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A nourishing Chinese old cucumber slow simmered soup with old cucumber that helps “cool” the body during hot weather. Cook it overnight in thermal pot for a richly flavored and thick soup.
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What is Old Cucumber?
Old cucumber is simply cucumber that has been aged, used as the main ingredient to make this simmered Chinese soup. As the old cucumber is believed to have “cooling” effects, we usually make this soup during hot weather to “cool” the body.
When using the old cucumber, do remember to scrub the skin well. I am quite lazy (lol) as I don’t really have a lot of time, so I usually just peel off the skin. If you peel off the skin too, then remember to cut the old cucumber in larger pcs so they do not disintegrate into the soup.
For the seeds, you can use a metal spoon to scrap them out, before cutting into pcs.
>> MORE CHINESE SOUP RECIPES:
What Other Ingredients Do We Also Use?
We frequently like to use red dates, dried scallops and ikan bilis for added flavor in Chinese simmered soups. Sometimes we may also add in dried cuttlefish.
- Dried Scallops: Use the M or L sized dried scallops. I like to use the M size Japanese dried scallops that can be bought from local Chinese medicinal hall.
- Dried Cuttlefish: Optional. If you’re adding this, consider adding a small pc of ginger to get rid of the “fishy” taste.
- Pork Ribs: You can get spare ribs if you would like to eat the ribs together with the soup. Otherwise pork soup bones would be fine. Do ensure you blanch the ribs or bones in a separate pot of boiling water.
- Carrot / Corn: These 2 ingredients can make the soup taste “sweeter” with added flavors, as the old cucumber is quite bland on itself. Don’t skip these 2 ingredients!
How Can We Make the Soup Taste Better?
You can simmer the soup over the stove (medium-low heat), for about 2 to 3 hours to bring out the rich flavors.
This time, I used my Thermos thermal pot (1.8L). I boiled the soup the night before, on the stove, for about 20 mins to a roaring boil. Then I transferred the inner pot to the thermal pot overnight. If you are using this method, do ensure that you reboil (to a roaring boil) every 6-8h for food safety reasons.
If you look at the picture above, you can see how thick the soup is! It tastes extra nourishing and warm for cool weather too!
A nourishing Chinese slow simmered soup which aids in “cooling” the body. Cook it in thermal pot for a richly flavored and thick soup.
- 1 L water
- 1 small / medium sized old cucumber (cut)
- 1 sweet corn (cut)
- 1 medium sized carrots (peeled and cut)
- 150 g pork ribs
- 1/2 small rice bowl of ikan bilis
- 2 red dates
- 1–2 medium sized dried scallops
- Prepare pork ribs by blanching in a pot of boiling water (aside from the 1L water stated above), for about 5 mins. Off heat and drain. Rinse the ribs to get rid of scums.
- Bring the 1L water, in soup pot or thermal inner pot, to a boil. Add in all ingredients. Once reached a boil, turn down the heat slightly and let the soup continue simmering for about 2-3 hours. Off heat and serve.
(If using thermal inner pot, once water has boiled, turn down heat and simmer for 20 mins, then transfer to thermal outer pot to continue “cooking”. Reboil every 6-8h until serving time.)
Ensure that you scrub the old cucumber well if you are cooking with skin. Also scrap out the seeds with a metal spoon.
- Category: Dinner, Soup, Lunch
- Method: Boiling
- Cuisine: Chinese