Thursday, March 3, 2011

Something Wholesome For The Day

Nope, no chocolate Swiss rolls nor buttery cakes today. I think it's been awhile since I last posted something more nutritious to share. So today, I'm gonna make something more wholesome. :) I guess it's best to be a little more watchful of our diet once in awhile right? Good for the body and mind. :) First up is a nutritious soup that I boiled up today for my family. Its call Chicken Soup with Fresh Chinese Yam & Carrot (鲜淮山红罗卜鸡汤). I got this recipe from a soup cookbook I got awhile back; The World of Nourishing & Fine Soup by Kenny Chen.
I made a few amendments to the recipe. I replaced the chicken with some pork spare ribs for soup, since I have some in the fridge. And I also increase the amount to make enough for 4 adults. This soup is so easy to prepare, plus the ingredients are easily accessible.
Best of all, it's delicious! Curious about it's medicinal purpose? Here it is:


  • Strengthens the kidneys and control nocturnal emission.
  1. Fresh Chinese yam (淮山)helps tonify "qi" (气) and nourish "yin"(阴). It is also helpful in digestion, anti-aging and strengthens the cellular immune system.
  2. Carrots are nutritious and help to prevent flu, ease tension, relive fatigue and clean the intestine and stomach.
  3. Lotus Seed nourishes the spleen, improves digestion, prevents diarrhea, calms the spirit, strengthens the kidneys and has astringent properties.
Ingredients for Chicken/Pork Soup with Chinese Yam and Carrots:
160g Chinese yam (淮山), peeled and cut into large chunks
80g red carrots (红罗卜), peeled, and cut into large chunks
16 lotus seeds (莲子)
6 dried black dates (南枣) *
1/2 chicken or 250g pork spare ribs (鸡肉/猪肉)
~600ml water (清水)

*Note that original recipe calls for red dates. But I used dried black dates instead since I much prefer its taste.


  • Scaled raw pork spare ribs in boiling water, rinse and put into stewing pot with water. Start the fire going.
  • Add lotus seeds, dried black dates and start to boil it. Once it boils, lower heat to a simmer and let it stew for a good 1.5hrs.
  • After 1.5hrs, add carrots and continue to slow boil for another 30 minutes.
  • Lastly, add the Chinese yam and let it boil together in the soup for another 15 to 20 minutes before turning off the fire.
  • Add salt to taste. Simple as that! :))
A little salt and that's all it needs, the soup taste great. I have been boiling this for numerous times now and finally decided to post to for everyone to try. Hope you folks will like it. :)

The next wonderful recipe is from Carol 自在生活. The recipe is called Custard Wholewheat Rice Buns 卡士達全麥米餐包. Rice? Yes, rice is incorporated into the dough, something different isn't it? But I chose to make this mainly because I have this packet of organic wholewheat flour seating in my pantry for a while now. :P Furthermore, I love Carol's blog and recipes. I even bought one of her latest cookbook, heehee.
For this, I followed her bread recipe closely except for the fillings. Here is Carol's recipe for easy reference:

Ingredients for Custard Wholewheat Rice Buns:
For Custard:

Set A: 1 large egg and 20g caster sugar

Set B: 130ml fresh milk and 10g cake flour

Set C: 5g of unsalted butter and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

(For pictorial steps, refer to Carol's blog)

  • Mix Set A's egg and sugar together till well combined.
  • Set B: Sift cake flour into the milk and whisk together till there's no lumps.
  • Gradually add the mixture of Set B into Set A mixture and whisking at the same time. Place this mixture in a heat prove pot and over medium flame.
  • Be watchful of the mixture and stirring constantly till it thickens.
  • Remove from the flame and add the butter and stir till it melts. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
Rice tang zhong: 100g cooked rice and 300ml water
  • In a heat prove sauce pot, cook the rice with the water till it reaches porridge stage.
  • I blended mine to make it smooth and no lumps. Set aside to be used later on.
Main Dough:
230g tang zhong rice porridge
200g bread flour

100g wholewheat flour
3g instant yeast

30g caster sugar

1/8 tsp salt

40g unsalted butter

egg wash

custard cream (from above)

red bean paste (optional)
Cranberry cream cheese

  • Mix all the ingredients together except for the butter together till get a pliable dough.
  • Continue to knead the dough till its non sticky and elastic. Then add butter and continue to knead till it passes the "window test".
  • Put the dough into a big bowl. Cover with cling wrap and let it prove for 30minutes till double.
  • Divide the dough into 9 equal portions. Flatten each portion with your hands to drive the air out. Roll it into square shape, cover and let rest for 20 minutes before shaping.
  • Flatten the dough to drive the air out. Roll each out into a circular disc with a rolling pin. Place about 1 tbsp of desired filling and seal the edges tightly. Repeat for the rest of the dough portions. Cover with cling wrap.
  • Let it prove for about 45 minutes or until the dough has risen to 80 % of the depth of the baking tin (22cmX20cmX5cm). Lastly, brush with egg wash and make your own "markings" if you filled the buns with different fillings.
  • Bake @ 180C in the oven for 20 to 22 minutes until golden brown. Once done, remove from the oven and remove from tin immediately to cool on the rack.
Although the wholewheat rice buns are not as fluffy and soft like white breads, it was still wholesome and delicious. I would eat this anytime, since it's good for the body. :)

Hope what I've posted today can help give you some motivation to make something wholesome for your love ones at home. I'm sure they will appreciate it. Try it and let me know if you like them.

