup
- 300 g lean pork ribs
- 2 carrots peeled, cut into wedges
- 8 - 10 water chestnuts peeled, washed
- 3 dried figs washed
- 12 small red dates pitted, washed
- 2 - 3 dried scallops washed, soaked in hot water
- chicken stock or water
- Fill a saucepan or small pot with water and bring to a boil. Put in pork ribs or meat and blanch for a minute or so to remove impurities. Discard the water and wash the meat clear of all grit.
- Put all the ingredients into a slow cooker. Pour in chicken stock or water until just enough to immerse all the ingredients. Cook on Auto or High setting for at least 3 hours. If cooking in a deep pot, bring all the ingredients in stock or water to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer for at least 2 hours, or until meat is fall-off-the-bone tender.
- When serving, scoop a little of each ingredient – meat, carrot and water chestnuts – into individual serving bowls and fill with soup. Alternatively, you may scoop all the ingredients into a large soup dish and fill with soup. Serve hot.