Friday, May 4, 2012

Fresh Huai Shan with Spare Ribs Soup (鲜淮山排骨汤)

This is another clear but exceptionally flavorful soup recipe that I wanted to share. I'm confident that you would love this soup as much as I do. Now read on...

The main ingredient for this soup is Huai Shan (淮山). Cantonese pronounced as Whye San. Also known as Shan Yao (山药) or Nagaimo. Whatever. In short, it is a root vegetable that belongs to the Yam family.

Huai Shan is commonly known in dried form for typical Chinese tonic soup ingredient that you can easily get from Chinese Medicinal Shops. It is not surprising that some people doesn't even noticed that we actually seeing fresh Huai Shan in wet market and supermarket often. Well, maybe you do, but you just probably can't recognize the fresh Huai Shan. It's appearance looks different from the dried one which has already been thinly slices and harden before placing up the store rack for sale. The fresh one will be found in long stick-like root form with skin intact.

Look at this picture and did you spot the long long cream colored Huai Shan?

According to my mother, Huai Shan has it's benefit of antioxidant, lower blood sugar level, improves digestive system and it does boost up your immune system too.  

As we all know, Huai Shan is widely utilized by Chinese Physician in various types of healing. I googled abit about it, and realized that Huai Shan is good in healing liver problems, blood detoxication, hair loss, joint-related issues, and to support kidneys function, despite the lack of clinical proof that supports the claimed effects. Some even say that it is the most natural food to aid in man's vitality. How true? I guess it is very much to do with research on the effect of supporting kidney and liver functions. Hmm...

Come back to my cooking, and here's the ingredient.

  • 250g Pork Ribs, scalded
  • 450g Huai Shan (淮山)
  • 100g Carrot (Optional)
  • 1 Sweet Corn
  • 10g Red Dates, about 7 pcs
  • 20g Yu Zhu - Solomon seal rhizome (玉竹) 
  • 1.7L Water
  • Sea Salt to taste
This root of vegetable is excessively slimy when you started peeling off it's skin. It's like... when you're trying hard to grab a live eel which is desperately trying to wriggle out of your grasp. Yea, this is exactly how it would be. Damn! But no worries about it, the mucous-like substance will disappear once it is boiled in water.

1. Huai Shan, Carrot and Sweet Corn. Skin off. Clean. Cut it into big chunks.

2. Wash Red Dates & Yu Zhu before use. 

3. Rinse pork ribs, scald in boiling water for awhile. Remove and rinse.

4. 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 2 hours. I leave it in a slow cooker for 3 hours. Cooking soup using slow cooker is effortless.

5. Salt to taste, and serve.

I just couldn't tell you how much I love this soup. All I could say is... TRY IT! :)


  1. Fresh Huaishan is very delicious.
    So much good liao in it...sure good taste!

  2. Wendy, Indeed, this is one of my fave soup. Totally good taste!

  3. Going to try it for tonight's dinner :)