Thursday, March 8, 2012

Old-Cucumber Soup (老黄瓜汤)

This is one of the soup that I cook quite often. Simply because it's easy and Max loves it.Most Cantonese people drink soup with every meal. But who will have such luxurious time to cook a pot of nice soup everyday nowadays? Well, I will at least try when I have time. At least once or twice a week.
There are an endless amount of Chinese soups that are made with a light, simple broth, and most likely eaten with daily meals. Most of the ingredients have medicinal purposes which is difficult to explain.

老黄瓜, literally translate
d as ‘old yellow cucumber’. Old cucumber is actually matured cucumber, hence its brown in color, wrinkled and hard skin. My grandma told me that old-cucumber is a cooling food. And we consume it to counter the ‘heat’ in our body. Not only that, it is for our skin and helps prevent aging too. Especially for the ladies. Ahh... good for skin!

I hope you are sold by wond
erful properties of this soup. Let’s start cooking!

There's no special skills or particular tricks to cook this. As long as your ingredients are fresh, you are the chef!

Ingredients (Serves 3 - 4, easily)

  • about 200g pork ribs. Or just tell the butcher that you wanted S$3.00 soup ribs
  • 1.5 litres of water (it really depends on you)
  • 4 to 5 red dates
  • 4 to 5 dried scallops
  • 1 dried cuttlefish - cut into pieces
  • a handful of Solomon seal rhizome (玉竹) - if you have it at home.
  • salt to taste


  • Scrub the skin of the old cucumber clean and cut it into half. Scoop out the seeds using a spoon. Cut it into big chunks.
  • Wash dried scallops, dried cuttlefish & red dates
  • Rinse pork ribs, scald in boiling water for awhile. Remove and rinse.
  • In a soup pot, put everything in (except salt). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer the soup over low heat for about 40 minutes (if you don't have time), 2 hours (over very low heat if you have lots of time).
  • Salt to taste, and serve.
Things to take note

1. This is the standard step that you need to d
o to your pork ribs / bones when you want to cook soup or porridge. Rinse pork ribs, scald in boiling water for awhile, just 1 or 2mins will do. Remove and rinse. And it will be like this before you could use it for your soup....

2. Soup will taste sweeter with dried cuttlefish, scallops & red dates.

3. Aside the benefit of consuming 玉竹 (in Chinese Herbology), it gives abit of "milky" color to the soup, which i personally likes it alot. But it is optional i would say.

And... would you like to have a bowl?

Stay Tuned :)


  1. Dear Anne,

    I love your blog and your recipes are very detailed and clear. Thanks for sharing your skills and experiences with us.

  2. Sorry I had a typo spelling your name in earlier comment , Annie.

    Wanted to ask if you have tried cooking soups with Burdock? Hope to see a recipe posting soon. All the best and thanks again!