Asian soup

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Asian soups
Instant miso soup.jpg
A bowl of miso soup
Cookbook:Asian soups  Asian soups
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Asian soups
Instant miso soup.jpg
A bowl of miso soup
Cookbook:Asian soups  Asian soups

Asian soups are soups traditionally prepared and consumed in the cultures of Asia. Such soups are usually based solely on broths and lacking in dairy products such as milk or cream. Thickening for the soups usually consists of refined starches from corn or sweet potatoes.

Asian soups are generally categorized as either savoury or sweet. The quality of a savoury soup is determined mainly by its fragrance and umami or "xian" flavour, as well as, to a lesser extent, its mouthfeel. Sweet soups such as tong sui are enjoyed for their aroma, mouthfeel, and aftertaste. Many soups are eaten and drunk as much for their flavour as for their health benefits and touted for their purported revitalizing or invigorating effects.

Traditional soup bases[edit]

Since many Asian soups are eaten as one of the main dishes in a meal or in some cases served straight with little adornment, particular attention is paid to the soups' stocks. In the case of some soups, the stock ingredients become part of the soup.


A bowl of wonton noodle soup

There are several basic traditional soup stocks in Chinese cuisine:[1]

Ingredients used in making Chinese stocks can be recooked again to produce a thinner broth with less intense flavours, known as ertang (二湯, Pinyin:èr tāng, lit. second soup).


Main article: Dashi

Collectively known as dashi, most Japanese soup bases are flavoured primarily with kombu (kelp) and shavings from dried skipjack tuna (katsuobushi). They are soaked or simmered to release the umami flavours of the shavings, and the resulting broth is strained. Mirin is occasionally added to the broth to further enhance the taste of the broth.


A bowl of seolleongtang


The soup bases are used to cook a large variety of soups

American Chinese cuisine[edit]

In American-Chinese restaurants some of the most popular soups are: egg drop soup, hot and sour soup, wonton soup, and chicken with corn soup.




A bowl of canh chua

Vietnamese cuisine features two basic categories of soup: noodle soups and broths (Vietnamese: canh).

Noodle soups are enjoyed for both breakfast and dinner. Popular noodle soups include phở, rice vermicelli (bún bò Huế, bún mọc, bún ốc, Bún riêu cua, bún suông, etc.), (mì Quảng in Quảng Nam Province), bánh canh, bánh đa cua (in Hai Phong province), nui, and hủ tiếu.

Broths are thin and generally made from vegetables and spices. They are typically eaten over steamed rice in ordinary lunches and dinners. Common broths include canh chua rau đay and canh chua cá lóc.

Hot pot (lẩu) is a popular traditional soup in Vietnam. Mushroom hot pot was popularized by the Ashima Restaurant chain in Vietnam.

A thick, sweet, porridge-like soup called chè is eaten as a snack.


Many Asian soups are consumed as a partial restorative and heavily linked with theories from traditional Chinese medicine. Exotic rarities like tiger penis soup fall in this category. There are many varieties of such tonic soups, ranging from pungent to light in flavour, and from savoury to sweet.[6] Some soups of the same name may consist of different recipes due to regional preferences or differences. Such soups commonly contain one or more meats (typically pork or chicken), vegetables, and medicinal herbs.

The most commonly used herbs, which are believed to be mildly invigorating, restorative, or immune-stimulating in nature, include wild yam (Dioscorea opposita), Astragalus membranaceus, Codonopsis pilosula, Angelica sinensis, wolfberry, and jujube.[7] Ginseng and lingzhi are used less frequently, due to their comparatively higher price.

Many specific recipes for tonic soups using other herbs exist. Some of the best-known are:


A pot of samgyetang (Korean chicken ginseng soup)

The Asian soup noodle is a large portion of long noodles served in a bowl of broth. In comparison, western noodle soup is more of a soup with small noodle pieces. The former dish is dominated by the carbohydrate while the latter dish is dominated by the soup liquid.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]