Old cucumber soup

Old Cucumber Soup (老黄瓜汤)


Old cucumber soup

“Nourishing Chinese tonic soup that helps to cool and revitalize your body”

This is the most common and popular Chinese soup in Asian countries, especially Singapore and Malaysia. Almost every Chinese family knows how to prepare this soup dish.

Whenever I drink this old cucumber (aged cucumber) soup, it will bring back memories of my childhood where we had this soup so often that even it was not cooked at home by my mum, we were sure had it when dined out for claypot chicken rice. In my impression, this old cucumber and pork ribs soup is best complement the claypot chicken rice! It reflects simplicity, yet, the taste of life.

While time has changed, some of these old aromas are still fondly remembered..

1 medium old cucumber with skin intact, halves, then cut each half into chunks, lengthwise
300 grams of meaty pork ribs, blanched
1 piece of dried cuttlefish, washed and cut into half
12 seedless red dates
⅔ teaspoon of salt
1 pot of water, 50% filled (about 1500ml water)

1) Bring a pot water to a boil over high heat. Add pork ribs, dried cuttlefish, old cucumbers and red dates. Bring it to a boil again.

2) Remove scum on the surface of the soup, if any. Reduce heat to low fire and simmer for 2 – 3 hours. By the time it is done, the flesh of old cucumbers should appeared soft and transparent in colour. Add salt, 5 minutes before heat off. Serve hot.

Dried cuttlefish can be found in many grocery shops and supermarkets. If you do not fancy the taste of dried cuttlefish, substitute with dried scallops.

A bowl of old cucumber soup counts about 130kcal.

Tips: Cook old cucumber together with its skin intact. Soak the whole old cucumber in salted water for 15 minutes. Scrub and wash the skin thoroughly before cutting into pieces. The pocket of seeds can be removed or remained. It’s OK, I cooked it without removing any of the seed.
* Stir in salt to your desired briny taste. Remember, adding of adequate amount of salt is crucial. Taste of the soup should be subtle, but not bland.

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3 Responses

  1. Hi min,

    Are you staying in Singapore?

    If so, you may get it at many neighbourhood Chinese provision/ grocery shops (tell the shop keeper, you want dried cuttlefish for soup boiling – 熬汤的鱿鱼干), or supermarkets e.g. NTUC, Giant.

    If you get from provision shops, the dried cuttlefish will be sold in loose, you can choose how many piece, grams you want. If you get it from supermarket, it is normally pre-packed in regular weight of few hundred grams costs about S$2 – $3 per packet, usually.

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