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Hot Chinese Soy Milk Soup – Dou Jiang

Written by Luisa Davis on . Posted in food

Doujiang is not something you read about in most cookbooks. We try to bring you unique and inspiring recipes every day, so let’s add another one to the menu. This time its Dou Jiang, a savory Chinese breakfast soup.

You must have tried your hand at soup recipes before, but this one has a distinct Chinese flavor that won’t get enough of. If that is not convincing enough, over the text of this article I will share everything about this savory soy milk soup to get you salivating.

The soup is made out of soy milk, vinegar, salt, pepper, fried dough, and scallions. Due to this inspiring blend of ingredients, the recipe has gained much popularity in China. It may not have reached the western world just yet, but in all the good restaurants in Shanghai and the vicinity this soup is commonly served as one of the specials.

The word Dou Jiang comes from Doenjang which is Chinese term for soybean paste or mash. In this soup, however, instead of the soybean or mash we use soy milk. The milk itself is extracted from the paste.

It is commonly known as Dou Jiang.

Soy milk has a number of health benefits. So much so that even people already on health-oriented diet plans switch to soy milk to replace cow milk. It is free from extra carbs or fats and chock full of vitamins and minerals.

Since this soup is purely made out of soy milk, that makes it equally healthy and far more delicious. But soy milk is not all you need to be excited about. There are more surprises in store for you in this recipe.

If you hit a Chinese grocery store or any general store nearby, you will be able to get all the ingredients. Soy milk is easily available and so are all the condiments used in the recipe. When it comes to the fried dough, it is readily available in stores these days, though it is always recommended to bake it at home if possible.

And this is exactly what I did when I first tried this recipe.

Homemade fried dough is much healthier, and it gives off a refreshing aroma. There are several recipes online, but for your ease I will be sharing a basic fried dough recipe. Bake it fresh, slice it up and add it on top of your hot soy milk soup.

If you are getting the fried dough from the store, make sure to toast it well then slice it before adding to the soup. Remember that the fried dough should not be cooked in the soup.  Add it just before serving, or else it will get too soggy and soft.

One great thing about Dou Jiang is that it is quickly prepared and does not involve complex methods of cooking. If you have prepared all the ingredients beforehand, you will be able to make a bowl of soup in just a few minutes.

The only cooking it requires is the heating of the soy milk, which is just a bit of simmering. The rest of the ingredients are simply added when you put the bowl together.

Variety In The Bowl

Shrimp Soup: Dou Jiang with the shrimp is such warming bliss for the season. Trust me when I tell you, as I have tried this recipe and it tastes and feels great. Seared shrimp soaked in the soy milk gives such a great mouthfeel. Every bit and sip of the soup was a delightful experience.

Before you add the shrimp, first season them with black pepper and salt and slightly sear them in a greased skillet until they are al dente. Once the shrimp are done, add them to the serving bowl along with other condiments.

Lastly, pour the soy milk on top.

There is another variety of this salty soy milk soup where we can make excellent use of dumplings. It is also commonly enjoyed in China and its regions. The recipe is not popular in the west either, but its taste and texture are worth a try.

If you want to sample the whole Chinese menu, then dumpling soy soup is a must. You can either prepare the dumplings at home or get store-bought ones. Do not cook the dumplings in the soup.

Boil them or steam them first then add them to the serving bowl. Adding fried dough to such a soup is completely optional. It is up to you whether you are in a mood for crunchiness or not.

Is Dou Jiang Really Worth Preparing?

If you are still looking for a reason to serve Dou Jiang on your dinner table, then consider all the richness and nutrients it will bring along. Soy milk offers more protein than fat. Of all the fats it contains, the ratio of saturated fat is minimal. And there is a healthy mix of proteins and carbohydrates.

It is also extremely quick to make.

For a morning breakfast, that comes as a blessing when you are crunched for time. It takes hardly few minutes to put together a nice bowl of soup. The key is to keep all the necessary ingredients ready in the kitchen, the rest is simple and easy.

However, once prepared the soup cannot be stored for too long as the fried dough will lose some texture after prolonged soaking in the soy milk. It is therefore always recommended to serve fresh and warm. Use fresh herbs for garnishing.

