Cantonese Soup

cantonese soup

Another unique Cantonese specialty is slow cooked soup. This is almost unheard of in any other Chinese cuisines. The cantonese soup is usually a clear broth prepared by simmering meat and other ingredients for several hours. Sometimes, Chinese herbal medicines are added to the pot. The ingredients of a rather expensive Cantonese slow cooked soup are: fresh whole chicken, dried air bladder of cod fish, dried sea cucumber and dried abalone (花膠海參鮑魚雞湯). Another more affordable example includes pork bones, watercress with two types of almonds (南北杏西洋菜豬骨湯), etc. The combinations are varied and numerous.
The main attraction is the liquid in the pot, the solids are usually thrown away unless they are expensive ingredients like abalones or shark fins. A whole chicken may simmer in a broth for six hours or longer. The solids are usually unpalatable but the essences are all in the liquid. Traditional Cantonese families have this type of soup at least once a week. Though in this day and age, many families with both working parents cannot afford this tradition due to the long preparation time required. However, wealthy families with servants and cook still enjoy the luxury every day. For the same reason, not many restaurants serve this type of soup either. Even if they do, it can only be served as soup du jour.

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