If you follow us on Instagram, you’ll know that Chinese soup is a staple in our household. In fact, we cook these on a regular basis.
We enjoy Chinese soup because it is so easy to cook (just dump everything into the pot) and it’s so delicious, healthy and nutritious. You get everything – protein, fibre and carbs from the meat and vegetables. In fact, our typical dinner comprises a bowl of soup, stir-fry vegetables and rice.
It is also a very comforting dish after a long, stressful day.
Easy with pressure cooker
Pressure cooking is really great for soup because it only takes around 20 minutes to yield the most flavourful soup and tender meat. Of course, you could boil these on the stove-top (over high heat for 3-4 hours) or slow cook for 6-8 hours (over low heat).
Adding carrots and goji berries
We usually like our old cucumber soup (lou wong kua thong or 老黄瓜汤 in Cantonese) pure but we added carrots for this recipe for extra sweetness, fibre and nutrients!
Some like to add dried cuttlefish or mussels, but we sometimes find them to be overpowering. Instead, we like to add goji berries and red dates (for most of our Chinese soups, actually).
Expect a sweet, flavourful soup with creamy, soft cucumber texture and tender chicken/pork.
Old is gold (and healthy!)
Old cucumber is considered a ‘yin’ food in Chinese culture with cooling properties. It is traditionally used to treat cough or sore throat and is said to have anti-aging properties. Old cucumber also contains vitamins A, B6 and C, calcium, iron and fibre. However due to its cooling nature, pregnant or menstruating women are advised to avoid old cucumber.
Other similar recipes
Key Steps in Pictures
* Pressure cooker is great for soups because you can really extract the flavours from the ingredients in less than 30 minutes (vs. 3-6 hours over the stove). And you get very tender meat.
* For this recipe, we used half chicken of parts (about 600g) and 200g of pork ribs. Of course, you can use whatever cuts you like (we sometimes just use chicken drumsticks or add pork bone soup) – but we recommend cuts with bones because you want to extract the essence and nutrients from the bones. It also adds depth to the soup. Drumsticks are great because you get both meat and bones.
* Obviously, you can just use only chicken/pork but we sometimes like to combine both meat (not the usual case for most households). Simply omit the meat if you are a non-meat eater.
* Regardless of what soup we cook, goji berries (about 1-2 tbsp) and red dates (5-6 big ones) are our staple additions for extra sweetness and nutrients.
* For pressure cooker, fill the pot with water until it just covers the ingredients. Remember that liquid is retained in the pressure cooker (vs. liquid being released for stove-top boiling). To save time, I usually boil a pot of water in a kettle and pour it into the pressure cooker (to reduce the heating up time) before pressure cooking.
* We usually add about 2-3 tsp of salt and dash of pepper into the soup before cooking. After cooking, taste and adjust to your preference.
* Let the cooker naturally release the pressure if possible. It should take about 10 minutes after pressure cooking is done.
* Soups can be kept in the fridge for the next 2-3 days. The soup becomes more flavourful the next day.
Old Cucumber Soup [Pressure Cooker Recipe]Course: Lunch, DinnerCuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Easy
Easy pressure cooker recipe for the nutritious Chinese old cucumber soup.
Half chicken of parts (about 600grams) or your favourite chicken cuts with bones
200 g pork soft ribs (or pork bone soup or ribs)
1kg old cucumber, cut into half lengthwise, seeds removed and cut into 1-1.5 inch chunks
1 medium carrot (optional), cut into 1-inch pieces
1-2 tbsp of goji berries
5-6 red dates
Salt to taste
White pepper to taste
1 litre of water (or just enough to cover the ingredients in the pressure cooker)
- Clean chicken and pork thoroughly.
- Cut old cucumber in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Then cut into 1-1.5 inch chunks (see picture above). Cut carrots into 1-inch pieces as well.
- Place the chicken/pork, old cucumber, carrots, goji berries and red dates into pressure cooker. Add about 2-3 tsp of salt and pepper.
- Add water until it just covers the ingredients (We like to boil the water first in a separate kettle to reduce the heating time).
- Seal and and pressure cook for 20 minutes (or follow the soup option for your pressure cooker). Allow for natural release of pressure if possible (about 10 minutes after pressure cooking is completed).
- Taste and add salt or pepper if needed. Enjoy!