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Chinese Black Bean Soup

Chinese Black Bean Soup
Nourishing Chinese Soup: Black Bean Soup

Black bean soup (黑豆汤) is one of my favourite Chinese soups. Black beans (also known as black turtle beans due to their shiny, dark, shell-like appearance) are super nourishing, they have a deep “meaty” taste akin to mushrooms, and are packed with antioxidants. They are also known to be an excellent source of cholesterol-lowering fiber and high quality protein. Pregnant women love to consume this soup during their pregnancy and confinement. My mum used to cook this soup quite often when I was young so this is comfort food for me. It never fails to perk me up when I am feeling tired. I also like the fact that this soup does not require many ingredients and is so easy to make.

(Makes 2-3 bowls)

– 200g pork ribs
– 1 dried cuttlefish
– 2 litres water
– 150g black beans, rinsed thoroughly till water runs clear
– 8 red dates

Chinese Black Bean Soup
Some of the ingredients

1. Blanch pork ribs in boiling water to remove scum.
2. Place blanched pork ribs, and the rest of the ingredients in a pot.
3. Bring into a rapid boil for about 10 minutes, and then simmer on lower fire for approximately 50 minutes. Season with a bit of salt if preferred.

Cooking Note: When I normally cook Chinese soups especially those containing Chinese herbs, it’s usually preferred to simmer the soup for a long time to bring out the flavours. But in the case of the black bean soup, I personally find that once the flavours come out, the soup is sweet upon tasting and the water is reduced significantly, you don’t have to continue simmering for hours. This is because the black beans absorb the water and boiling accelerates it, so you won’t be left with much soup if you were to simmer it for hours. Besides boiling, you can try slow cooking or double boiling.

Further reading on black beans
The Chinese Soup Lady

Black Bean Soup
A spoonful of goodness

I’m sending this nourishing soup to Lori Lynn – Taste with the Eyes who is the hostess this month for My Legume Love Affair 11th Helping, a legume-cooking food event started by my dear friend Susan aka The Well-Seasoned Cook.

By the way, regular visitors may have noticed the new look of my food blog. The previous design was quite plain and I have been wanting to revamp it for a while. I’m so glad it is finally done and I’m quite pleased with it. I hope you find the new design more pleasing and easier to use. Do give me some feedback if you have any ;)

65 comments on “Chinese Black Bean Soup”

  1. yeah i like the new layout, very clean and pleasant to the eyes. heh you designed it yrself? and the cute logo :)

  2. You always have new pieces of cutlery showcasing ur food ~ makes me wonder how many bowls and plates u have inside ur cabinet!

  3. Haven’t had black bean soup yet, but it looks delicious!

  4. hey Wiffy, I havent had this in a looong time!! looks great here! mom’s comfort food is always the best hehe

  5. Looking good! I probably have to try the vegetarian version. yummyyyyy. Thanks

  6. Hi,

    Just wondering if we need to dry fry the beans first?


    • U can if u want to. Some people do that. But I don’t. I just rinse the beans till the water runs clean and throw them into the pot. :-)

  7. Thanks for replying.


  8. Your blog design is lovely.
    And the soup sounds so very tasty.
    I appreciate your entry to MLLA, it is fabulous!
    Lori Lynn

  9. Dates with beans? Sounds divine, Wiffy! Photos are lovely as always. I see you have some cool Chinese Longevity dishware, too. : )

  10. hi there i cooked it with spare ribs and black bean i boiled for 1 n a half hr . hwever the soup tasted bland even with a dash of salt . no sweetness at all . hw long do i hv to boil it .

    • I boiled mine for about an hour. Not sure why it tasted bland, mine has quite a rich taste. Did you add the red dates and dried cuttlefish?

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