Old Cucumber & Dried Scallop Soup (老黄瓜干貝汤)

Just as I thought I have missed out the Tasty Tuesdays organised by 33 Shades of Green, I realized the link is open for a week. Well I have been busy these days going for a bridal fitting with my bestie who is getting married this coming November and enrolling myself for school for year 2012. But aside from personal stuff, even though it is Wednesday today, I shall not miss out posting a recipe (as cooking is what I love to do).

What I will be sharing is a very common recipe in the Chinese Family. It is not from any books that I have learnt how to cook this but a recipe taught to me by my mother.

This is perfect for me as I have mentioned that I have been ill with cough and green mucus (a sign of heatiness in the body) running from the nose . The old cucumber, being a ‘cool’ properties melon can help counter the ‘heat’ in me and they are also a good source of potassium, beat-carotene and vitamin C.

Nutritional Fact

This soup helps to helps to cool and revitalize your body. It is good for the skin and has age-defying properties despite the wrinkled and ugly appearance of the melon. Looks can be that deceiving ain’t it? Before I forget, dried scallop can help replenish the kidneys and because it has a strong distinctive flavour, no seasoning (eg. salt) is needed to be added into the soup.


  • 1 Medium size Old Cucumber (approx. 400g)
  • 1 Chicken Breast on Bone
  • 1 Medium size Carrot
  • 3 to 6 Pcs of Dried Scallops ( I used the Japanese dried scallop)
  • 6 Pcs Red Dates
  • 2L Water

Method (With Step-By-Step Photo)

  1. Blanched the Chicken Breast in a pot of boiling water. Remember to do it quickly just scalding the surface of the meat. You don’t want the chicken to loose its flavour.
  2. Start boiling the 1.5L of water. By the time, you finish preparing the rest of the ingredients, you will be all ready to cook the soup. The concept is like pre-heating the oven before you start baking.
  3. Flatten the piece of old ginger with the back of your knife. Ginger helps to dispel wind in the body, get rid of the poultry smell and add a refreshing fragrance to the soup.
  4. Peel and cut the carrots to pieces. Carrots add a subtle sweetness to the soup and my Damir loves carrots that are cooked with soup.
  5. De-seed the red dates. Red dates are good for blood circulation.
  6. Wash and scrub the skin of the old cucumber really clean. This is important as we go not peel the skin of the old cucumber. We cook them together. So…. unless you like some traces of mud, soil or whatever in you soup.
  7. Cut the them into elongated pieces and scrap the seeds out with a spoon or the knife. (See Picture 7 & 8 )
  8. Add in chicken, ginger & dried scallops to boiling water. (From Step 2)
  9. Follow by adding the carrots next.
  10. Add in old cucumber and lastly the red dates.
  11. Bring everything to a boil, skim away debris, lower fire, cover & simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

There you have a really good pot of nutritious soup without the need to add any seasoning because there is the subtle and refreshing fragrance from the old cucumber and ginger, sweetness from the ckicken, carrots and red dates; and the scallops that brings out all the flavours of the other goodness from the ingredients that have been extracted out into the soup to another higher level.

This is simply heavenly that glides down the throat and slowly warms up the tummy.

And have I mention that this is my favorite soup especially scrapping out the soft flesh of the old cucumber that melts in the mouth? Yummm……….

Try it and I believe you will love it as much as I do. 🙂


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