Jun 19, 2021

Chinese Herbal Soup with Pork Ribs 藥燉豬小排

Whole pork ribs, like the rack of pork ribs usually used in barbecue works the best for this Chinese herbal soup recipe. However, I was having a hard time sourcing it, so instead, I used a smaller cut of ribs instead. Just keep in mind that substitutes are fine, but must have some bones to go with it. You can still use whole meaty chunks for the sake of easy eating, but be sure to throw in some bones during the cooking process. It can make a big difference in the end, both flavor and texture wise.

Chinese herbal soup with pork ribs 藥燉豬小排 - 

Chinese herbal soup with pork ribs 藥燉豬小排


  • 500 grams pork ribs
  • 5 slices rhizoma chuanxiong 川芎
  • 2 slices angelica sinensis root 當歸
  • 1 palmful astragalus root 黃耆
  • 1 piece dried tangerine peel 陳皮
  • 1/8 cup goji berries 枸杞
  • 4 cups water 
  • 1/2 cup Chinese rice cooking wine
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil/olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Peel and halve the garlic cloves. Destem and section the scallion. 

Chinese herbal medicine including rhizoma chuanxiong, angelica sinensis root, astragalus root, and dried tangerine peel

As for the Chinese herbs/herbal medicine, I kind of just eyeball the amount used for this recipe, but still tried to measure and made note for the exact pieces used. Just remember that angelica sinensis root 當歸 can be quite strong after cooking, so 2 to 3 pieces should do the trick. Also the owner at the Chinese medicine store I went to specifically told me to use more astragalus root 黃耆, that's why I ended up with a palmful of it. The flavor is still somewhat mild even after using a palmful of astragalus root, good advice well received and followed.

Take a big pot and drizzle in some preferred cooking oil. Even though this is a pretty "Asian" recipe, I still use olive oil since it's pretty neutral per my taste. Also add in the garlic, scallion sections, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Sear till both the garlic and scallion turn slightly golden brown.

Add in pork ribs and sear till the meat changes from red to white color.

Making Chinese herbal soup with pork ribs

Pour in 4 cups of water, 1/2 cup of Chinese rice cooking wine, 5 slices of rhizoma chuanxiong 川芎, 2 slices angelica sinensis root 當歸, 1 palmful astragalus root 黃耆, and 1 piece dried tangerine peel 陳皮. 

Chinese herbal soup with pork ribs 藥燉豬小排

Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer. Put on the lid and cook for 30 minutes.

Drop in goji berries toward the end and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. You can decide whether to keep the lid on or remove it, the point is to soften the goji berries and release some of its sweetness to the juice.

Chinese herbal soup with pork ribs 藥燉豬小排

Once the goji berries softened, this Chinese herbal soup is ready to serve. 

Chinese herbal soup with pork ribs 藥燉豬小排

There is no need to scoop out the Chinese herbs, simply let them continue to soak in the juice. In fact, most Chinese herbs should be softened by now, it's totally fine if you happened to eat a few smaller broken pieces.

Chinese herbal soup with pork ribs 藥燉豬小排

It's more like a slightly soupy dish instead of a full-on watery soup. Despite the Chinese herbs used, the flavor is rather light. You can prepare a small portion of soy sauce with chopped red chilies to dip the pork ribs on the side, or simply use more salt for the entire soup if preferred.

Extended reading:


Jun 10, 2021

Two-Color Madeleines 雙色瑪德蓮

There were a few madeleine recipes from my blog before. However, most of them, the images are now broken and showing blank right now, which I will explain why in the end of this post. The madeleines I've made before were more of a simple approach. Meaning that I mix the dry ingredients with wet ingredients, with no waiting time, simply pour the batter to the mold then bake right away.

This time, I'm going to try something that requires a bit more patience, with extra waiting time for the batter to rest, and see if it'll make any significant difference in texture and consistency.

Two-color madeleines - 

Two-color madeleines

Ingredients (about 12 pieces)?
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder

Simple honey glaze:
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon drinkable water


Remove the eggs from the fridge and use it when they warm up to room temperature. Melt the butter in a lowered heat oven, just to the point it resembles melted ice cream consistency.

Sift 1 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt to a bowl. Whisk till blended.

Prepare a stand mixer with whisk attachment. Simply use the big bowl attached, break in two room temperature eggs. Whisk under medium speed and slowly add in 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, a little bit at a time.

Switch to higher speed and whisk till doubled in volume. It can take few minutes.

Whisking egg

Take out the bowl and mix in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Also pour in sifted flour mixture, half at a time. Fold with a spatula till incorporated. 

Madeleine batter

Evenly divide the batter in half to separate bowls. Leave one batter as it is. As for the other batter, sift in 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and mix till incorporated. Cover both bowls with cling foil and let them rest in room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Two-color madeleine batter

Back to the melted butter, save about 2 tablespoons on the side, which will be used in brushing the madeleine pan.

For the remaining butter, evenly divide that to each batter. It might seem too buttery or too wet in the beginning. Just go ahead and mix till smooth, the batter will start to take in or more so absorb the liquid butter. Covered with cling foil and let both batter rest again for another 30 minutes.

Two-color madeleine batter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit/200 degrees Celsius. Prepare two small Ziploc bags, scoop each batter to each bag. Seal and made a small cut on the corner as our piping bags. Simply use piping bags if available.

Brush the madeleine pan with saved melted butter. Carefully fill the mold with half of the plain batter and half of the chocolate batter. I tend to overfill the space, but the madeleines will turn out fine still. Tap the pan, like dropping the pan down to the countertop to help even out the batter. Do that a few times.

Two-color madeleine batter

Into the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or till the edge turns slightly golden brown. You can also check by sticking a toothpick to the center and see if it comes out clean. But usually if the edges start to brown, the madeleines should be ready, judging from my past experiences.

Remove the madeleine pan from heat and let it cool for couple minutes. 

Two-color madeleine

Remove the madeleines from the mold to a cooling rack.

Two-color madeleine

You can serve as it is, or brush the top with some simple honey glaze. The glaze can be done in no time by mixing 1 tablespoon of honey with 1 teaspoon of drinkable water, a few drops if you prefer a thicker glaze consistency. Brush the glaze on madeleines. Wait till the glaze sets then ready to serve.

Two-color madeleine

I personally enjoy the chocolate side even more, so when I eat these madeleines, I tend to bite the plain part first then savor the chocolate flavor in the end. Guess I'll just have to make full on double chocolate madeleines in the future and write a recipe about it.

Two-color madeleine

About the extra waiting time, I think it was well worth the wait. This batch of madeleines was slightly more moisturized then the ones I've made before. Also a wee bit more buttery in taste too. However, it does require some extra work instead of my old blend and bake method. Give and take, if the madeleines are going to be dipped or covered in extra sauce, go with the easier route. If you would like to enjoy the madeleines without much "decors" on top, perhaps give this "waiting method" a try and find out which one you prefer the most?

By the way, I was checking through some of the older posts and found out that all the images were broken, like they are not showing at all. The reason is that I used Photobucket for my earlier blog images, but their service has become extremely unreliable these past few years. Besides reliability, the storage fee has gone up to a point that I think it's totally not worth the money for the service I get. 

Even though I don't like finding any broken images on my blog, but since most of these posts were from at least a year ago, I've decided just say goodbye to Photobucket once and for all. I've got (hopefully) better recipes and reviews nowadays. So the old entries, should just let it go instead of paying again for worse than mediocre image hosting service just for my pictures to show again. Imgur, another image hosting platform, works like a charm on the other hand.

Other western dessert recipes (with photos not yet jeopardized by Photobucket):