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December 24, 2020 – 1:14 pm | 3,848 views

Soup Name:  Basic Chinese Chicken Soup Stock (Soup Base)

Traditional Chinese Name: 清雞湯 (qīng jī tāng)

Introduction: This is the base Chinese Chicken Soup stock that …

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Home » Ingredients, Roots


Submitted by on January 11, 2009 – 3:19 am7 Comments | 105,510 views

Ingredient Name: Arrowroot or Obedience Plant
Traditional Chinese Name: 粉葛 (fěn gé)
What is this?
  • Arrowroot is the edible starch from the rhizomes (rootstock) of West Indian arrowroot
  • It is often ground down to a powdered starch form which is completely white and powdery in form
  • The powder itself is used as a thickener, in cakes, pies, soups, and sauces
  • The rhizome itself can grow up to 6-7 pounds in weight at maturity
  • Arrowroot has no flavour or smell, but when boiled it has a slighty nutty sweet taste
  • If used in soups as cubes, the root is very fibery and coarse

How do I prepare it?

  • Wash and peel the arrowroot
  • Cut into cubes for soup usage

Where can I buy this?

  • You can buy arrowroot from most Asian supermarkets
  • It is also available in the wet marts in Hong Kong and can be bought by preference of weight and size

What is the cost?

  • Arrowroot costs roughly $1.00 CAD / pound, so a large arrowroot can easily cost $5 – $6

Any substitutes?

  • A good substitute for the arrowroot in soups is the lotus root

Any benefits?

  • Due to its blandness, it’s suitable for many diets (especially soups for children)
  • The arrowroot does contain a healthy amount of calcium
  • It is recommended for people who feel nauseous to consume arrowroot and helps soothes upset stomachs

Any precautions?

  • The arrowroot is not a highly nutritious food with 84% of the root composed of starch
  • Arrowroots can be quite dirty and need to be thoroughly washed prior to consumption
  • If purchasing arrowroot powder, be sure to purchase it from a reputatble source as some sources many not sell PURE arrowroot

Additional Information?

  • Fresh arrowroot stores relatively well in the fridge and can keep for up to 1 month


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  • Because of its lack of protein, it is greatly used by vegetarians and by individuals with dietary restrictions who require less or no protein in the diet. Food commonly containing arrowroot as ingredient would be biscuits, pudding, jellies and cakes. It is customary in Korea to add arrowroot powder in beef tea, milk, veal broth and noodles.

  • i’d love to much so many fiber foods because it helps in digestion and waste removal ~*:

  • Carrie says:

    Do you know where to buy arrowroot powder in Hong Kong?

  • Nelly says:


    May I know how to store the arrowroot longer in the fridge? Should I wrap in it a plastic bag or just keep in unwrapped?


  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Nelly, there’s no need to wrap the arrowroot in a plastic bag and they store pretty well in the fridge. I’d say up to a week (or even two weeks). Hope this helps! Lisa

  • janet says:

    is the arrowroot susceptible to turning brown after peeling?

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Janet, it is, but slower than the pace of potatoes. So you can just soak in a pot of water after you’ve peeled. Normally, the time difference between peeling and throwing it into the soup is around no more than 30 minutes, so I don’t bother. Hope this helps! Lisa

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