Signing off now, hope you all have a healthful day!


CaThY said...

Wow, your soup is so nourishing! I also have Carol books. She is really awesome! Your bread looks so pretty & yummy! :)

sanjeeta kk said...

My eyes popped up with Custard rice buns! Looks a wonderful idea to make the buns delicious. The soup looks so refreshing.

Hearty Bakes said...

Nourishing soup there BeeBee. I'm learning boiling such soup lately for my boys who is undergoing puberty. How's the taste for the soup? Will it be bitter?
My first encounter with rice buns. Interesting. Looks flavorful.
Beebee, may you share where to get Carol's book? Love to get a copy too. THanks for sharing in advance.

ReeseKitchen said...

Hey fren, I was expecting something more in this post of yours, and when I was reading towards the bottom...and yes, there is bread!! Haha! I know you wouldn't post just the soup...hehe!
Nice bread, and another recipe for me to follow..thanks!

My Little Space said...

Nice soup for the family especially weather like this. The buns look wonderful as well. The texture looks a little like the glutinous bun. I have tried it once. It was really nice.I hope I will have time to make another batch and post it out. So, wish me luck! :o) Hope you're enjoying your evening.
Bset regards, Kristy

lena said...

hello bee, i've seen those buns using the porridge method in min's blog but i;m not sure if is the same recipe.Thanks for posting up this, so glad to know a new method of making buns!

ann low said...

Bee, stay healthy, eat healthy lol! I love your soup, can have this nourishing soup at least once a week and the bread looks so gooood!

WendyinKK said...

I'm so glad you're beginning to post soups! Now I have more soups to try out.

Passionate About Baking said...

Wow! It's really wholesome. Homecooked soup and the buns! What else is lacking? Nothing! What else do you not know how to cook or bake?? LOL. You seemed to have conquer cooking and baking already! ;)

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

a very healthy soup, cook more often for your family.

j3ss kitch3n said...

the bread looks really good healthy as well =)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Cathy, did you say books? Not book? Oh wow, I wish I have all her copies, I only managed to find one. Hopefully this time, my trip back to Taiwan, I'll be able to find te rest. :) thanks, you should try this recipe, it's good!

Hahaha, Sanjeeta KK, hope you will try them put, you will like em, it's yummy and nutritious!

Thanks Jessie. :) it's good that you are boiling soup for your family, it's something wholesome for the family after a hard days work. As for the test of this soup, I can guarantee your boys will love it! It's mild and the Chinese yam is soft and delicious too. No, no bitter taste present...unless your lotus seed are not well pit red, then maybe the hearts inside might be a wee bit bitter when you bite it. I got Carol's book when I was transiting in Taiwan on my recent trip back to California. I guess you can call up PageOne at Vivo city and see of they carry her cookbooks. PageOne is a bookstore from Taiwan. Goodluck!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hahaha, I guess you know me best Reese! Yeah lorr, just a soup like not enough, must have bread also, hahaha! Yes, do try out this healthy rice wholewheat buns, it's very nutritious. :)

Thanks once again for dropping by Kristy. :) oh yes, ice seen the glutinous rice bread recipe before, but haven't got the chance to try it out. I am looking forward to see your bread post already! I am always on the look out for good bread recipes! Thanks in advance!

You are most welcome Lena. :) oh really, I gotta pop over to min's blog to see the post! Thanks. :)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hey Ann, well said! Oh yes, I make this soup very frequently, heard that Chinese yam is good for skin too! Heehee!

Wendy, I have been trying out your soups too! I love your soup posts, so please keep them coming yah!

Jane, you make me sound like an expert, lol! I still have much to learn for sure. But this is for sure a simple enough soup that anyone can cook up, so try it out yah?

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Sonia, I sure will. :)

Thanks j3ss. :) try out the recipe, you'll like it! :)

Aimei said...

Oh the custard cream is so tempting!

Cooking Gallery said...

I love traditional Chinese soups, they're always so comforting...Your one looks very yummy too :).

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Amei for dropping by! Yes, I guess the best part about eating filled buns is the filling!

Thanks cooking gallery! My family loves soup too...I have to cook a pot of soup every other day. : P

The Sweetylicious said...

my mum cook this soup too! except that she use chicken. is a very yummy soup! (:
the bread look so soft and pretty! you did motivate me to start baking something from the book (:

Edith said...

I will definitely try this soup! Sounds so delicious.