Old cucumber soup is another slow cooked Cantonese soup recipes which I love. After simmering this soup at low heat for a couple of hours, the old cucumber will turn really soft and has a creamy texture to it. The health benefits of ‘lou wong kua’ as it is known to the Chinese community are abundance. It contains high dietary fiber, iron, calcium and even said to have anti-aging properties.
Why this recipe works?
It’s about the balance of ingredients for the best flavour. Also, Cantonese soups is all about slow cooking. The nutritional benefit of the ingredient such as red dates provide natural sweetness to the soup while dried scallops and dried oysters add a hint of saltiness to it.
These ingredients can be substituted with dried cuttlefish, if that is your preference.
Old cucumber vs regular cucumber/English cucumber
Old cucumbers which are also known as yellow gourds can be easily found in Asia or sometimes at certain American Asian grocers. Otherwise, it is not commonly sold. I had tried substituting them with other types of cucumbers which are available in Germany.
I found that the outcome of the soup using the regular and the English cucumbers is very similar. You can definitely substitute them to enjoy your soup in any parts of the world!
Avoid old cucumber soup if pregnant
This soup is said to have cooling properties because of the old cucumber used in the recipe. Therefore, pregnant or menstruating women may want to avoid this as it might be too cooling and affect the yin and yang in the body.
Substitute pork with other meat or vegetables
Simply substitute pork bones with chicken carcass or chicken thighs (with meat). Beef bones are also another possible substitute. For vegan eaters, use vegetable stock instead.
Boiling old cucumber soup in slow cooker
I usually boil soups over low heat in a stainless steel pot or a cast iron pot. Use a slow cooker, if you have one. It definitely makes boiling soups easier and is recommended to boil the soup for 6-8 hours on low heat to allow the ingredients to slowly release their nutrients.
Otherwise, boil the soup at high heat for 3-4 hours.
Enjoy the soup along with other dishes during meals. It is perfect for warm weather because of its cooling properties.