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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Old Cucumber Soup Recipe | Easy Asian Cooking

Old Cucumber Soup 老黄瓜汤
Old Cucumber Soup 老黄瓜汤

Soup does soothe the soul, doesn't it? And it does explained why soup has became an indispensable mainstay of our family. If you're a regular of this home-cooked blog, you probably have already sniffed it out.  :-) It realized me this morning that I have been posting consecutively seven soup recipes in the last few days and it's time to switch to other staple recipes for the next blog entry.

Before digress further, I am going to feature this ubiquitous old cucumber soup as soup of the day. Distinctly different from cucumber, old cucumber (老黄瓜) is an aged or matured cucumber with golden-hued skin. With cylindrical, elongated body and tapered ends, old cucumber has a very thick and rough dried-out skin with a fleshy interior and a pocket of seeds and air.

Old Cucumber 老黄瓜
Old cucumber (老黄瓜) is an aged cucumber with golden-hued skin

Old cucumber soup is best served at blistering hot days to tone down body heat, attributable to its cooling properties. Therein the phrase "cool as a cucumber" and it is not without merit. Extremely high in dietary fibre, Calcium and Iron, it does not only have Vitamins A, B6 and C, it also has a diuretic effect. Women who are pregnant or menstruating should take caution when consuming this. Old cucumber is to be boiled into soup with its skin intact to prevent the flesh from turning mushy after long hours of simmering and to avoid disintegration. You can either have the pocket of seeds removed or remained. I used to leave the interior seeds unscrapped but it turned out to be sour and bitter, which kept hubby and I being occupied for sometimes to iron out what was going wrong on the soup before it eventually dawned on us that the culprit was the seeds.

Add this old cucumber soup to your cooking menus in dry, scorching days to stay cool as a cucumber. This is an easy-to-prepare Chinese-styled clear, nourishing soup that many Malaysian families familiar with.

Ingredients :
1 medium-sized old cucumber (老黄瓜)
300g of meaty pork ribs (排骨), rinsed
1 piece of dried cuttlefish (鱿鱼干), rinsed (optional)
4 dried scallops (干贝), soaked in warm water and shredded finely (optional)
8 red dates (Chinese red jujube 红枣), rinsed, cut into half and de-seeded (optional)
A pinch of salt to taste
1500ml water

Method :

1. Soak, scrub and wash the whole old cucumber in salted water for 10 minutes. Slice old cucumber into half (lengthwise), then cut across each half into big chunks. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds as depicted in photos below.

Slice old cucumber into half (lengthwise), then cut across into big chunks
Slice old cucumber into half (lengthwise), then cut across each half into big chunks

Scoop out the seeds with a spoon
Scoop out the seeds with a spoon

2. Blanch or parboil pork ribs in a pot of boiling water. Remove scum visibly floating on the water surface. This is to discard fat and to produce a clear soup. Then the blanched pork ribs drained up and set aside, with the pot of water discarded.

3. Bring a 1500ml-water-filled stockpot to a boil over high heat. When it boils furiously, add in blanched pork ribs, chucks of old cucumbers, dried cuttlefish (optional), pre-soaked and shredded scallops (optional) and de-seeded red dates (optional). Toss well with a ladle.  
(Alternatively, you can use crockpot (slow cooker) or double-boiler)

4. Cover the lid and reduce to low heat, simmer for 1 - 2 hours. Skim off any scum floating on the soup surface on and off using a fine steel sieve.

5. Add salt to taste 5 minutes before heat off. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Add in all the ingredients (old cucumber and blanched pork ribs) into a stockpot filled with rolling boil water
Add in all the ingredients into a stockpot filled with rolling boil water

More on  Healthy Easy Food Recipes 

1 comment:

  1. I love soup and am learning to cook soup.. Your blog really helps me a lot! thanks so much for the soup recipe!~



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