Coordination Mia Chenyze Photo Jasper Yu Art Direction & Styling Nikki Ho
Double-boiled Snakehead Fish Soup With Apple
By Brian Wong, executive Chinese chef of Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel
Oil for deep-frying
600g snakehead, cut into chunks
4 red apples, peeled, cored and quartered
4 tsp sliced almonds
4 large red dates
4 tsp salt
2 litres water
1 In a deep pot over high heat, deep-fry the fish until golden brown. Set it aside and discard the oil.
2 Place all the ingredients, including the fish, in a double boiler and simmer for 1 hour. Check the bottom pot every 15min to ensure that there’s enough water. Serve.
Nourishing Tomato Soup
By Sunny Kong, executive chef of Crystal Jade Kitchen
For the soup base
100g tomato paste
1 tsp oil
400g tinned whole tomatoes
2.5 litres water
1 carrot, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 ears corn, husk and silk removed, then cut into thirds
300g pumpkin, rind removed and cut into chunks
5-8 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water until soft, and halved
A pinch of salt
300g silken tofu, cubed
1 sprig coriander, washed and finely chopped
1 In a pot over medium heat, stir-fry the tomato paste with the oil for 1min. Add the tomatoes and water, and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 25min.
2 Bring the soup base back to the boil, and add the carrots, corn, pumpkin and mushrooms. Return it to the boil, then simmer for 30min.
3 Add salt to taste, tofu, and garnish with coriander.
TIP If you prefer more texture in your tofu, immerse a packet of Chinese tofu in a container with just enough water to cover it; seal and freeze for two days. Defrost before using..
Braised Pork Collar Soup with Sweet Potato Tempura
By Jet Lo, head chef of Ding Dong
For the spice bag
1 stick cinnamon
1 star anise
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 bay leaves
For the paste
15g coriander roots, rinsed and roughly chopped
A pinch of salt
2 garlic cloves, peeled
15g ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 tsp whole white peppercorn
4 tbsp oil 500g pork collar, cut into large cubes
15g gula melaka, cut into small cubes
1 tsp dark soya sauce
1 tsp five-spice powder
1 litre water
2 pandan leaves, washed
For the sweet-potato tempura
140g tempura mix*
1 egg yolk
140ml cold water
200g purple sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into strips
1 cup plain flour
400ml vegetable oil
4 sprigs Thai basil
*Available in the condiments aisle of supermarkets.
1 Gently toast each spice individually in a dry wok, without oil, until fragrant. Allow the spices to cool, then wrap in a small soup stock pouch and secure.
2 Mince the paste ingredients into a slightly coarse blend using a mortar and pestle or a blender.
3 Heat the oil in a deep pot over medium heat and fry the paste for 8-10min until aromatic, but before the paste changes colour.
4 Add the pork collar and fry gently, until golden brown. Season with gula melaka, dark soya sauce and five-spice powder, and simmer for a few minutes until fragrant.
5 Add the water, pandan leaves and the spice bag. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 45min, until the pork becomes very tender. Strain the stock and set the pork aside. Discard the spice bag and pandan leaves.
To make the sweet potato tempura
1 Whisk the tempura mix, egg yolk and cold water until well-mixed. Dredge the sweet potato strips in flour, then dip into the tempura mixture.
2 Heat the vegetable oil in a deep pot over high heat. Test that the oil is hot enough by throwing in a pinch of the tempura mixture – if it sizzles immediately, the oil is ready. Otherwise, let it heat longer.
3 Deep-fry the sweet potato strips for 3-4min, turning them regularly for even cooking. Remove and place on a paper towel to drain.
1 Heat up the soup and transfer into four bowls. Add a handful of pork collar cubes into each bowl.
2 Add the sweet-potato tempura, and garnish with basil before serving.
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