Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Chinese Black Bean Soup

More pregnancy/confinement food haha. Beans this time(: They're just fantastic in soups and stews because they help thicken the soup up, and they add body and fullness. Chinese soups are not just about taste, they're more like tasty tonics.

For instance, in this soup, the black bean (a.k.a. black turtle bean. how cute is that! NOT black-eyed peas.) is known to be a rich source of protein, fibre and antioxidants, and in TCM terms, it tonifies the kidney, strengthens the yin, and nourishes the blood. The red jujube dates are very common in Chinese soups, they not only sweeten the soup (not in the sugary way), but helps to harmonize the effect of all the other ingredients or herbs in the soup to nourish the blood, spleen and stomach. And since this soup (like many Chinese soups) make use of pork bones to give it that body and flavour, is an excellent bone broth, full of calcium and more.

Chinese Black Bean Soup
serves 2-3
200g pork with bones (my mum prefers pork ribs. I just use any meaty bones that my butcher gives for free)
2/3 cup black beans, soaked and rinsed
6 red jujube dates, pitted
3-4 dried scallops
2l water

1. Blanch pork bones in boiling water (you'll see some disgusting scum floating in the water). Drain and discard the water.
2. Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil for 5 min, then simmer for at least 2h. Or transfer to a slowcooker like I did, on low for 6h, or on high for 3h.

UPDATE: I left it on high for 6h by accident, and ended up getting a super flavourful and thick soup, and the..white bones? tendon? (someone enlighten me what this part is) became soft enough you could slurp it out. Usually my slow cooking already results in them being soft enough to chew on, but this was like..
I like (:


  1. It's called marrow (what you slurp out). 8)
    I love the easy to understand TCM and Asian recipes. I want more. =)

  2. thanks for enlightening me! ;) I'll try to do more of them, but I realise many people don't have these "Special" ingredients like red dates. more should learn about them though!!

  3. I was just wondering. Can I make the soup without the pork. Is there vegetarian alternative? Thanks!

  4. hi catherine! I don't think there is an exact replacement you can use.. the base of most chinese broths is the use of pork bones, or chicken bones, they add the savoury element that's hard to mimic.. BUT that said, i think you can make a really nice tasting soup also, using kelp which is a sea vegetable, kindof like seaweed, and some red jujube dates and the black beans! hope it helps!!

  5. Hi, how long did you soak the black beans?


    1. Oh I should have written it above! Overnight. Good luck with this, let me know how it goes (: