Category Archives: Soup

The Ever Versatile Dashi Stock

In my previous post on Mock Frog-Leg Congee, I have mentioned that I used the Dashi Stock to cook both the chicken and congee. Therefore I am sharing with you my Dashi stock recipe.

Dashi stock is a clear cooking stock, considered fundamental to Japanese cooking and all you need is 2 main ingredients- the konbu seaweed and the bonito flakes (I used the slices ones) to prepare it, although I also used the 3rd ingredient-the niboshi (dried baby sardines) all the time too.

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Niboshi (S$21 per 100g) is a few times more expansive than our chinese dried ikan bilis and it has a more distinct sweetness to it as well, where else  the chinese dried ikan bilis has a more plain saltish taste to it. However, I am always very careful when buying the niboshi. I never ever buy the off-shelves ones for the fear of it staying already too long the shelves thus causing it to turn slightly rancid with a strong smell of old musty oil (not sure if you get what I mean though?)- These will give you a nasty stock. I will usually wait for the Japanese Food Fare at Isetan Scotts. They will usually have aplenty of it, selling it by the weight, freshly packing it up and sealing it up in front of you. Most of all, I will always get to taste a couple of these dried fishes to make sure that they do not taste or smell rancid, and then I will stock it up and store them in my freezer. They stay for up to a good 1 yr in the freezer.

Anyway let’s come back to dashi stock. This is the stock that makes your miso soup, shoyu noodle broth, cold soba dipping sauce and I even use it as a soup base to cook our slice fish/ meat ball congee. And because it is so simple, so easy, so fuss free and most importantly OIL-FREE(also low-calorie) plus loaded with the calcium, minerals and iodine from the niboshi and konbu and the smoky aroma from the bonitos, this stock is a hell load of goodness for the women and growing children.

Below is my recipie that I am sharing.

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Servings: 2 pax

Ingredients Needed:

  • 500ml Water
  • 10g Niboshi, rinsed (optional to have)
  • 10g Konbu Seaweed, wiped with a damp cloth
  • 10g Bonito Flakes

Method (with step-by-step photos)

  1. Bring the niboshi and water to a boil.
  2. Place in the konbu and bonito flakes.
  3. Cover and let it seeped / soaked for 30mins-60mins.
  4. Strain and the stock is ready to use.

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See that’s how easy it is and usually by 30mins, the stock is already very flavourful. I have been making it so very often that the dashi stock is already an instant fix to cook noodles for supper when all my boys are calling out in hunger. Oh yes, do not be surprise that my boys do make me cook at 11pm at night, when I have already bathe, done my facial mask and all the nighlty routines. 😦 Spolit aren’t they? And because its that easy, I no longer feed my family with instant noodles (unless my hubby and I have a craving for it)

Now what I have shared with you is the ichiban dashi. This is known as the 1st stock where you use the stocks for miso soup or noodle broth. And because the ingredients are rather expansive here in Singapore, After straining out the 1st stock, I will usually add somemore hot water to re-extract more goodness out of the niboshi, kombu and bonito flakes already used for ichiban-dashi. This is known as the niban-dashi. This is good for stews and sauces. I sometimes even boil my broccoli and other greens in it to give it that smoky aroma.

I know you will ask me why so troublesome when there are instant packages of dashi granules around. I am seriously not sure how nice it taste as I have never used them before. But I know that some are also packed with MSG though you can try to look around for those MSG-free dashi powder. And also once you have made your dashi from scratch, it is so addictive that you might perhaps not look back again.

My World of Dashi Stock

My hubby’s favourite wagyu beef bowl with miso soup

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 My boys’ favourite lava egg with somen in dashi stock with a dash of soya sauce.
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Wagyu congee cook in dashi stock to give that distinctive smoky favour.
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Totally YUMMY!!! I just LOVE Dashi.

Soon Huat Pig’s Organ Soup

Since young and being the eldest grand daughter, my eating habits had been shaped by granddad who always brings me out along on his eating spree. Therefore its not surprising that I eat like an old-fashion oldie and my love for animal’s (pork, beef, mutton) innards was already sealed plus it doesn’t help much when my maternal grand dad was a butcher, always leaving the best parts of the porky (kidneys, stomach, tail & liver) all for my mom to cook for me.

Growing older doesn’t seem to make me love these things any lesser and even better still, I managed to get my boys in the same boat as I am 🙂 (not something my hubby is very happy about though)

However if there is one thing that I am very very very particular about is, I don’t just eat pig’s organ just any where because it takes extreme care to wash and prepare the innards (and if not done properly, it will be truly horrendously nasty). Hence most of the time we only go to Serangoon Garden Food Centre for our favourite “Soon Huat Pig’s Organ Soup” .

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My hubby even though is not a fan of pork intestines, stomach, etc,etc….. absolutely adores the incredibly delicious broth and eating the lean pork (while the boys and I finishes up whatever there is in it).

SHPigOS-3We especially love the salty yet subtly sweet gravy that is used to braised the trotters, skin, eggs, organs and all. Drizzle them over over the rice, it is just as good too. I, of course love how cleanly and well prepared the pig’s organs are; no nasty smell, cooked to perfection without being over rubbery that you find it hard to tear it off with your teeth.

Most of all, we absolutely adore the owners who are extremely generous with their gravy and soup top-up and of course for being always helpful. I mean I seldom expect a lot of customer service from the hawker centers because of the economical prices that we are paying. So to me I feel “Soon Huat” has indeed done well in this aspect 🙂

Where To Find?

Soon Huat Pig’s Organ Soup

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49A Serangoon Garden Way, Serangoon Garden Market and Food Centre, #01-42, S(555945)

Hours: Tue – Sun (09:30 – 16:00)

Things to Note:

They only sell white rice. No kway chap 😦

There is usually a Q over the weekends but they are usually quite fast.  However if you do not want to Q, perhaps you can go there around 11am-11.30am instead.

Parking slots are rather limited. However if you are patient enough, space is not exactly difficult to find as people just eat and go.

Pork Ribs Papaya Soup

If there is anything I love most on the dinner table, it will be none other than a bowl of piping hot soup. After scrolling through my tons of food photo, I have decided to share this favourite soup as my 1st entry especially after seeing so many of my friends on facebook being a new mum, I hope this lactating soup will help them to produce more food for their new borns. Well for people without new babies or what so ever, this soup can also be drank because it nourishes the yin and benefits the kidney. 🙂 So… drink to your hearts contents. 🙂

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Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 500g Unripe Papaya (de-seed cut into cubes)
  • 1 Carrot (peel & cut into cubes)
  • 250g Pork Ribs (blanched in hot water)
  • 1tsp Sweet Almonds
  • 1 Dried Fig
  • 1 handful of Red Dates
  • 2.5L Water

Method (with step-by-step photos)

  1. Skin and de-seed the papaya, cut into cubes. Cut the carrot into cubes
  2. Blanced the pork ribs in hot water (this is to remove the blood from the bones), then rinse under running tap to stop the meat from cooking.
  3. Put the meat into the 2.5L of water and bring to a boil. Remove any scum with the ladle
  4. Put in all the other remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, lower fire to small, cover and simmer for 1.5 hour to 2 hours.

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The natural sweetness of this soup needs little seasoning. However if you must, season it with a little salt and then drink to your hearts content. 🙂

Did I mention that cooking this soup brings me lots of happiness because I just love cutting the cross-section of the papaya where a STAR is revealed? Its just so sweet and pretty.

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