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July 25, 2019 – 3:32 pm | One Comment | 3,714 views

Soup Name:  Chinese Chicken Herbal Soup
Traditional Chinese Name: 清雞湯 (qīng jī tāng)

The Chinese have a whole repertoire of herbs which can be added to …

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Home » Featured, Featured Articles, Techniques

Quick Boil Chinese Soup Tips

Submitted by on April 21, 2015 – 7:12 amNo Comment | 35,454 views

So I’ve had various enquiries as to what constitutes a great quick boil and what are some tips I use for quick boils. It started out as a conversation with a colleague who said “I don’t have time to make these old fire Chinese soups!”, and I thought, well… there is a whole repertoire of quick boils soups available, why don’t I show my readers some and demonstrate just how easy and simple Chinese soups can be?

As a start, quick boil soups are soups that you typically can make under 30 minutes of boil, with 10-15 mins of prep time and is ready for immediate consumption.  Basically, you either have limited time or your stomach is demanding something quick.

Here are some common ingredients used in quick boil Chinese soups:

  • Melons make great quick boil candidates (winter melon, bitter melon, fuzzy melon, even watermelon and honey dew can be used!).
  • Fresh leafy greens such as bak choy, choy sum, napa cabbage are easy editions. Leafy vegetables tend to fare better in quick boil soups rather than old fire (or double-boiled soups).
  • Those great (smelly) dried Chinese seafood you find at the wet mart or Chinese herbalists are excellent! These include dried scallops (or conpoys), snails, conch, octopus, squid (cuttlefish), shrimp and whatever else you can find are excellent flavour enhancers when needed on such short notice.
  • Dried Chinese vegetables such as Chinese mushrooms, monkey head mushrooms,  and dried bak choy are also great quick boil additions! You’ll just need to soak the first thing you do if you’re preparing this soup.
  • Ready to go meats such as preserved Chinese Ham, cooked beef, fish, cuttlefish balls that are ready-to-serve or even any leftover meats such as pork ribs, steamed pork patty, chicken wings can be thrown into a quick boil.
  • Tofu! Tofu is a delight to add to quick boil soups. Tofu balls, large tofu chunks, ready-to-serve-tofu, tofu slices, however you can find them – you can definitely use them! A great vegetarian protein addition.
  • Easy meats such as fresh chicken wings, drumsticks, breasts, or sliced beef are good – you can even use frozen ones and use room temperature water to thaw quickly by soaking them in the water and changing the water a few times.
Quick Boil Ingredients

Quick Boil Ingredients


Here are also a few tips and tricks I’ve used for quick boil soups. Actually, I’d almost say they are critical to the success of the soup because you’ve got one constraint against you – time.

  • Use small cuts for everything – small cubes are best, especially for melons and vegetables such as carrots. Or go thin, like 2 cm thin slices of carrots, radish, mushrooms, etc..
  • Shuck corn if you like the corn separate, this will cook way faster. You can also use the cobs as part of the soup base.
  • Cut meats into smaller bite-sized pieces as well – they will also cook faster and as the water boils, it will release the flavours from more parts quicker.
  • Broths are your friends. If you need to enhance flavours, use chicken, beef or vegetable broth to boost the taste of the soup. Be sure to use MSG free ones.
  • Consider using the soup to help boil other parts of your dinner. For example, I will use the soup to boil broccoli for the children or choy sum for us. It’s a win-win situation!
  • If you’d like the soup to last a few days, you can definitely store leftovers in the fridge to be reheated up to 2-3 days later. I like making a bigger batch so I can consume later as to economize my efforts.


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