fine food - Healthy Asian Winter Soups
Written by Sylvia Gavin
With the arrival of the colder winter months, there is nothing quite like a hearty bowl of soup to warm both body and soul. These three Asian broths are great examples of perfect winter-warming, health-conscious cuisine.
Jjigae – South Korea
Cooked and served still bubbling in an earthenware pot, this soft, spicy tofu stew is classic comfort food in South Korea. The best part is that no two jjigae are ever the same. The soup changes with the season (and even through it), depending on what ingredients are available. You may find leafy greens, oysters, onions, mussels, spring onions, clams, mushrooms, and courgettes lurking in the stew, or you may not! Jjigae lends itself to sneaking in leftovers, so get ready for some serious fridge foraging! A raw egg is cracked into the broth just before serving.
Kaldereta – Philippines
This hugely popular Filipino tomato-based soup is traditionally made with goat cooked with hearty portions of vegetables and spices. Chicken liver, stirred in at the end, gives the stew its thick, creamy texture. Although illustrative of Spain’s influence on Filipino cuisine (the Spanish word caldera means ‘cauldron’), these days it is made with distinct Filipino flair. Kaldereta is on the menu of almost every turo-turo roadside eatery in the Philippines. The word turo in Filipino literally means ‘point’, and refers to how you order; you quite simply point to the dish you want.
Chongqing Spicy Hotpot – China
Traditional communal dining doesn’t get better than this. Gather a group of friends around a simmering Chongqing hotpot and cook your very own feast at the table. Ingredients are poached in the boiling broth, and the extra culinary kick comes in the shape of an array of dipping sauces. A Chongqing hotpot differs dramatically from the hotpots eaten in other parts of China as it is famed for its tongue-numbing spiciness. Dangle your food in the broth with your chopsticks and get ready for a taste sensation. You have been warned!