Chicken Long Rice

Chicken Long Rice

March 13: National Chicken Noodle Soup Day

Whether found at the fanciest luau or in a humble Hawaiian home, chicken long rice is the islands’ comfort food equivalent of chicken noodle soup. Ironically, the “rice” in this dish is actually bean thread (also known as cellophane noodles for their transparency). The taste is similar to tinolang manok without the noodles. The hot gingery broth helps relieve congestion, the chicken provides protein and mushrooms are full of vitamins, making this textured noodle soup a healthy option.

For National Chicken Noodle Soup Day, try a dish with a tropical twist and make some chicken long rice. Aloha!

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4-5 bunches of long rice
  • 5-6 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • water
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4-6 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, crushed
  • 2 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 1 stalk green onions, chopped (optional garnish)

Directions

In a large dish, pour boiling water to cover the long rice. Soak until soft, at least 30 minutes. Cut into shorter pieces. Drain before using. In a shallow dish, pour boiling water to cover the dried shiitake mushrooms. Soak until soft, at least 30 minutes. Remove from the water, squeeze out excess liquid and slice the mushrooms. Set aside.

Chicken Long Rice

While the noodles and mushrooms are being hydrated, chop the chicken and ginger. Heat the oil on medium high and sauté the garlic cloves. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned. Pour the water to cover the chicken and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper.

Chicken Long Rice

Lower the heat, add the bouillon cubes and ginger, cover and simmer for 30 minutes to let the flavors develop. Add the mushrooms. Gently stir in the noodles and cook on medium heat for another 10 minutes. Discard the ginger and garlic. Ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with chopped green onions. Serve hot with chopsticks and a soup spoon.

Chicken Long Rice

Notes

  • Season the broth with a tablespoon of soy sauce, oyster sauce or hot sauce (optional).
  • Search our blog for other soup recipes.

Portuguese Bean Soup (Slow Cooker)

Portuguese Bean Soup

January 6: National Bean Day

Although Pacific Islanders and Asians dominate Hawaii’s immigrant population, there is a sizable settlement of Europeans (Brits, Scots, Russians, Germans, Spaniards and Portuguese) on the islands.

Portuguese cuisine is especially popular in Hawaii as the people shared their cultural cooking customs at the historic plantations. We especially love their donuts (malassadas), sweet bread (pão doce), sausage (linguiça) and bean soup served in several restaurants and food trucks.

This blog post presents a slow cooker recipe for Portuguese bean soup, a hearty stew of linguiça, ham hocks, vegetables and kidney beans. Portuguese bean soup is perfect for cold winter days, during January’s National Soup Month and National Slow Cooker Month and on National Bean Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from the Star-Advertiser)

For the soup stock

  • 2-3 smoked ham hocks
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
  • 3-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

Directions

Line a 6-quart slow cooker with the appropriate cooking bag. Place the ham hocks in the crock pot and pour water over them. Sprinkle rosemary and crushed garlic.

Portuguese Bean Soup

Chop the cilantro and add to the crock  pot. Cover with the lid and cook on low for at least four hours until the ham hocks are tender. Remove the ham hocks from the crock pot and slice off the meat, discarding the bones and fatty skin. Return to the crock pot and add the remaining stew ingredients.

Portuguese Bean Soup

 For the stew

  • 12 ounces Portuguese sausage, sliced ½-inch thick
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large onion, sliced and quartered
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) kidney beans with liquid
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 3 cups cabbage, shredded

Directions

In the crock pot, add the sliced Portuguese sausage, tomatoes, onions and potatoes.

Portuguese Bean Soup

Mix in the carrots, kidney beans and tomato sauce. Stir until blended. Cover and cook on low for 6-10 hours or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the cabbage, cover and cook for another 30 minutes or until the cabbage is soft. Ladle the stew into soup bowls and garnish with a sprigs of fresh cilantro or parsley. Serve hot with Portuguese sweet bread or over steamed white rice.

Portuguese Bean Soup

Notes

  • Obrigado (thanks) to Lisa L. for the San Miguel rooster prop in the final food photo above that she got for us in Portugal. She also used to be stationed in Hawaii years ago and is back this year for a few months working for the U.S. Navy. Lucky for her, she gets to eat Portuguese bean soup and other authentic local-style foods in Islander’s home state!
  • Other versions of the Portuguese bean soup recipe include macaroni to add texture and thickness to the broth.

