Sunday, April 12, 2009

Chinese Carrot and Pork Soup

ETA - My mother in law recently made this with a small piece of "gwo pei", or dried mandarin skin. It was amazing! It smelled absolutely fabulous. You can buy gwo pei in an asian market, or just make your own. Make sure you use small oranges with VERY thin skins - like Cuties. You don't want any discernible pith inside. 

We call this Hung Louh Baat Jyu Gwat Tong (Carrot and Pig Bone Soup). It is super simple to make and makes a delicious, healthy broth.

Pig Neck Bones should be available in any grocery store that specializes in Asian or South American fare. I buy mine for $.99 lb when they go on sale. They usually run around $1.50 lb. Normal pork chops, sliced, can replace the pig neck bones if you can't find them.

Fill a soup pot about 2/3 full with water.


1/2 lb pig neck bones

1 1/2 lb carrots, peeled and chopped into 3" sections

4 Honey Dates (look in an Asian market)

(Honey Date)

Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 3 hours or until carrots are tender and the broth is a rich brown. Periodically skim off any foam that collects on top of the soup and discard.

Season to taste with soy sauce.

To serve, remove the carrots, pork and dates to a serving bowl. Serve* the broth as a first course, and eat the carrots and pork over rice.

*We have a special little pitcher, specifically for Chinese soups, with a strainer on the top to catch any errant bits of "choi liu" (ingredients) and a spout that begins at the bottom of the pitcher to separate the broth from any oil that might be floating on top. A normal gravy separator would work fine, and is identical to my special pitcher...with the exception of the Japanese gibberish on my pitcher. You won't find that on your gravy separator if you buy it at Target. Other than that, they're identical.


  1. Thank you! I must have 20 pounds of Pig Neck Bones in my freezer and have really been wondering how to make a really great Pig Neck Soup... I think it would be far easier to simply come visit and eat your soup and bring my own bones.

  2. in hong kong we usually add green carrot as well as apricot seeds to the broth

  3. i've never seen or heard of flavoring a long boiled soup with soy sauce. that is a complete no no in chinese soups.

  4. My goodness, people have strong opinions about soup! I admit, soy sauce is not traditional. Then again, I'm a white I'm not your traditional Chinese cook, either. I learn what I can from my (Chinese) MIL and do what's tasty. Thanks for stopping by, Anonymous!

    PS - As I've observed, the bits and bobs in the soup are to be fished out and served with a saucer of soy sauce, for dipping. That is where I got the idea to put soy sauce in my soup. It's delicious! ;-) But yes, salt would be more traditional for seasoning soup.

  5. Wait, I have just SEEN and HEARD "people" putting soy sauce in the soup. But I agree, salt is so much better for you and tastier. HAHA.