Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Watercress and Daikon Soup of the Day, 西洋菜白萝卜汤

This soup was somehow created because I was eager to heal myself from a irritable "stubborn phlegm and breathless coughing" symptom. It must be a new virus going around (which I do not know if I caught it in California or Singapore) as I have forgotten the last time when I was sick for almost 1 month. Yes. That long. I visited the doctor 3 times, seeking cure. Only the first doctor subjected me to antibiotics cos I had a slight fever. After 1 week, I was still coughing bad at night and oh that horrible phlegm irritated me so much.

Daikon (white radish, 白萝卜 - Bai Luo Bo) is known to be good for soothing a bad throat, thinning mucus (clears phlegm) and nourish the "Qi" (energy) in the body.

As I understand, watercress is supposed to be a natural expectorant.

So, I added some daikon (white radish) to watercress and made this soup with chicken carcasses (bones). I was anxious for recovery.

Watercress and Daikon(White Radish) Soup (made with chicken bones) 西洋菜白萝卜汤
Ingredients: Half a daikon (white radish), peeled and cut into bite size; 1 bunch of watercress, rinsed thoroughly; 2 chicken carcass bones, blanched in boiling water to reduce the scum when making the soup; 2cm knob ginger, slightly crushed; 2 cloves garlic, crushed(option); gojiberries, re-hydrated in water; salt to taste

Directions: Add the blanched chicken carcass into the pot with watercress, daikon (white radish) and ginger, the set them to boil. Once boiling, turn to low heat and allow simmer for about 30 minutes till daikon (white radish) turns tender. Turn off heat, add in gojierries and garlic, cover pot and allow the remaining heat of the soup to soften and slowly infuse the gojiberries flavor into the soup and slightly cook the garlic. Garlic is an option (read here).

As a critic of my own soup, I would say this soup is slightly "Over-Done" or Chinese call it 画蛇添足 (Chinese idiom which means: drawing a snake and adding feet to it). My personal opinion is to leave watercress alone when making soup. Somehow, adding another vegetable seems to have stolen that distinct unique bittersweet taste of watercress. The soup still tastes good (there is no big clash of flavors) and definitely healing (which is most importantly what I wanted to achieve in this soup).

What is your all-time favorite healing soup ?

Though not my favorite healing soup, I am submitting this soup to SouperSundays at Kahakai Kitchen. Chinese soup is a  ritual (at least once a week) in my kitchen recently and I hope to be able to share more soups with you down the road.

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