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December 24, 2020 – 1:14 pm | 3,857 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 » 3-star, Difficulty, Fish, For Coughs and Colds, Savoury, Soups, Soups for Children, Spring Soups

Fish Tail Soup with Lily Bulb and Carrot

Submitted by on February 21, 2009 – 9:25 am10 Comments | 43,301 views

Soup Name: Fish Tail Soup with Lily Bulb and Carrot

Traditional Chinese Name: 百合胡蘿蔔魚尾湯


This milky soup is excellent for children.  With its minimalistic ingredient list and sweet flavour, it is good for suppressing coughs and helping with sore throats.  This soup is ideally consumed in the spring time when the weather alternates between warm and cool.

What Ingredients are required?

2 fresh Grass Carp fish tails
3 large carrots
2-3 fresh lily bulbs
2 slices of fresh ginger
2-3 L of water
1 teaspoon of salt (to marinate the fish)
1 teaspoon of oil (to fry the fish)

How do I prepare it?

  1. After the fish is cleaned, wipe the fish with paper towels or a cloth to remove excess water
  2. Cover the fish with a small amount of salt (inside and out)
  3. Let it sit for an hour and then drain any water
  4. Peel and cut the carrots
  5. Peel and dismantle the lily bulb – be sure to fully clean all the dirt embedded between the layers
  6. Start boiling your soup water
  7. In a pan, add oil and fry the ginger with the fish on low-medium heat (until the fish is completely cooked and the skin is a slightly browned)
  8. Put the fish into a soup bag and add to water
  9. Add carrots and lily bulbs
  10. Boil for at least an  on high heat

 Any benefits?

  • This neutral soup  is ideal for all drinkers (even children)
  • This soup is great in relieving symptoms for coughs and colds
  • This soup is a great cough suppressant and soothing for sore throats

Any precautions?

  • Be weary of fish bones in the soup – it’s important to keep the fish pieces contained as it disintegrates in the boiling soup.  Use a soup bag for this.


  • Lyssa says:

    I like to try this soup, but I wish to ask if I can substitute the fresh lily bulb with dried ones? I havent seen any fresh one from the market over here.
    Thank you.

  • LadyTong says:

    Hi Lyssa,

    Definitely can substitute dried lily bulbs – although may not be as sweet. I know in most North American supermarkets, fresh lily bulb is not common. Hope this helps!


  • Samantha says:

    Can I use other meat besides fish tail?

  • Eva says:

    May I know how long i need to boil after I add in carrots & lily bulbs?

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Eva, 30 minutes is pretty good after adding the carrots & lily bulbs as a minimum. I boil it for about an hour just to make sure the carrots are super soft (as I prefer them like that). Hope this helps, Lisa

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Samantha, you can use pork shank as well or chicken. Actually, any meat goes well with Lily bulbs and carrots (as they are relatively neutral and common soup ingredients). Hope this helps! Lisa

  • cyn says:

    HI Soup expert, my freezer is stuffed with Salmon heads and belly. Can i replace the Grass Carp tail with Salmon head??

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear cyn, YES absolutely! Any types of fish is actually OK for soup. The only thing is that usually, cheaper fishes are used rather than the more pricey/expensive fishes because you’re not really eating the meat. But in general, I think any fish works. Just make sure you fry it in ginger to remove the “fishy” taste if it’s fresh. G’luck, LIsa

  • YellowNelly says:

    Hi ya.

    Is the dried Lily ok to eat if pregnant? I was told to boil Lily in water and drink two hours before bed for my insomnia? I cant seem to find any info on the internet.

    Thank you

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Ashlee – dried lily bulbs are considered cooling, so OK to drink if pregnant after the second trimester. Dried lily flower is OK as it’s not cooling and designed for coughs. Depends on which part of the lily? Hope this helps! For insomnia, you can try drinks/ teas that don’t stimulate the blood too much. You can try a sweet red date tea with longans (it’s slightly warming). Hope this helps and g’luck! Lisa

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