Hot Chinese Soy Milk Soup – Dou Jiang

Written by Luisa Davis on . Posted in food

Doujiang is not something you read in every other cookbook. That’s how unique and inspiring recipes we bring you each day. Let’s add another one to the menu, this time its Dou Jiang, a savory Chinese breakfast soup.

you must have tried many soup recipes before, but this one has a distinct Chinese flavor that you can not 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 take you into a new realm of flavors.

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 might have not earned Oscars for that, but in all the good restaurants in Shanghai and the vicinity, the soup is largely served as one of the specials.

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

Therefore, it is known as Dou Jiang commonly.

Soy milk has a number of health benefits. So much that even people on health-oriented diet plans switch to soy milk while replacing the cow milk. It is free from extra carbs or fats and so 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 the recipe than you can imagine.

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

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 have also shared a basic fried dough recipe. Bake them fresh, slice and add on top of your hot soy milk soup.

If you are getting the fried dough from the stores, make sure to toast well then slice it to add to the soup. Remember that the fried dough should not be cooked in the soup. It is only added just before the serving; else it will get too soggy and soft.

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

The only cooking it requires is the heating of the soy milk, which is also just a bit of simmering. Rest of the ingredients are simply added during assembling of the bowl.

Variety In The Bowl

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

To add 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.

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

If you want to enjoy all the Chinese menu, then the dumpling soy soup is the right choice for you. You can either prepare the dumplings at home or get a store packed one. Do not cook the dumplings in the soup.

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

Is Dou Jiang Really Worth Preparing?

If you are still yet finding reasons to serve Dou Jiang on your dinner table, then consider all the richness and nutrients it would be bringing along. Soy milk gives off more protein than fat. Of all the fats it contains, the ratio of saturated fat is down to a minimum. There is a healthy mix of proteins with carbohydrates.

It is extremely quick to make.

For a morning breakfast, that comes as a blessing when you could just have it no 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 kitchens the rest is simple and easy.

However, once prepared the soup cannot be stored for too long, as the fried dough would lose the texture after prolonged soaking in the soy milk. It is therefore always having to be served 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 just ceaseless; you can change the vegetables, replace scallions with other juicy veggies of your choices 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, and they taste amazing when dipped in hot soy milk. Speaking of soy milk, I have also shared a home cooked soy milk recipe here so that you could 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 could prepare the rest meanwhile.
  • It’s time to chop the scallions and keep them aside for garnishing. Slice the fried crullers and also set them aside.
  • Now add a teaspoon of vinegar, salt and white pepper to taste, 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. 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 you will go through to find 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 the times greater than the beans. Use a large bowl for soaking as soybeans get bigger after soaking 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 in the bowl. Repeat the same process with the remaining beans.
  • Blend the rest of the beans and water and repeat the process and collect 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 it’s a basic recipe. I would recommend cooking the dough at home for best taste and aroma. Once the dough is prepared to store it in the refrigerator and bake whenever you want to enjoy a bowl of soup in the morning.

The few things you would need to prepare the 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 water 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. Make sure the oil is heated well else the dough would not turn out as crispy after the 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 golden brown from both the sides. Repeat the same steps with rest of the dough pieces. Transfer the fried ones to a plate lined with paper towel. Drain all the excess oil from the dough.

Conclusion

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

Recreate this soup at home in your signature style. Adding crispy noodles, or crackers on top of the soup is another style 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 spice can also infuse more flavors to the soup. Enjoy as a warming breakfast meal on a cold wintery day.

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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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