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Recipe • The Very Versatile Anchovy Soup Stock!

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I cook chinese style vegetable soup pretty often. It’s a good way to increase the kids’ vegetables intake and convenient for days when I only whip up a soup and meat dish. Most importantly, the boys love drinking their soup when it’s cooked with this stock!
This stock is suitable for many types of Chinese soup, example:

Chinese Spinach meatballs/fishballs soup
Wolfberry Leaves egg drop soup
Yong Tau Foo soup
Cabbage soup
Shrimp-Pork dumplings soup
Winter Melon soup

& Cai Xin or Xiao Bai Cai soup too!

I often get queries on what is the soup base when I post photos of such soup, so I think it’s high time I give this delicious and versatile soup base its own space in this blog!
Also, I hope my own kids will get to follow this recipe here and cook their favorite “mummy’s soup” in future and be able to reminisce the taste of their childhood! (♡˙︶˙♡)

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Kindly do not claim recipe as your own. Thank you!

Ingredients:
1200ml + 400ml Water
65g Ikan Bilis (Dried Anchovies)
3 cloves Garlic
10-12 small Conpoy (Dried Scallops)
5g Rock Sugar (Note 1)
1TBS Hua Diao cooking wine (Note 2)

Method:
•Wash ikan bilis a few times, till water runs clear. Add 1200ml of water to a soup pot and 3 cloves of washed garlic. Bring to a boil and lower flame, cover with lid and simmer for about 25 minutes.
•Wash dried scallops and leave to soak in some hot water, retain the soaking water.
•Allow the ikan bilis stock to rest a few minutes before transferring to another soup pot. Alternatively, remove ikan bilis if using the same pot. Retain garlic cloves.

Or use a covered strainer like this

•Add scallops, the soaking water, rock sugar and 400ml of water (or as preferred). Boil the stock and lower to simmer for another 30-45 minutes.

•As I usually prepare the stock ahead of time, I just leave it covered until dinner preparation time.

Reheat the stock and add in the necessary ingredients, add wolfberries or season with salt or light soy sauce if preferred.
•Pour in 1 tablespoon of Hua Diao cooking wine just before switching off flame.

Note:
1) I ever received comment from a couple of friends regarding adding rock sugar to the soup. They were surprised as it is usually added to sweet dessert, at some point I thought I was the weird one to add rock sugar! ≧∇≦ However, the rock sugar lends a nice natural sweetness, taught to me by my Mum. Please do not omit it, do adjust the quantity to your preference. Usually 3-5 grams is sufficient.
2) Hua Diao cooking wine makes a great difference to the soup taste!

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