West Lake Beef Soup

The first time I saw the name of this soup, it reminded me of West Lake in Hangzhou. So, before going through this recipe, I thought I’d tell you a bit about West Lake which has a fascinating legend attached to it.

west lake beef soup

West Lake is located in the west of Hangzhou, in the Zhejiang Province in China, and is one of China’s top 10 national scenic spots, as well as being one of the major ornamental freshwater lakes in mainland China.

The Story of West Lake

There are many beautiful myths and legends associated with the origins of West Lake. According to legend, a long, long time ago, the Jade Dragon and Gold Phoenix found a white jade in the Milky Way.

They worked on it for many years until the white jade became a bright pearl. Wherever the pearl shone, evergreen trees sprang up, and flowers bloomed. Eventually, this treasure was discovered by the Queen of Heaven who desired it for herself.

She took the pearl, and when the Jade Dragon and Gold Phoenix realized it was gone, they rushed to take the pearl back. The Queen refused to give it back to them, and a battle ensued.

During the battle, the pearl fell to the earth and became a sparkling lake, which we now know as West Lake. Phoenix Mountain and Jade Emperor Hill forever stand guard over the lake.

If you ever come to visit China, and you go to Hangzhou, you must visit West Lake.

Firstly, here are some shots of the beautiful scenery surrounding West Lake – enjoy!

beautiful scenery surrounding West Lake1

beautiful scenery surrounding West Lake2

beautiful scenery surrounding West Lake3

beautiful scenery surrounding West Lake4

beautiful scenery surrounding West Lake5

beautiful scenery surrounding West Lake6

beautiful scenery surrounding West Lake7

beautiful scenery surrounding West Lake8

You can tell by the name of this traditional soup that it originated from Hangzhou. Some people say West lake soup was so named because the starch and egg-white in it make it look like it has ripples.

west lake beef soup

This soup is indeed a beautiful meal, being thick and meaty with all kinds of colors and good flavors. Once you have finished one bowl, you will want to have a couple more!

It’s made with simple ingredients and is very easy to put together.

Let’s begin.

Ingredients:

  • 300g beef
  • 100g Tofu
  • 50g or approximately three mushrooms

Garnish:

  • 1 egg
  • 30g coriander
  • 10g onion

Seasoning:

  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • a small amount of chopped coriander for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil

The method is as follows:

west lake beef soup steps

Step 1

It does not matter which cut of beef you choose as long as it is chopped finely or minced.

Using your knife, cut the meat very finely (it is better to buy a whole piece of meat and cut it up than to buy beef mince, as it is not very good quality and does not taste as good).

Step 2

Cut the mushrooms and tofu into small pieces, all the same in size.

Step 3

Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Whisk the whites up with chopsticks.

Step 4

Dip the beef in cold water. This is mainly to prevent it all from sticking together into a ball when it is boiled.

Step 5

Fill a pot with water and boil. Add the beef and continue to boil. The blood will float to the top of the water as the beef cooks. When it is no longer pink, pour it out of the pot using a sieve to drain it.

Step 6

Pour about 500ml of water or chicken stock (using stock will improve the flavor) into the pot and boil. Add the mushrooms, tofu and beef into the boiling water.

Step 7

Turn the stove down and simmer the soup for a minute. Season it with the salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Add the egg white to the soup and slowly stir in one direction until the egg turns into ribbons. Finally, add the chopped coriander, diced green onion and peanut oil and your delicious West Lake Beef Soup is completed. Garnish with a little extra chopped coriander.

 west lake beef soup

Cooking Tips for West Lake Beef Soup

  1. Simmer this soup on low heat. High heat will destroy the nutritional value of the ingredients and cause it to become cloudy, marring its appearance.
  2. Turn off the heat when you add the egg white, this helps the protein to keep its nutritional value and will also preserve its appearance.
  3. You can always place the coriander and green onions in a bowl and pour the soup over them, instead of adding them straight into the soup. This will help release their fragrance.
west lake beef soup
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West Lake Beef Soup

West Lake Beef Soup is a mouth-watering and nutritious soup, a perfect winter warmer on those cold wintery days!

Ingredients

For Soup

  • 300g beef
  • 100g Tofu
  • 50g or approximately three mushrooms

Garnish

  • 1 egg
  • 30g coriander
  • 10g onion

Seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • a small amount of chopped coriander for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil

Instructions

  1. Using your knife, cut the meat very finely

  2. Cut the mushrooms and tofu into small pieces, all the same in size.

  3. Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Whisk the whites up with chopsticks.

  4. Dip the beef in cold water. 

  5. Fill a pot with water and boil. Add the beef and continue to boil. The blood will float to the top of the water as the beef cooks. When it is no longer pink, pour it out of the pot using a sieve to drain it.

  6. Pour about 500ml of water or chicken stock (using stock will improve the flavor) into the pot and boil. Add the mushrooms, tofu and beef into the boiling water.

  7. Turn the stove down and simmer the soup for a minute. Season it with the salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Add the beaten egg to the soup and slowly stir in one direction until the egg turns into ribbons. Finally, add the chopped coriander, diced green onion and peanut oil 

This soup is not only delicious and simple to put together, it is also rich in nutrients.

Beef:

Beef is rich in protein, and the amino acids in it are similar in composition to those in the human body; more so than, for example, pork’s amino acids. Beef can improve growth and development; it can also help post-operative/nursed people in the replenishment of blood, it can help to repair tissue and is particularly suitable for winter as a tonic, to warm the stomach.

Mushrooms:

Mushrooms play not only a role in the appearance of the soup but also help in lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Eating mushrooms can help prevent colds and other viruses and can assist in preventing cancer by inhibiting the growth of tumors.

Egg Whites:

Eggs whites are high in protein and contain all eight essential amino acids. They also contain a small amount of acetic acid, which moisturizes the skin; being slightly acidic they can help prevent bacterial infections. Lastly, eggs are a great detoxifying food.

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