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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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Pork Bones with Lotus Root Soup

Submitted by on January 7, 2009 – 10:32 am21 Comments | 116,965 views

Soup Name:  Pork Bones with Lotus Root Soup
Traditional Chinese Name:  蓮藕湯 (lián ou tāng)
This is a hearty soup that can double as a meal.  The lotus root is very filling and is a good source of dietary fiber.  Since the soup is boiled for some time, the lotus roots will have absorbed all the goodness of the other ingredients (same as the pork bones) and serves as a delicious addition to the soup.

What Ingredients are required?

1 pound of fresh pork bones
2-3 whole lotus roots
5-6 pieces of dried scallop
3 large dried dates

How do I prepare it?

  1. Start boiling your water soup
  2. Optional:  You can marinate the pork bones with 1 tablespoon of salt an hour prior to boiling, but make sure you rinse the pork bones well with cool water
  3. In a separate pot, blanch the pork bones and strain it removing any dirt and debris from the blanching
  4. Add the pork bones to the boiling water of your soup
  5. Add the dried scallops, large dates and lotus roots to your soup
  6. Boil for at least 60-90 minutes on high heat.  The longer you boil it, the tastier the soup!

 Any benefits?

  • The lotus roots are a great source of dietary fiber and have plenty of vitamin C and B6

Any precautions?

  • The roots can contain dirt and potential parasites, make sure you clean it thoroughly and boil thoroughly before consumption
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  • Catheriene says:


    When I cook the lotus root it usually turn out red liquid. It not look clear like your pix that show on the top of this page. What can I do to make it turn out like yours.


  • LadyTong says:

    Are you adding it in boiling water? This way, the lotus roots cook IMMEDIATELY once it hits the water. I have never seen a red lotus root soup before! What other ingredients are you adding? Can you provide more information? What type of meats? Additives? Herbs? Lisa

  • shindy says:

    hi, lady

    its very surprised find your website.because i almost desperate looking for how to cook chinesse food/soup but in engglish version.i cant read chinesse although im chinesse.=P

    its it the same effect if i use slow cooker instead of boiling? u know, working mom dont have much time in boiling soup. usually i just use slow cooker at night n the soup ready at the next morning. is it ok?

    thx a lot. your website really helpfull


  • LadyTong says:

    Hi Shindy,
    Slow cooker is in fact the new “old fire soup”. As you said, no time, don’t waste energy, etc… The other popular thing to use these days are “thermal pots”. You boil the soup for about 30 minutes to really get up the heat and ingredients moving and then put it in a thermal pot to let it “cook” further. It is still moving slowly because of the heat circulation, but it more bakes and the flavours all come out just as nicely. Try it! Thanks for your support! Lisa

  • Nancy says:

    Question in general. When I make soup, I tend not to eat the “ingredients” for whatever reason. after reading the section of how the lotus root absorbs most of the nutrients, I take that the liquid itself won’t have much. Does this hold true for all soups?

  • Caroline says:

    How come you don’t list salt in most of your soups? When I make it, I always add salt at the end to flavor the soup.


  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Caroline, I actually don’t use salt too often in soups. My theory is to try to keep it as natural as possible and salt is something people can add to their own soups if they need more. Easier to add than take out. I do use salt sometimes to marinate the pork bones and/or fry with fish, so that will get into the soup, but in general, I don’t salt. Of course, this is all up to personal tastes. Hope this helps, Lisa

  • Josephine Joy says:

    May I know if the lotus soup suitable for my 14 mths song? Any other soup is good for him? Thanks!

  • LadyTong says:

    Hi Josephine – 14 months is a good age to be drinking soups. For younger children, we do lessen the weight of the herbs, but Lotus Roots is a great soup for them. They can even eat the roots by cutting it up into really small bits. Hope this helps and thank you for your support! Lisa

  • Vanessa says:

    if i find the soup bland because i added too much water what should i do? Should i continue boiling it? Can i over boil soup?
    Also if i use a crock pot can i keep soup in there for a few days just reheating in the crock pot?


  • Rosalind says:

    Hi lady,

    may iknow how much water is needed to boil this recipe of soup “pork bone with lotus roots soup”

    I love your website. Thank you for your time and effort with all the receipe and pictures attached. You are the best :0)

    warmest regards
    Rosalind from France

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Roaslind, for the ingredients listed, I use about 2-3 L. I make really big pots of soup because we are big soup fans. My soups usually don’t reduce much because I ultimately end up using a thermal pot to cook it in after 30 minutes of high boiling. Hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions. Thank you for your continued support! Lisa

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Vanessa,
    If the soup is bland because of too much water, you can continue to boil the soup to reduce it. Most Chinese soups can take lots of boil (usually the longer the better for the “Old fire soups”). Over boiling doesn’t actually happen unless the ingredients are delicate (ie: snow fungus will eventually all dissolve if over boiled). You can keep the soup in a crock pot for a few days. I use the thermal pot for this, but not all soups are suitable. Anything with “melons” will eventually sour and taste funny – even after 24 hours (winter melon and zheet gwai will definitely do that). The root soups (ie: Lotus root, arrow root) are easier to sustain taste and flavor for a few days. Hope this helps and let me know if you have any more questions! Lisa

  • Rosalind says:

    Dear Lisa

    Thank you for your reply. My daughter (29mths) love chinese soup and not so much of the ‘english’ soup that sometimes my husband (french) had make for her…lol

    I love your website and have been boiling different kind of soup for my daughter.

    Thanks again and here we wish you Merry Christmas and Happy 2013 to come.


  • Zinet says:


    I was wondering what is the serving size for most of your recipes. Cos I will be cooking for about 4-5 people, myself included. So was wondering do I double the quantities to serve 4-5 people.

    Thank you 🙂

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Zinet, most services at 2-3L of water is sufficient for 4-5 people with at least one rice bowl sized. If you want more, you can 1.5 the quantities, but in general, my portions make one large pot worth (very large pot) and we serve it to a family of 6-7 (with kids). In fact, I don’t say that Chinese soup making is a science (with the exception of true herbal soups and teas). Add more corn to sweeten it, add more sweet potatoes to thicken it, add more meat to make it richer. Play and customize it the way you think is best for your tastes and family. Thanks! Lisa

  • smile says:

    If I don’t have any dried scallops can that be omitted it. Will the soup still be okay???

  • An Nguyen says:

    This is such a helpful website, even though I am not Chinese but I am a fan of Chinese soups…Thank you so much lady Tong for putting all the effort into your website…So details, neat and easy to understand. You are the best. Much appreciated.

  • Rosalind says:

    Dear Lady Tong

    I would like to know if I make a big pot of soup and can I freeze it in the freezer for future use? and how long can I freeze it.

    Awaiting your reply and thanks again.

    Best regards

  • Kevin Wong says:

    Hi, I’m looking for some alternate to cook for my wife and saw that you use the “pressure cooker” method where u boil 30minutes, and close it. But how long do you keep it in? Will there be a overcooked?

    And for this lotus soup, I like the variation with nut and black bean =)

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Kevin, for this soup, pressure cooker is perfect as the lotus roots won’t really soften too much (beans should hold as with the nuts for sure). Not like pumpkin or other starch vegetables where they will dissolve completely and then you have a pasty soup. Pressure cook it for 30 minutes, should be good enough and turn it off to keep warm. I sometimes keep my soups for a whole day inside a cooker and it’s still awesome! G’luck! Lisa

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