Winter Skin Savior – Chestnut with Pig Feet Soup (黃豆栗子豬手湯)

Well, it was unfortunate that I caught a cold right before the weekend started. The constantly cold and dry weather here in NYC made everyone complain about having scratchy throat and dry skins. Here’s my food remedy to fight against these annoying winter symptoms. Ladies you might want to pay special attention to the effect of this recipe.

You probably have heard that collagen is good for human skin. It gives your skin the kind of youthful natural glow if consumed regularly and you can even save some money on skincares as well. Pig feet are rich in natural collagen and have less fat than you would think. Although they don’t look and sound appetizing, pig feet are very commonly used in all kinds of Chinese cooking.

As for my cold, the therapeutic effect of the soup is turned on  by adding chestnuts, soybeans, goji berries, dried Chinese yam, and some other herbs. Goji berries, or wolfberry, is used in Chinese soup, congee, and tea. It is said to have various health benefits against vision-related symptoms and etc. Recently it has also gain some commercial success here in the US as I saw it available in Whole Foods now (at a premium price though). But you can always get it in a Chinese grocery store or drug store for a lot less.

Just a quick note on Chinese yam, or that “white stuff” in the ingredient picture, you can also get the fresh ones from a Chinese, Japanese, or Korean supermarket. Chinese yam and goji berries are very commonly use in tonic soup cooking.

[stextbox id=”info” bgcolor=”9fdfd9″]Ingridients

1 lb Pig feet. Chop to chunks

6 oz Chestnuts

2 tsp Goji berries

1 oz Dried soybean, soaked in water for 5 hours

4 Qt Water

2 oz Dried Chinese yam(or 5 oz fresh Chinese yam), soak in water for 1 hour

2 slice Ginger

1 piece Dried Orange peel

Salt to taste


[stextbox id=”custom”]Steps

1. Clean the pig feet and blanche them in boiling water. Remove the scum on surface. About 5 mintues.

2. In a large soup pot, combine all the ingredients with 4 quarts of water. Boil in medium-high heat for 30 mutes. Turn to low heat and boil for another 2.5 hours. Add salt to taste at very end.
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  1. 5


    Can I substitute the pork trotters with pork soft bones instead? Will it taste as good? And soy bean to peanuts?


    • 5.1

      Hello Lee, yes soft pork bones (which I like a lot) and soy bean should make a delicious soup but it will not have as much collagen as trotters. Please let me know how it turns out!

  2. Pingback: Fresh Chinese Yam with Spareribs Soup (山藥排骨湯) | Yi Reservation

  3. 4

    Hi Yi,
    I like the benefits of this soup. Would love to try
    it soon but have never use pig feet before. How do I
    clean it? Do I put in the “nails” bits too? Can I use
    dried chestnut?

    Jojo from Melbourne

    • 4.1


      Thanks for checking out the recipe. If the pork feet have hair on, I scald them and scrap off with a brush thoroughly in running water. Sometimes I am able to get the pork that have already been cleaned. In this case I would just soak them in cold water for an hour to get rid of some of the blood and impurity.

      As for the nails, they don’t make a difference to the taste of the soup. Keep them if you don’t mind.

      The dried chestnuts will be just as good. Soak them in water for a few hours and use them like they are fresh.

      Enjoy the soup and let me know how it came out:)

  4. 3

    My favorite soup, it is perfect for this time of the year.

  5. 2

    😀 looks so yummy will ask mom to make it!!!!!!! thanks Yi 😉

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