One of my favorite Chinese soups is this black bean soup 烏豆湯. You can easily get black bean in supermarkets but we always get ours from Eu Yan Sang (RM9 for 300g). My mum always pre-soaks the beans for 1 hour before cooking, hence I followed her instructions when I cook with black beans too. You do lose some of the colour from pre-soaking the beans, but in a way, this turned out to be a good thing as my kids prefer brown-coloured soup rather than black.
When I make soup, I usually use either chicken carcass (which you can get easily and cheaply from the wet market) or chicken breast (the soup will be less oily, hence more healthy). With chicken carcass, you will need to skim off the scum and excess oil. I also like adding some dried oysters and dried scallops, as well as onions as they make the soup taste super sweet and delicious! Everyone should try making Chinese soups - it's so easy, it's all a matter of dumping the ingredients into a pot, bring it to the boil and then once it's boiling, lower to simmer and cook for 2-3 hours. I certainly love having a bowl of soup with my dinner :)
My happy, healthy kids!
Chinese Black Bean Soup 烏豆湯
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 2-3 hours
3 chicken carcasses, chopped into rough chunks
200g black bean 黑豆
3 dried oysters
A large handful dried scallops
3 large onions, quartered
1/8 tsp salt
1. Place black beans in a bowl and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.
2. In a large pot, place water, black beans, dried oysters, dried scallops, onions and chicken carcass. Bring to the boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, lower to low heat and simmer for 2-3 hours. Skim off any excess oil or scum using a ladle. Season with salt, to taste.
3. Serve, as part of your meal.
Note: You can use 1.5 chicken breast in lieu of the chicken carcass. If you prefer the soup to be a darker shade, then do not presoak the black beans. Just rinse and add into Step 2.
Do check out the recipe for Chinese ABC soup with sweetcorn here.
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