If you're a fan of eating at Chinese restaurants, you'll be aware there is a wide selection of soup dishes on the menu. However, people often overlook the soup choices and opt for starters they know and love, such as prawn toast or chicken satay skewers. Some of the soups on the menu aren't so familiar, but fans of Chinese cuisine are missing out when they ignore the soup dishes. Here are four authentic Chinese soups that are not to be missed.
Lotus Root And Pork Soup
Lotus root and pork soup is a simple, flavour-packed dish that consists of pork on the bone, such as the ribs or the neck, that is low cooked with delicate lotus root slices. The soup is seasoned with ginger and spring onions and is typically served with a small bowl of soy sauce to dip the meat into. This is a hearty soup that's perfect on a cold day and a real treat for your taste buds.
Fish And Tofu Soup
Fish and tofu soup is a light dish that combines flaky white fish with cubes of firm tofu, which are cooked in a chicken broth seasoned with sesame oil, red chillies and fresh coriander. The soup also contains beansprouts, sliced cabbage and shitake mushrooms, which impart an umami flavour that will satisfy any craving for earthy, savoury food. Enjoy this soup as a starter before a fish-based main dish or as a light lunch.
Oxtail soup has a rich, meaty flavour due to the oxtails being roasted before being added to the soup broth. It also contains daikon radish, which is similar to turnips and imparts a mild peppery flavour that complements the meat. Like many authentic Chinese soups, oxtail soup is a simple dish with a water-based broth that gets its flavour from the meat and vegetables that are cooked in it. It's served with a garnish of fresh coriander and is a great dish for those trying oxtails for the first time, as there are no other strong flavours in the soup that taint the natural richness of the meat.
Sesame Oil Chicken Soup
Sesame oil chicken soup is a warming dish that's traditionally associated with boosting blood circulation, so it's popular in the winter. It consists of flavourful chicken legs or thighs that are browned before being added to a tangy broth made with rice wine, ginger and black sesame oil. The soup is garnished with julienned spring onions and can be enjoyed on its own or with a side serving of steamed dumplings.
These are just a few examples of the delicious soups that are commonly found on the menus of Chinese restaurants across Australia. So, next time you visit your favourite Chinese restaurant, don't overlook the soup menu — you may be surprised by how flavourful these dishes are.
To learn more, contact a Chinese restaurant.