Soybean Soup with Gingko Nuts (Healthy Soup Recipe)

Soybean Soup with Gingko Nuts (Healthy Soup Recipe) Recipe

Soybean soup is my vegetarian version of Vietnamese crab soup, called "súp cua chay". I use instant soy meal that I buy at the Korean market. Once the soy meal mixture is cooked, the appearance of the soup is very similar to crab meat.

In addition to the "fake crab", I add fresh gingko nuts, sautéed shiitake mushrooms and enoki mushrooms to give the soup a meaty texture. The soup is light and healthy, so I serve it often as a first course.


Yields: 10 servings

12.3-ounce package extra soft tofu
½ cup gingko nuts
1 (7-ounce) package enoki mushrooms
1 yellow onion, peeled
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 cups fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons green onions, chopped
8 ounces instant soybean flour
3 teaspoons salt
1 quart water
3 Fuji apples, halved
1 daikon radish, trimmed, peeled and diced
1 (1-inch) chunk rock sugar (about 1 ounce), (or granulated sugar), depending on the sweetness of the apples
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground


Heat the oil in a pan. Add the shallots to the oil and cook, stirring frequently to prevent the shallots from burning, until the color is evenly golden brown. Transfer the shallots to a plate. Add the garlic and cook  until golden. Add the shiitake mushrooms and sauté until translucent. Season with salt. Turn off the heat and add the enoki mushrooms. Set aside.

For the vegetarian broth, combine the shallots, whole onion, apples and 3 quarts of water in a large pot. Bring to a roaring boil for about 30 minutes and cook until the broth is reduced by 1/3. Regularly skim the impurities rising to the surface of the broth using a fine mesh strainer. Add the daikon, gingko nuts and lower the heat to a bubbly simmer. Cook for about 20 more minutes. Add the rock sugar and season with salt. Cook for another 15 minutes. Check the seasoning and adjust sweetness of the broth. The amount of sugar varies with the sweetness of the apples.

Remove and discard the apples and onion.

In a mixing bowl, mix the instant soybean flour with 1 quart of water. Season with salt. Bring the broth back to a full boil and add the soybean mixture, stirring continuously. Once the strings of soybean appear, add the soft tofu, shiitake and enoki mushrooms. Stir well; the tofu will separate into small pieces.

Finish with black pepper and green onions. Serve with chili garlic sauce (tướng ớt) or Sriracha on the side.

Bon appétit!


Enoki are very thin, long white mushrooms that are widely used in Asian cuisine. You can find them in any Asian markets. I also use them for making Vietnamese crêpes, banh xeo.

Daikon (củ cải trắng in Vietnamese) is an Asian radish that looks like a large white carrot. I use this root a lot for making broth. It's also delicious when it's pickled with carrots and is commonly used in Vietnamese bánh mì sandwiches.

You can find rock sugar in any Asian stores. You can also use granulated sugar.

Soybean Flour Recipe with Picture

Silken tofu can be found in any store now but I prefer the one from the Korean store. I find its texture to be creamier. Make sure you check for silken tofu and not firm on the package.

Soft Tofu Recipe with Picture

Gingko Nuts Recipe with Picture
You can find gingko nuts in any Asian stores.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on September 28, 2010.


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