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Soup Name: Monkey Head Mushroom with Chinese Yam in Pork Broth
Chinese Name: 猴頭菇豬湯 (hóu tóu gū zhū tāng)
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Pork and Conch Herbal Soup

Submitted by on January 4, 2015 – 2:00 pm9 Comments | 17,560 views
Pork and Conch Herbal Soup

Pork and Conch Herbal Soup

 

This soup is ideal for colds, flus and cough. If you’ve got a sore or scratchy throat, achy body, tiredness and/or headache – this soup is for you!  From an Eastern perspective, the Chinese don’t recommend drinking chicken soup when you’re sick, which to me, sounds off, but you can’t argue thousands years of tradition through Chinese medicine.  My herbalist recommended this relatively “neutral” soup for me and is considered 滋陰 (zī yīn), which means treating yin deficiency by reinforcing body fluid and nourishing the blood.  If you look at the herb base, it’s pretty basic and ideal for most soups – the kicker is to add sea whelk (or conch or sea snail). You don’t need to add fresh sea snail (they can get pretty expensive if you buy them live from the wet mart), but definitely add pork. This soup ended up tasting delicious and sets a great base for adding vegetables of your choice – like corn, onions, or chayotes – all neutral vegetables.

Update on Jan 8: Boy, do my readers really keep me on my toes! Someone asked why the Chinese don’t recommend chicken soup when you’re sick, so I ran to see my herbalist this morning who gave me an answer like this. Basically, the idea is that chicken bones / carcasses itself are way fatter than pork and normally people will put veggies such as carrots with chicken soup – which is a big no no. Carrots are a cough inducing and don’t help colds or coughs very much. As for the chicken, well, I could borderline say that if you’re using chicken breast or skinny (fatless) chickens, it should be OK? I’m still researching this, but will share more when I find something more concrete.

Soup Name: Pork and Conch Herbal Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:  清豬骨海螺湯 (Qīng zhū gǔ hǎiluó tāng)

Pork and Conch Herbal Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Chinese Soup
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 8
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a separate pot, blanch both the sea snails and pork in a pot of boiling hot water for at least 5 minute (to remove impurities, fat and scum), remove and set aside
  2. Soak all the herbs in warm water for at least 10 minutes and rinse in warm water
  3. Boil your soup water
  4. When you soup water boils, add all the ingredients together
  5. Boil on high for 30 minute and then reduce boil to a medium boil for another 1.5 hours
  6. Serve and enjoy!

 

One of the more affordable seafood you can use for soups is dried sea snail. They come in thin, hard slices and add a sweet, sea-salt taste to the soup (similar to dried conpoys). Plus, these things are storage friendly and can be stored in your freezer or fridge for up to 6 months.

Dried Sea Snail

Dried Sea Snail

A typical neutral soup base for Chinese soups. The dried sea snails are interchangeable with dried conpoys.

Pork and Conch Herbal Soup

Pork and Conch Herbal Soup

Fresh sea snails are an ideal addition to soups. Although VERY EXPENSIVE (you have to eat the meat given how much they can cost), they add a deliciously sweet flavour to the soup. Get the ladies at the wet mart to break the shell for you and they’ll give it to you like this – ready for washing and blanching in boiling hot water.

Fresh Sea Snail

Fresh Sea Snail

YUMMY soup! I literally had 4 bowls myself and the children also loved it. A great soup for the whole family.

Pork and Conch Herbal Soup

Pork and Conch Herbal Soup

 

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9 Comments »

  • Sderma says:

    This sounds yummy. Can I add ginger for heat for cold weather comfort? Not sure if it will counteract any herbal effect. Thank you.

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Sderma,
    Actually, ginger goes well with this soup! By adding ginger, I would even say it’s ideal for confinement. Yes – adding the ginger helps warm things up, especially in the winter! No counter effects here! Lisa

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  • judy says:

    wow so helpful to find this posting. our nanny was just telling us not to make fresh chicken soup for our toddler who is coming down with a cold. switching to pork/conch recipe instead:)
    looking forward to more info on this! i grew up drinking chicken congee when i’m sick. would love to know more.

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Judy, I asked my herbalist the exact same thing about chicken soup and coughs / colds and the reason she gave me is because there is far more fat content in chicken than pork, but that was the only reason she gave. I’ve tried to ask others about it, too, but doesn’t seem anyone can give me a solid scientific reason not to have chicken soup. If that’s the case, I’d recommend using chicken breast. But pork can be pretty fatty as well! For sure, avoid carrots (which are cooling and can cause more coughing or an itchy throat). Corn is good, neutral and adds good flavour to the soup. Hope this helps, but have been asking for some time! Lisa

  • Ice says:

    Dear Lady Tong,

    I really love your soup receipes.

    THANK YOU very much for your kindness to brings good health for our family through your attractive children receipes. When children happy,1 family become super healthy!

    May Lord God bless you everyday with His peace and protection!

    Best regards,
    ICE Chang

  • LadyTong says:

    Thank you, Ice! God Bless as well! Lisa

  • Virginia says:

    Thanks so much for clarification about the chicken or pork question! I tried to just drain the fat off the soups before serving it. But I didn’t know about carrots hurting the cough rather than helping. Thanks!

  • Rachel says:

    Can we sub the pork with black chicken?

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