Chinese Chayote Soup

Chinese soup is a tradition during dinner. They were always a staple in my house growing up and every time I would go over to my grandparent’s house, they would have a pot of soup boiling away. Many soups have beneficial qualities to them and every family has a unique twist to their traditional soup. I wanted to document this recipe before it becomes lost.


For this recipe, it is necessary to have

  • goji berries (only need to be cooked for 30 minutes)
  • Chinese almonds
  • large carrots (only need to be cooked for 30 minutes)
  • water chestnuts
  • chayotes
  • dried squid
  • orange peel
  • pork spine or tail

The rest of these are needed but if you don’t have one or two your soup will still turn out.

  • dried black wood ear fungus (only need to be cooked for 30 minutes)
  • dried Chinese yam
  • dried dates
  • lotus seeds
  • dried lily bulb
  • dried longan


This soup does take a good portion of the day but it is worth it in the end. Begin by soaking one dried squid  with 3-4 orange peels and 2-3 Chinese yams. They will need to be soaked for an hour.


To get clean soup, boil the pork tail until cooked and then rinse the meat and bones. You will need to also scrap any coagulated blood from the bones with a sharp knife.

When it has been an hour, take the orange peels and remove the white rind. This will make you soup bitter. Pull and remove the outer skin of the squid. Remove the eyes of the squid by cutting them out with scissors. If you leave them in, they have a tendency to make your soup black. Cut the rest of the squid into chunks.


The next step is to water and remove the skin off the water chestnut. We used about 10-12 of them.


Cut two chayotes in half and remove the put. Them the rest of the flesh into chunks.

20160523_125018Rinse the Chinese almonds, lotus bulb, longan, dates, and lotus seeds in water.  There isn’t real measurements with this. It is just “that much” or a small handful. Place these ingredients into a pressure cooker along with the pork.


Add the chayotes and chestnuts to the pressure cooker. Top everything with water until it covers all the ingredients.20160523_133209

Cook on medium high for 2-3 hours. Remove from heat and let the pressure cooker cool before opening the lid. 30 minutes before serving, add the carrots, black fungus and goji berries and cook until the carrots are soft. These ingredients do not take that long to cook so they can’t go in with the other ingredients at the beginning.

Serve this soup hot at the beginning or end of the meal. If you make a lot of it, you can save it and have it the next night. Eat it now or eat it later. Enjoy!
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