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Luo Song Tang (Chinese Borscht Soup)

Luo Song Tang (Chinese Borscht Soup)

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Luo Song Tang aka Chinese Borscht Soup is my favorite soup in the world! This soup is so rich and tasty – Beef broth based soup with chunks of beef cooked with garlic, onions, potatoes and tomatoes. The flavor is so delicious and it’s also a very nutritious soup!

Most Chinese soups seem to be healthy! This one is packed with onions, potatoes and tomatoes. If you’re looking for something more herbal and light check out my Chinese Chicken Mushroom Soup.

Origin of Luo Song Tang

The Chinese name of this soup, Luo Song Tang (羅宋湯), actually means “Russian soup” and is also known as the Chinese borscht. This is because the soup originally came from the city of Harbin in China. Harbin is in northeast China, and not too far from the Russian boarder, and so it spread from there to the rest of China.

There are actually many ways to make Luo Song Tang. Some common ingredients include included cabbage, tomatoes, beef, onions, and potatoes.

What cut of Beef to use?

You can technically choose any part of the beef to be cooked in this soup. However, I have some recommendations:

Chuck

The chuck comes from the front shoulder of the cow. It’s relatively inexpensive, and it has great flavor, with lots of connective tissue and fat which makes it really good for stews and soups.

The only thing is because it is made up of many different parts, you could possibly get some inconsistent meat – some could be fattier, some more tender, some more tough, etc. However, in general it’s a great cut of meat for this soup.

If you are using this cut, make sure to cut the beef up evenly.

Brisket

Brisket is meat cut from the breast of the cow. There’s actually two parts to it – the leaner cut and the fattier cut. It’s easier to find the leaner cut. The fattier parts are actually a lot more moist than the lean parts, while the leaner parts aren’t as delicious.

The benefit of brisket in this soup is that it’s a cheap cut of meat. The fatter parts will produce maximum deliciousness., but since we are simmering for 2 hours for this soup, it will be is pretty tender either way.

Shank

The beef shank is meat cut from the leg of the cow. Sometimes you will see beef shank sold with the bone inside (used commonly in osso buco). We usually use beef shank in a Chinese braised beef recipe, but we also like using it in soups.

This part of the meat is used constantly by the cow, so not ideal for stir fries as it would be too tough and dry. However, simmering for a long time (such as this soup) it works well.

Oxtail

Oxtail used to be just the tail of the ox, however, these days it’s really tail of any cattle (male or female). It is cut in to sectionals, which leaves tender beef surrounding bone in the center. Because it’s harder to cut, the tail is one of the most expensive cuts of meat.

This cut of meat has a lot of cartilage and connective tissue, and when cooked for a long time, for soups and stews for example, it creates a lot of gelatin for the soup, and also the meat because very tender and the soup flavorful.

Oxtail is my favorite beef cut to use for this soup, but it is more expensive than the other cuts.

How to make Luo Song Tang (aka Chinese Borscht Soup)

First gather your ingredients:

  • 1 lb beef (Cut big piece of beef in to smaller chunks if that is what you have)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 medium white onions, roughly sliced – Split it in to 2 groups.
  • 1 large russet potato, cut in to 1 inch cubes
  • 1 lb tomatoes, cut in to wedges – Split it in to 2 groups.
  • 1/4 cup michiu/rice wine
  • Salt, to taste

Place beef in a pot and cover with enough water to cover all the beef pieces, bring to the boil. Impurities/scums will float to the top. Turn off heat and discard the impurities/scum water. Set aside.

In a cooking pan, heat cooking oil on high heat. Add garlic, half of the tomatoes and half of the onions. Stir fry for about 2 minutes. Add beef, michiu, and about 8 cups of water in to the soup pan. Cook on high heat, bring to a boil.

Let it simmer for about 30 minutes, and then add potatoes. Let it simmer for an hour, and then add the rest of the tomatoes and onions. Allow it to cook on simmer for another 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve!

Add salt to taste, remove from heat and serve.

Luo Song Tang - Chinese Borscht Soup

Luo Song Tang - Chinese Borscht Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

Luo Song Tang aka Chinese Borscht Soup is so rich and tasty - Beef broth based soup with chunks of beef cooked with garlic, onions, potatoes and tomatoes. The flavor is so delicious and it's also a very nutritious soup!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb beef (If you have a big piece of beef, cut in to smaller pieces)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 medium white onions, roughly sliced – Split it in to 2 groups.
  • 1 large russet potato, cut in to 1 inch cubes
  • 1 lb tomatoes, cut in to wedges – Split it in to 2 groups.
  • 1/4 cup michiu/rice wine
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions

    1. Place beef in a pot and cover with enough water to cover all the beef pieces, bring to the boil. Impurities/scums will float to the top. Turn off heat and discard the impurities/scum water. Set aside.
    2. In a cooking pan, heat cooking oil on high heat. Add garlic, half of the tomatoes and half of the onions. Stir fry for about 2 minutes. Add beef, michiu, and about 8 cups of water in to the soup pan. Cook on high heat, bring to a boil.
    3. Let it simmer for about 30 minutes, and then add potatoes. Let it simmer for an hour, and then add the rest of the tomatoes and onions. Allow it to cook on simmer for another 30 minutes.
    4. Remove from heat and serve!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 214Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 94mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 14g

The nutrition information for this recipe is an approximate total per serving. Please double check the nutrition information for your exact ingredients and brands for more precise nutrition information.

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Jean Choi

Tuesday 12th of October 2021

Never heard of it before, but what an amazing cozy soup! I'm going to make mine with oxtail, because I love that cut of beef!

TinaTsai

Tuesday 12th of October 2021

Yes I definitely recommend the oxtail! Super tasty!

Donny

Tuesday 12th of October 2021

Such good comfort food! Love how much garlic is in it.

TinaTsai

Tuesday 12th of October 2021

Yes the garlic + onions make the soup so delicious!!

jennifer

Monday 11th of October 2021

This is a soup I've never tried before, I can't wait to make it -- thanks for the recipe

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