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Chinese Kudzu Root with Pork Soup 瘦肉粉葛湯

Monday, November 10, 2008 | Labels: , , , , |

With the winter weather slowly creeping up on us, what better recipe to feature than a great 老火湯 (slow-stewed soup) recipe. 粉葛 or 'fan kot' in Cantonese or 'fen ge' in Mandarin is a root vegetable and is known as kudzu root in English. This humble vegetable has been proven to be very rich in medicinal value and its root is usually stewed in soup for its' heat-dispersing or 解熱 properties. Due to its 解熱 properties, this soup is also very good for one's complexion - tasty and nutritious! This soup is great to drink in hot weather as well - being a huge fan of Cantonese soups, I had the whole pot for myself. The trick with all good 老火湯 or slow-stewed Chinese soups is NOT to add water during the stewing process at all. If you decide to add water in the middle as it's looking not enough - don't, all flavour will be lost and you will have a big pot of watery soup, not very desirable I would say. I cook my soup for about 3-4 hours at least to ensure a tasty and heart-warming pot of soup.


My soups are extremely simple and very tasty if I do say so myself (!), the main ingredients needed for a pot of nutritious and yummy soup are pork (you may use spare ribs or pork shank) depending on the type of soup and your preferences, some dried cuttlefish (these are essential for a 'sweet' pot of soup), some red dates if you prefer and the vegetable of your choice e.g. lotus root, daikon, watercress and in this case kudzu root or 粉葛.

This is how 粉葛 looks like:

A nutritious and tasty pot of good soup is quite central in most Chinese households (especially to the Chinese from the southern part of the country) and some Chinese people even went as far as to say that a women with superior soup-making abilities will be better able to hold on to her husband!


Finally, when I'm about to drink or serve most Chinese soups, I like to sprinkle some chopped green onions and cilantro (Chinese parsley) for added fragrance.

For more soups on Tastes of Home, try:

Chinese Mixed Vegetables Soup

Chinese Lotus Root Soup

1 kudzu root, sliced roughly
3-4 dried baby cuttlefish (rinsed quickly) - you may use 1 whole dried cuttlefish if you wish
2 pieces of pork shanks (about 4 inches long each) - you may substitute with spare ribs
About 10 cups of water
Green onions and cilantro (optional)


First, make sure to peel off the skin of the kudzu root throughly and scrub well under water to remove all traces of dirt. Next, chop the root roughly. Rinse the cuttlefish quickly under cold water and set aside. Blanch the pork shanks in some boiling water for a quick minute and remove once the surface of the meat turns colour. Wash off the pork.


Get a pot of boiling water ready in a soup pot. Once the water is boiling, place the kudzu root slices, pork and cuttlefish into the boiling water gently. Bring to a boil again, turn the heat to low. Cook uncovered for about 3-4 hours. Add enough salt to taste before serving. Garnish with some green onions and cilantro. Serve hot.

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noobcook said...

great recipe and info! After slow stewing for a few hours, this soup must be so thick and rich, yummy. Lovely photography as well ;)

Tastes of Home said...

thanks wiffy! yeah, I didn't really have too add much salt, it was very flavourful after so many hours :)

shavedicesundays said...

Hmmm, I don't think i've ever had kudzu root before. I'll have to keep an eye out for it next time. I'm a big soup fan. Thanks for the recipe!

Dora said...

Hmmm...have not really seen this type of root before. So interesting!

Tastes of Home said...

shavedicesundays - yeah, this fan kot (in cantonese) is very nutritious and great for complexion hehe. tasty too!

dora - yeah, when i was a kid, I hated this so my mom was shocked I made this haha

Peppercorn Press said...

Thank you for sharing this soup. I just found your site, today, through We adopted our daughter from China 2 years ago and have tried to implement more traditional Chinese cooking into our routine (along with teaching her customs, etc). I personally LOVE Chinese soups, so I can't wait to try this with my family. I look forward to browsing your site for more delicious recipes.

Tastes of Home said...

hi peppercorn press - welcome! glad u like this recipe and hope u will the others to your liking as well :)

Ning said...

We love Chinese soup simmered for many hours too! But this is the first time I have heard of Kudzu root. Will have to look into that. Thanks!

tigerfish said...

kudzu root ? what is that? Never heard the chinese version of this too....hmmmm...

Tastes of Home said...

^ LOL kudzu root is the root vege u see in my kot is a very popular for soup esp in HK, sometimes the fan kot is cooked with fish for patients after undergoing operation, HTH :)

Beachlover said...

oh! I love this soup,fan kor!! you cook all my favourite food and soup!!:D I usually add in sweet date,red date and oyster into it!! yummy!!

mikky said...

my hubby would love that... :)

diva said...

i could really do with that bowl of hearty soup now. like really!!! looks wonderful. x

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