Cock-a-Leekie

(Scottish Chicken and Leeks Soup)

Cock-a-leekie

January: National Soup Month

The ultimate comfort food for cold weather (and for colds and flu) is chicken soup. We have blogged before about tinolang manok, a Filipino-style chicken soup. But this recipe post is for cock-a-leekie, a Scottish-style chicken soup, for Hogmanay (Scottish New Year) and the upcoming Burns Supper celebrations in the latter part of January.

Highlander’s Scottish relatives shared several versions of their recipes with us but we have adapted one for our own tastes and kept the traditional ingredients—cock (chicken), leekie (leeks) and prunes. Other recipes add bacon rashers, rice or barley as thickeners, carrots, celery and onions. The hot broth is heart-warming, the chicken provides protein to the body, leeks lend a natural flavor and the prunes are for fiber.

During National Soup Month, cook a comfort food, cock-a-leekie, (Scottish chicken and leeks soup). Slàinte mhor (great health)!

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 leeks, sliced (white parts only)
  • 6 chicken drumsticks (2 leg quarters or 4 thighs)
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped (optional)
  • 8+ cups of chicken stock
  • bouquet garni (thyme, bay leaf and parsley mix)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ – 1 cup prunes, cut in half

Directions

Wash the leeks thoroughly to remove the dirt embedded below the green tops. Trim the bottom of the leeks and slice the white parts. In a large pot, brown the chicken in melted butter. Stir in the chopped bacon and cook till crisp.

Cock-a-leekie

Add the sliced leeks. Pour in the chicken stock and bouquet garni. Cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat to simmer. Let it stew for one hour, stirring occasionally and adding a cup or two of water to the broth, if more liquid is needed.

Cock-a-leekie

Remove the chicken from the pot, then take the meat off the bones and chop coarsely. Return the chopped chicken meat to the soup pot and season with salt and pepper. Add the prunes and simmer for 15 more minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls or cups. Serve hot with crusty bread.

Cock-a-leekie

Notes 

  • Happy Hogmanay (Scottish New Year) to all our blog readers! Have a happy and healthy new year!
  • We made a bouquet garni by putting a half teaspoon of dried thyme, one bay leaf and a teaspoon of dried parsley in a tea bag. Soak it in the soup while it is simmering over the stovetop. Discard after cooking.
  • Check out other chicken soup recipes by searching our blog.

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

February 4: National Homemade Soup Day

At one of Highlander’s work conference dinners, we met a fellow foodie, Sol S., who aspires to write a comfort food cookbook. He wants to feature recipes that are homemade, healthy and hearty. He shared with us his butternut squash soup recipe to try out in our own kitchen. It was delicious and simply satisfying! Butternut squash soup is comfort food for cold weather and is also appropriate for National Homemade Soup Day.

Recipe

(From Sol S.)

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash (we used 2 12-ounce bags of squash already cut and cubed)
  • 1 sweet onion, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic with skins on
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup sweet corn

Directions

Peel the butternut squash, cut the ends off, remove the seeds and dice into 1-inch cubes. Peel and quarter the onion, removing the ends. In a large bowl, mix the squash, onions and garlic with the olive oil, salt and pepper until well coated. Place on a foil-lined baking pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes (after 30 minutes, stir to roast evenly). Remove from the oven and discard the garlic skins.

Butternut Squash Soup

In a large pot, place the roasted vegetables (squash, onions and garlic) and cover with the chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes. Let cool. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. In a blender, puree in batches. Put the pureed vegetables back in the pot and simmer with the sweet corn until heated through. Serve immediately in soup bowls.

Butternut Squash Soup

Notes

  • Sol S. garnishes his butternut squash soup with cooked shrimp or crabmeat or shredded chicken.  The sweet corn adds texture to this recipe. Good luck to him as he authors his project!
  • Search our blog for other soup recipes.

Okroshka (окрошка)

(Russian Cold Cucumber Soup)

Okroshka

February 4: National Homemade Soup Day

A Russian friend of a friend came to our house blessing in Illinois and was kind enough to share a cultural dish for our special occasion. Kristina Y., whom we met through our Ukrainian friend Olga W., made a refreshing cold cucumber soup called okroshka. They explained that it is eaten during the short summer months in Russia and Ukraine.

Although it is still winter in the northern hemisphere, and hot homemade soups are on most menus, okroshka may still be enjoyed where the weather is warm (such as in the southern hemisphere).

For a refreshing Russian soup, try okroshka for National Homemade Soup Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Bella Online)

Ingredients

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup green onions, sliced (green parts only)
  • 2 sprigs fresh dill, minced
  • 2-3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 ½ cups cooked ham, chopped
  • salt to taste

Directions

Chop the cucumber, slice the green onions, mince the dill and chop the eggs. Place everything in a large bowl.