Warming Dou Jiang Recipe

Dou Jiang You Tiao is China’s super delicious delight. It is served and enjoyed throughout the region in a variety of flavors and styles. People enjoy it with shrimp, chicken and even with turkey shreds. The diversity is ceaseless; you can change the vegetables, replace scallions with other juicy veggies of your choice or add some herbs to the recipe.

A bowl of Dou Jiang is full of soy milk, seasoned with a unique combination of spices and vinegar. Dried shrimps are most commonly added to the soup, as they taste amazing when dipped in hot soy milk. Speaking of soy milk, I will also share a home cooked soy milk recipe here so that you can experience the great flavors right at home.

Ingredients

  • Unsweetened soy milk
  • Chinese black vinegar
  • Salt
  • White pepper
  • Sesame oil
  • pickled radishes
  • chopped scallion
  • Chinese fried dough/ Crullers, cut into slices

Instructions

  • Take a large soup pot and add soy milk in it. Heat the soy milk until it starts to simmer. Slowly preheat the soy milk on low heat so that you can prepare the rest meanwhile.
  • It’s time to chop the scallions and keep them aside for garnishing. Slice the fried crullers and set them aside also.
  • Now add a teaspoon of vinegar, salt and white pepper to taste, and add a drizzle of sesame oil and 1 to 2 teaspoons of radish. Pour the heated soy milk over the spices and mix well.
  • Let the mixture stand for a minute then add chopped scallions and sliced crullers.
  • Serve warm and enjoy.

Homemade Soy Milk

It is always best to use homemade products for every meal.  The same is true for soy milk. It can be easily prepared at home by using the following ingredients. You can store the milk in the refrigerator and use whenever needed. This recipe will save you from all the trouble of finding unsweetened soy milk in the store.

  • 2 Cups of soybeans
  • 8 Cups of water
  • Rinse and clean the soybeans under water then soak them in sufficient water overnight. The amount of water should be twice greater than the beans. Use a large bowl for soaking as soybeans get bigger after soaking in water.
  • Drain the soaked soybeans after 12 to 24 hours of soaking. Add half of the beans to a blender along with 4 cups of water and blend them well into a thick paste.
  • Set a colander over a large bowl and line this colander with muslin or cheesecloth. Pour the blended bean mixture into the colander and squeeze the paste to strain the milk out into the bowl. Repeat the same process with the remaining beans.
  • Blend the rest of the beans and water and repeat the process, collecting all the soy milk in the bowl. Heat this milk in a cooking pot and skim off all the foam appearing on top. Let the milk cook for 5 minutes.

Fried Dough

Since the soup calls for slices of fried dough, here is a basic recipe. I would recommend cooking the dough at home for best taste and aroma. Once the dough is prepared, store it in the refrigerator and bake whenever you want to enjoy a bowl of soup in the morning.

The few things you need to prepare fried dough are:

2 cups All-Purpose Flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, in 1/2″ cubes, 3/4 cup lukewarm water

Prepare the dough by mixing flour with salt and baking powder. Then later blend this dry mixture with water and cold butter in a pastry blender. Gradually start adding warm water and keep mixing until the dough turns soft and smooth.

Cover the dough and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Once set, divide the dough into eight small pieces and roll each into a thick round ball. Make sure the oil is heated well or else the dough will not turn out as crispy after frying. Add one of the dough pieces to the heated oil and let it cook for 1 minute, then flip it immediately.

Keep cooking the dough until it is golden brown on both sides. Repeat the same steps with rest of the dough pieces. Transfer the fried dough to a plate lined with paper towel to drain all the excess oil from the dough.

Conclusion

The season of warming meals is here. We all are all searching for a hot bowl of soup with comforting flavors. Dou Jiang is one surefire option to make your winters a little better. This soy milk soup is just what you need to satisfy your caloric needs.  It is made out of soy milk along with crunchy cruller, scallions, and basic spices.

Recreate this soup at home with your signature touch. Adding crispy noodles, or crackers on top of the soup is another way to make it more filling and delicious. We have used store bought crullers for the soup, but you can also use homemade bread or croutons.

Adding a drizzle of your favorite sauce and changing some of the spices can also infuse more flavors into the soup. Enjoy it most as a warming breakfast meal on a cold wintery day.

Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis is a frelance writer and foodie based in Portland, California. Though raised on her mother's homestyle Italian cooking, she has spent most of the last five years traveling and immersing herself in other countries' cuisines. Her work have been published in various publications, both online and offline.

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