Old cucumber soup

Old Cucumber Soup with Red Dates and Wolfberries

This is a detoxifying soup that is perfect for any day.  It is soothing and nourishing for the body.  It is made with Chinese wolfberries (also known as Goji berries or “kei zi”) that pack a nutritious punch. Wolfberries provide a variety of antioxidants, including plant pigments called phenols, polysaccharides, vitamins A and C, beta carotene, lycopene, riboflavin, thiamine, and selenium.  Traditional Chinese medicine uses wolfberries to treat dry skin and dry cough. It is also supposedly good for the eyes.

1 old cucumber (老黄瓜 “lou wong gua” in Cantonese) IMG_1981
100 g lean pork – cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small dried cuttlefish – rinsed (optional)
5 dried red dates
5 dried figs (无花果 “mo fa guo” in Cantonese) or dried honey dates
2 dried scallops – rinse and soak in fresh water overnight
2 Tbsp wolfberries (构 杞 “kei zi” in Cantonese) – rinsed

Method:

  1.  Peel the old cucumber. Cut it lengthwise into 2 halves, using a spoon scoop out the soft, pulpy center where the seeds are.  Discard the soft pulp and seeds.
  2. Put the pork into the soup pot and add just enough water to cover it.  Blanch for a 1-2 minutes to remove the scum from the blood in the meat. Drain and discard the water that is used to blanch the pork.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot.  Do not discard the soaking water for the scallops, add it into the pot too.  Add in 10 cups of water and boil on high for 20 minutes, then simmer for 40 mins.
  4. Add salt to taste
  5. Serve hot.

Note:  I omitted the the dried cuttlefish when I made this soup (in picture) as I didn’t have any in my pantry.


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