Okroshka

Pour in the water. Mix in the sour cream. Chop the ham and add it to the soup. Season with salt. Chill in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to blend. Ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with additional dill (optional). Serve cold.

Okroshka

Notes

  • This soup is traditionally made with kvass (a fermented beverage made from rye bread). However, it is difficult to find kvass here so it is fine to use water as the liquid in the soup. Kvass adds a unique flavor to the soup.
  • Instead of ham, sausages or other flavorful cooked meats, such as lamb, beef or chicken, may be used in this recipe.
  • Sometimes ice cubes are added to the recipe to ensure a very chilled soup.
  • Thanks to Olga W. for the ceramic figurine from Ukraine which we used in the final food photo above.
  • January is also National Soup Month.

Leek and Tattie Soup

Leek and Tattie Soup

January: National Soup Month

We warm up in the wintertime with a traditional Scottish soup. Leeks and tatties (potatoes) are cheap and chunky to make a filling first course. Though this soup is simple, it is served at even the finest Burns Suppers. This is when the Scots get together on January 25 to celebrate the birthday and life of their national poet Robert Burns (1759-1796). Traditional Scottish food is served, such as soup, haggis, oatcakes, whisky and dessert. Guests enjoy poetry readings, bagpipe music and Highland dancing.

We like leek and tattie soup straight from the stock pot when we cook it at home. But sometimes we add milk and cream and puree everything in the blender to make a fancy French version of this soup called Vichyssoise. Savor the soup made with leeks and tatties during National Soup Month or on Burns Night on January 25.

Recipe

(Adapted from “Scottish Heritage Food and Cooking” by Carol Wilson and Christopher Trotter)

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion
  • 2 leeks
  • 3 large potatoes
  • ¼ cup butter, divided use
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Chop the onions. Wash and slice the leeks, discarding the thread-like ends on the white part. Wash, peel and chop the potatoes.

Leek and Tattie Soup

In a large pot, slowly melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Saute the onions and the leeks until soft (about 5 minutes) but do not brown. Stir in the potatoes and mix with the onions and leeks. Cook for about 2 minutes. Pour in the chicken or vegetable stock. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pot and simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Ladle into soup bowls and serve hot.

Leek and Tattie Soup

Notes 

  • Happy New Year and Hogmanay to our blog readers! Robert Burns wrote the traditional new year’s anthem “Auld Lang Syne”.
  • Thanks to our neighbors across the street, Glenn and Anna Maria B., who are pioneer settlement re-enactors, for letting us borrow their rustic clad iron soup kettle as a prop for the final food photo.
  • Search our blog for more Scottish and other soup recipes.

Won Ton

Won Ton

January: National Soup Month

Have a ton of fun by cooking crispy won tons or boiling them in a broth. For our new year’s festivities, we frequently feature fried won tons as an appetizer. For cold weather comfort food, we savor the soup. We doubled up on this delightful dumpling recipe post for our blog to wish our readers both a Happy New Year and Happy National Soup Month!

Recipe

(Adapted from Daddy)

For the crispy won tons

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 small can water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 large carrot, washed and peeled
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • won ton pi (wrappers)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with a little water

Directions

Dice the water chestnuts finely. Grate the carrot. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground pork with the diced water chestnuts and grated carrot. Season with black pepper, garlic powder and oyster sauce.

Won Ton

With a won ton pi point down, place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the middle. Moisten the top edges with the egg wash. Press upwards to seal the triangle. Join the bottom points together, sealing with the egg wash.

Won Ton

Place each won ton in a tray lined with waxed paper. Freeze until firm. Transfer to a zipper-top plastic bag until ready to cook. For crispy appetizers, heat the oil and fry the frozen won tons in small batches until golden brown. Be careful not to splatter the hot oil while fyring them. Drain on paper towels. Serve with a favorite dipping sauce.

Won Ton

For the won ton soup

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sherry
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 bunch of baby bok choy leaves, cut into two-inch pieces

Directions

For a hearty soup, do not fry the won tons. Instead, boil the chicken broth in a large pot. Mix in the soy sauce, sherry and sesame oil. Add frozen won tons and lower the heat to simmer for about 5-10 minutes or until the filling is cooked through. For the last few minutes of cooking, add the boy choy leaves. Ladle into soup bowls and serve hot.

Won Ton

Notes

  • February 4 is National Homemade Soup Day.
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