Cantonese Pork Soup With Carrots & Chinese Yam

June 21, 2022


It is a famous Cantonese soup with a flavorful broth, carrots, and Chinese yam, and it is full of health advantages. When it comes to soup, the Cantonese take it extremely seriously.


Soups are wonderful tonics for Cantonese folks. In the fall and winter, soups can help with dryness, soups can help with dampness, soups can help with lung health, and the list goes on.

It’s possible to make basic or complex combinations of protein, fruits, and vegetables, herbs, dry seeds, and grains. It’s becoming a lost art form in the modern era. So much so that I wish I had access to a mentor who could instruct me in the ways of the past!

Bone broth’s health benefits are becoming more well known, as I’ve discovered. Cantonese folks have known this for a long time!

This Cantonese Carrot and Chinese Yam Soup, like the others we’ve featured on the blog, is beneficial for the whole family and is perfect for a cold or flu season.


The Chinese yam, also known as huai shan or shan yao in Chinese, is the star of this soup for me. Other names for this vegetable are Chinese potato, Japanese mountain yam (which is what Japanese cooks use to make raw yamaimo), and wild yam.

Shan yao, or “mountain medicine,” is the translation of the Chinese word. When dried, this root vegetable is, in fact employed in Chinese medicine as a medicinal herb. Health benefits for people of various ages, shapes, and health conditions make it a popular choice.

The slimy texture of Chinese yam, like that of okra, is lessened with boiling.

Let’s talk about the pork for a minute before you start gathering the ingredients for this soup. Cantonese soups benefit from the umami flavor that comes from using lean slices of pork rather than fatty ones.

I prefer to use a thin piece of pork butt with the skin still attached because it retains its flavor even after long cooking times. Scooping out the meat and shredding it before adding it to the broth for dipping in light soy sauce is how I serve it. In and of itself, it is the purest form of comfort food for me.


  • 600g of lean pork shoulder/butt
  • 500g of large carrots, cut into large chunks
  • 15 g of dried red dates, pitted and halved
  • 15 g of dried goji berries
  • 500 grams Chinese yams, cut into large chunks
  • 14 cups of water
  • 4 large dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 smashed large chunk ginger
  • Salt


  1. Pre-soak the shiitake mushrooms in warm water for at least 2-3 hours after rinsing off any dust or dirt. The soaking water for mushrooms should not be thrown away.
  2. Put the pork in a soup pot with a thick bottom and just enough water to cover it. Immediately after bringing to a boil, remove the pot from the heat. Remove the pork from the stock pot, rinse it under running water, and wipe down the pot. This process helps to guarantee that the broth is free of any impurities.
  3. Return the meat to the pot after it has been thoroughly cleaned. Make sure to include the soaked Shiitake mushrooms along with 14 cups of water, as well as the mushroom water. Turn the heat up to high, cover the pan, and let the food cook for 15 minutes. Then, simmer. Two hours of simmering are required. There should be enough heat to stir but not so much that bubbles can be visible at this point.
  4. Add the Chinese yam chunks after the second hour. Cook for a further hour until the Chinese yam is fork-tender, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Provide salt at the table so that guests can season their own bowls as desired. Serve the pork with a little soy sauce for dipping, and don’t forget to shred it as well.
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