Blanching Meat Before Preparing Soup

~ Posted on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 7:41 AM ~

If you are planning to venture into soup making recipes, read up on my post today on why we should blanch the meat that goes into the soup. It is an essential step to follow if you are planning to make soups as this will produce clearer broth (soup).

 I normally use pork bones with some pork meats when I prepare my soups though there are the occasional times I used chicken meat as well. After buying the meat for soupmaking, I will wash it one time while preparing a pot of water about an inch high. Once the water starts boiling, I will slowly put in the meat into the pot and blanch them until they turned white. This normally takes a few minutes. Once done, you can take the meat out and give it a quick rinse in cold water again then drain them before continuing on with your soupmaking process or for storing (I normally do this as I buy in batch and freeze them)

Benefits of blanching:

Certain types of meats and fish, including organ meats, chicken breast and some seafood, benefit from blanching. You blanch organ meats to remove some of musty taste and begin the breakdown of the dense connective tissue that can make offal chewy. ~ Source

Many chefs, wanting the clearest possible broth or stock, begin the process by blanching the meat and bones they're using. This means bringing them to a simmer and stirring them once or twice to ensure all surfaces are exposed to the water. Proteins from the meat's surface and juices cook out and coagulate, making the familiar gray foam you'll often see forming in a soup pot. The chef drains the pot and rinses the meat, washing away these proteins, and then begins making the stock. With these proteins gone, the stock will be clearer and require less skimming and straining. ~ Source


Some of my past soups outcome:

ABC Soup

Lotus Root Soup

Szechuan Vegetable Soup

Szechuan Vegetable Soup

And to show you how it looks like if you did not blanch your meat, this is one of the recent soup I made. I forgot to blanch the meat!!! Notice the impurities floating on the surface of the soup? Of course you can still drink the soup, just need more work to filter out and scoop the impurities away first. Sigh...

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Old Cucumber Soup

~ Posted on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 7:52 AM ~

For this post, I am sharing my next food recipe, Old Cucumber Soup. I was trying to replicate my late mum's cooking for this soup which is quite commonly cooked when she was still alive.

This is one of the many soups that Chinese people likes to make. It is said that the soup is good for the skin and helps prevent aging, also high in dietary fiber, calcium, iron and rich in vitamin A, B6, and C. Without further ado, here is the recipe for Old Cucumber Soup :

* One medium size Chinese old cucumber (the one I used is about 8 inches long, 2.5 inches wide)
* Water
* Red dates (I used about 5 big ones, seed removed)
* 5 small dried scallops
(makes the soup sweeter)
* 200g pork ribs (can use old kampung chicken as well)
* 2 piece dried cuttlefish (makes the soup sweeter)
* 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut to slices about 1cm thick
* 2 slices of salted/preserved vegetable (called 'Tai Thou Choi' in Cantonese)
(** Carrots not shown in picture below as I added last minute after realizing I forgotten about it hahahah!)

* Scrub the skin of the old cucumber clean and cut it half length-wise. It would be better to leave the skin in as removing it will cause the cucumber flesh to disintegrate and turning into a mushy mess after cooking.
* Scoop out the seeds using a spoon. You may skip this step if you are fine with the seeds.
* Cut the cucumber into smaller chunks (I cut about half inch thick slices)
* Blanch the pork ribs in boiling water for a few minutes, drain and set aside.
* Add all ingredients into slow cooker, add enough water to cover the ingredients with about an inch more.

* Put on high mode for half hour, before switching to low settings for about 6-7 hours.
(Note: If you use gas stove to boil this soup, you can simmer over low heat for about 1 hour)



I'm sorry the picture above does not show justice. I took it under yellow light and was rushing to get kiddos ready for bed so just managed a quick snap. The soup is darker due to the amount of red dates I put in, I guess the more the darker. Tastewise, it reminded me of the one my late mum used to make so it is nice to be able to relive these memories. It is very easy to make this dish, little ingredients, easy to follow steps. This recipe is definitely for keeps!

To view my other recipes, feel free to hop over to my Recipe Library page for more info!

Oatmeal Chicken

~ Posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 10:09 AM ~

For this post, I am sharing my next food recipe, Oatmeal Chicken. This recipe is similar to the Oatmeal Prawns dish that I tried a while ago, just using chicken instead of prawns and fry them a wee bit longer. Without further ado, here is the recipe for Oatmeal Chicken :

* Chicken (quantity up to you) - marinate with a bit of baking soda to get bouncier and juicier meat
 * 1 egg - beaten
* Oatmeal
(quantity up to you, more if you want to fully coat the chicken - I used 1 cup)
* Half cup of cornflour or wheatflour (I used cornflour)
* Half tsp of salt
* Oil - for frying the chicken (quantity up to you)

* Wash the chicken, make sure they are as dry as possible (use paper towel to absorb)
* Marinate with salt and baking soda for at least 30 minutes.
* Coat the chicken with cornflour first
* Dipped the
chicken into the egg mixture followed by coating it with oatmeal
* Heat up oil in pan.
* Fry the
chicken until golden yellow color
* Remove excess oil (if any) and ready to serve (you may serve with mayonaisse as well)



Oatmeal Chicken

I like that the oatmeals provided a nice coating all around the chicken (way better than using the KFC powder than we Malaysians like to use). Also, don't overcoat the chicken if you prefer crunchy texture. Other than that, it is very easy to make this dish, little ingredients, easy to follow steps. This recipe is definitely for keeps!

** Updates on 19th May 2016 - Bite-sized oatmeal chicken

To view my other recipes, feel free to hop over to my Recipe Library page for more info!