Arrowroot Soup (粉葛湯)

Arrowroot is a huge root vegetable that many people may not heard before nor sounds familiar to them. Especially younger generation nowadays. But if any of the Chinese family who usually cook at home, I think most of them cook this soup before. If you don’t even know what is Arrowroot, then, maybe 粉葛湯 (fěn gé tāng) sounds more familiar to you?

Arrowroot is very much like a big sweet potato. I crave for this soup. The very last time I had this soup was during Chinese New Year, brewed by my mother. Ahhh… I missed the taste of my mother’s soup so much! And so, I bought arrowroot today. Like all root vegetables, it is best slow boiled with pork ribs, red dates, dried octopus / cuttlefish to make a nice and simple soup.

This piece of 450 grams of arrowroot 450 grams cost S$1.20. Got it from the market.

The arrowroot is harder in texture and it is extensively starchy than potato. When it is cut up, it has patterns on surface that looks like the ages of a tree trunk.

And this is what I’ve prepared….

Yes! You didn’t see it wrongly. I’ve got some lotus root there. I did it on purpose. But you could opt it out if you wanted to. My mother told me that arrowroot has a mild cooling effect. A very mild one. By adding some lotus root in the soup. it will kinda neutralize the soup and the soup will be more nutritious.

Ingredients (Serve 4 to 6 pax)

  • 450 grams of Arrowroot, scrubbed cleaned and sliced.
  • 250 grams of Lotus Root, cleaned, peeled and sliced. (Optional)
  • 300 grams of Pork Ribs, scalded (I want the soup more meaty taste this time)
  • 5 to 6 red dates.
  • 4 to 5 dried scallops
  • 1/2 of a foot long dried octopus. Snipped into small pieces.
  • 3000ml water
  • sea salt to taste

You could peel the skin of the arrowroot if you like. But my mother told me that brewing arrowroot with the skin on gives more nutrition. So, I listen to my mother. But, it’s up to you.

This soup is high in protein and fiber.  It is a very neutral soup and requires little effort to make it. I could proudly promise you that this soup is really sweet and tasty. Just like usual way of cooking a good old pot of soup, adding in seafood ingredients such as dried scallops and dried octopus is unavoidable. This makes the soup so refreshing sweet with the natural sweetness from dried seafood. You can omit if you don’t like seafood, just add in more pork ribs or pork bones. But I personally don’t advise that.

1. Rinse pork ribs, scald in boiling water for awhile, remove and rinse. (Refer to this if you are unsure on how to prepare the ribs)

2. Wash scallops, red dates, dried octopus. Prepare lotus root & arrowroot accordingly.

4. In a soup pot, put everything in (except salt). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer the soup over low heat for 2 hours. And if you have more time, make it 3 hours.

5. Did I ever mentioned to you before that your soup will have the Umph! after 3 hours? Remember to sprinkle some salt to taste before serve.

This soup is high in fiber and is ideal for children as it is very natural and neutral. It strengthens Chi (气) and could boosts immune system.

This delicious soup with ingredients which have been softened through long hours of brewing. I’m sure your family will love this heart-warming pot of soup.

I hope you like it 🙂


Mung Bean & Stinkweed Sweet Soup (绿豆臭草糖水)

My Mother-In-Law always love adding Stinkweed into her Mung Bean Soup. For the 1st time she serve me this, I don’t really like it.

Stinkweed (臭草) is an informal name of a plant called Herba Rutae. Sounds cheem isn’t it? Yea. It sounds cheem to me too. According to the internet, this plant is a chinese medicine for relieving inflammation and pain. To my understanding from the old-folks, this is good to detox our body. I know very little about it. I only know that this is a good stuff. This can be bought from Chinatown wet market. There’s a stall selling varieties of fresh Chinese medicinal plant.

While Mung bean (or people call it green bean) has it’s cooling effect and has the detox effect too. It act as a diuretic, help fortify the stomach and decrease fats. You can get this at any convenient store!

After I knew the goodness of Stinkweed and Mug bean, I started to love this soup. The starchiness & sweetness of the bean itself is simply great.

There’s no recipe given by my Mother-In-Law. All she told me is just “Mung bean, stinkweed, water and rock sugar loh. Just agak-agak (estimate) can already”. Ah.. learning cooking from fellow seniors always must be prepared. Because the word “agak-agak” is their measurement on whatever recipe they use! Hahas…

This is a bowl of goodness that I would recommend you to try, especially when you are living in a country like Singapore & Malaysia… enjoying super hot summer time all year round.

Nothing beats good & nutritious food that you’ve prepared for your loved ones. Right? 🙂