Chinese Daikon and Carrot Soup

Chinese Daikon and Carrot Soup Recipe

I’ve been making a lot of Chinese home-style soups lately – Nathan has been going through some health challenges lately and all he wants to eat is clear soup. My house smells like Mom’s house when I simmer a pot of soup.

One most frequently asked questions I get is, “what’s your favorite recipe from your Mom?” It’s tough to just pick ONE single recipe so I’ll pick my top 3 categories – Fried Rice, Crispy Spring Rolls and Soup – any Chinese soup.

Soup is easy to make, but tough to master. Simply boiling ingredients and adding enough salt will make anything from flavored water to somewhat decent soup. I’m talking about making a broth that’s rich and concentrated but also clear and clean.

What is clear and clean soup? Well the French technique to making clear soup, or consommé, is to stir in egg whites. The proteins of the egg whites will collect and trap all of the sediment and fat from the soup, which then gets discarded.

The Asian way is different:

  • Par-boil the meats and/or bones to get rid of the fats and other “muckity muck” that would otherwise cloud and taint your soup. (i.e. skin, blood, bone fragments, dirt – the stuff that makes for cloudy soup)
  • Use umami-boosting dried or preserved ingredients to create nutritional benefits, richness and savoryness – dried Chinese mushroom, dried shrimp, dried scallops, dried abalone, preserved turnip, dried dates, dried lily buds, dried figs….well, you get the picture. If it can be preserved/dried, it will….and the Chinese will use it for soup!

In this recipe for Chinese Diakon and Carrot soup – you can use one or both techniques. I bring a big pot full of water to a rapid boil, then add in my meat/bones. I let it boil like crazy. This violent boiling action “scrubs” the meat and bones, forcing the impurities to be released. Let this happen for 10 minutes and then discard the water and fill the pot with new, clean water to create the broth.

I know your next question….”Doesn’t the par-boiling take away a lot of the flavor?”

The answer is no. Unless you count that scuzzy stuff as flavor. You don’t want that crap in your soup anyways. The real flavor of soup comes from a long, slow, gentle simmer of the meat and bones. Unless you use a pressure cooker, which I sometimes do too. But that’s a different sort of cooking technique.

This recipe, like all of my recipes, is flexible. Don’t eat pork? Use chicken instead. No daikon? Try potato. No dried shrimp/scallops? It’s optional.

Chinese Daikon and Carrot Soup Recipe

Chinese Daikon and Carrot Soup Recipe Video


More Asian Soup Recipes

Chinese Daikon Soup Recipe with Dried Scallops (optional) – make this in a slow cooker, pressure cooker or stovetop.

chinese daikon soup recipe-5971

Thai Coconut Soup with Chicken Recipe

Thai Chicken Coconut Soup Recipe

Mom’s Chinese Chicken Soup Recipe




Chinese Daikon and Carrot Soup

Servings: 8-10 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chinese Daikon and Carrot Soup

Use whatever pork is on sale. If it comes with a bone - even better. In place of salt, you can use a few dashes of fish sauce. The dried scallops and shrimp can be found in an Asian market -- but if you can't find these ingredients, feel free to leave them out. The dried scallops/shrimp add incredible savory and ocean-salty flavor (you'll use less salt to season the soup).


1 pound pork, cut into large chunks
6-8 dried shrimp
2-3 dried scallops
One 2-inch piece of ginger, cut into chunks
2 whole cloves garlic
1 large Daikon radish, peeled and cut into chunks
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2-3 tomatoes, cut into quarters
Salt to taste


Bring a large soup pot filled with water to a rolling boil. Add pork and bones and let boil rapidly for 10 minutes. Remove pork and set aside. Drain and discard the water, clean the pot if needed. Fill the pot with new water to make the broth (approximately 4 quarts) and add in the pork, bones, shrimp, scallops, ginger, garlic. Bring to a simmer and then turn the heat to medium-low, or hot enough to just produce a gentle simmer for 30-40 minutes.

Occassionally, skim the soup of any fats or particles and discard. Add radish, carrots and tomatoes to the soup and simmer for another 15-20 minutes. Season with salt (or fish sauce) to taste.

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Comments 24

  1. Pingback: Chinese Daikon and Carrot Soup |

  2. [email protected]

    Looks yumm!

  3. Betty

    This soup look good. Going to have dental work soon and like this soup puree to eat. I looking for soup pot with spout and pour into bowl like for tea. Seen it in some French restautants doing it now.

  4. Sarah T

    Thanks for the recipe! My sister made a clear soup for our big monthly dinner last month but I wasn’t a huge fan of it. I’ll have to try out this one. 🙂

  5. Candice

    I love this soup. I grew up drinking this. Thanks for sharing your recipe, Jaden. =)

  6. RxGator

    Oh man. This brings back memories. Whenever I am up in Toronto, depending which Chinese restaurant we go to, we will get served this broth to start the meal. Plus it’s complimentary.

  7. Eva Mondragon

    I discovered making daikon soup by accident. I ate dinner at my Mom’s one day and she made daikon dish for the main course. It was almost dry, so it really wasn’t meant to be soup. She gave me some leftovers. The next day, I added some broth to it and and adjusted the seasonings. Wow! To my surprise I liked it better as soup.

    I also par-boil all my meats to get rid of all that muck and to get that clean taste. I simmer the meat bones together with what you call “umami-boosting” ingredients, until the meat separates from the bones. Once done, I let it cool then put in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, I skim the fat that solidified on top. The broth comes out clear and clean.

  8. N.L.

    Hi, I can’t seem to get the recipe for this one to show up on my screen — looks so yummy and I can’t wait to try it!

  9. Pingback: Sunny-Side Up Egg over Kimchi Miso Broth with Rice | Soy Sauce Over Rice

  10. Steven Huang

    A very simple and easy recipe. I tried this recipe and followed exactly as written. Ended up tasting like water with daikon and carrots. To truly obtain a sweet broth, you need to boil the bones for hours. A simple quick recipe like this doesn’t really cut it. Chinese soups take time and not a “quick meal”.

    1. Post
  11. Jamie

    I came across this recipe looking for something different to do with the daikons from my CSA. Excited to attempt a Chinese soup at home! Based on the comments, though, I’m confused about whether the veggies and meat are meant to flavor a broth, or if they, too, are meant to be eaten as part of the soup. Also, my husband came home from the store with dried whole tiger prawns…is this what you intended to flavor the broth?

    1. Post

      Hi Jamie – You can either eat the vegetables or just leave them in the cooker for flavor. Usually, I’ll eat the veggies within the 1st day, as they become too soggy and flavorless after day 1. I’ll use a slotted spoon or strainer to lift out any leftover vegetables, herbs and meats that are spent – and replace with new. As for the dried prawns, they’re perfect to add to the bone broth. Add just a few (depending on how big the prawns are – perhaps 2 tablespoons worth).

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