This post on authentic and easy Chinese 8 Treasure Soup Recipe (八宝粥) has everything you need including links to hard to find Chinese ingredients on Amazon! Ba Bao Zhou is also known as "eight treasure congee" or "eight treasure porridge".
This post is super exciting for me because it marks the first authentic Chinese recipe that I'm sharing on my blog: 8 Treasure Soup!
Also known as 八宝粥, Ba Bao Zhou, "8 treasure congee" or "8 treasure porridge".
I've been living in China for over a year now and my friends are now fully aware that I love to cook.
Whenever I go out to dinner with friends or attend a party at someone's house, I'm always asking questions about how the food was prepared, what ingredients were used, what those ingredients are called and where I can buy them.
I recently learned how to make this 8 Treasure Soup from a friend and today I'm going to walk you through how to make it!
What is 8 Treasure Soup? (八宝粥)
The first time I had Ba Bao Zhou was at a dinner potluck that my friend hosted.
She made a big pot of this soup (or congee) and it was one of the most delicious, sweet, creamy soups I've ever had.
I was hooked at first bite!
I asked her about the ingredients and planned to make it soon after the party, but it wasn't until just last week that I had her come to my house and show me how to make this amazing soup in person.
8 Treasure Soup is actually more of a porridge or congee.
It calls for 8 main ingredients, but in reality, it's super adaptable and you could make it with as little as 3 or 4 ingredients.
My Chinese friend kept telling me, "It's up to you!"
We measured everything by handfuls and she told me I could even add other ingredients, such as sweet potato, depending on my preference.
But for today I'll tell you the 8 authentic ingredients that are used to make 8 Treasure Soup (八宝粥), and this list doesn't include the sugar that you also add that to make it sweet and irresistible.
The 8 Ingredients of 8 Treasure Soup (八宝粥)
Below I've listed out the 8 ingredients you'll need to make Ba Bao Zhou, except for water and sugar:
2. Black Rice
3. Glutenous Rice
5. Dried Lily Slices (百合)
6. Dried or Fresh Chinese Yam (山药)
7. Lotus Seed (莲子)
8. Chinese Pearl Barley (苡仁)
I know the last 4 of these ingredients are really unique, but the good news is that you don't have to use them!
Just like I said, this recipe is super adaptable and could be made with just the first 4 ingredients. But if you did want to try the fully authentic recipe, I was able to find all the ingredients on Amazon!
The last two ingredients you'll need are LOTS of water and sugar.
This soup isn't 8 Treasure Soup without sugar. It needs to be sweet.
My Chinese friend had me buy the block of red sugar that you see in the picture below, but I used Coconut Sugar when I re-made it at home and it turned out deliciously!
I'm sure any liquid sweeteners would be delicious as well.
How to Make 8 Treasure Soup (八宝粥)
Once you have all the ingredients on hand, this soup couldn't be easier to make.
Step 1: Soak all of the ingredients, except for the glutinous rice, for about 8 hours.
Step 2: Drain the soaked ingredients, put them in a pot with tons of water, and allow everything to boil down into a thick, sweet soup.
It's that easy! It just takes some time.
How to Store Leftover Ba Bao Zhou
This soup stores just like any other leftover soup
I like to place the leftovers in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Thankfully, this soup tastes amazing cold too!
For a more comforting meal, however, feel free to warm it up on the stove top until heated through.
Potential Recipe Adaptation
Even just using the first 4 ingredients and some sugar would make a delicious version of this Authentic Chinese: 8 Treasure Soup (八宝粥).
If you are brave and give this recipe a shot, I would LOVE to know! Leave a comment letting me know your thoughts or take a picture and tag #theconscientiouseater on Instagram so I can see your creation!
And don't forget to rate this recipe in the recipe card!
Authentic Chinese: 8 Treasure Soup
- 2 tablespoons red mung beans
- 2 tablespoons black rice
- 3 tablespoons peanuts
- 2 tablespoons Chinese Pearl Barley 苡仁
- 2 Tablespoons Dried Lily Slices 百合
- 3 lotus seeds 莲子
- 1 slice dried Chinese Yam 山药, broken into pieces
- ¼ cup glutenous rice
- 8-9 cups filtered water
- 1 lump red sugar ¼-1/2 cup sugar of your choice
- About 8 hours before preparing this soup, put the red mung beans, black rice, peanuts, Chinese pearl barley, dried lily slices, lotus seeds, and dried Chinese yam into a bowl and cover with water to soak.
- After 8 or so hours, drain and rinse the soaked ingredients and place them in a large sauce pan.
- Add in the glutenous rice and 8-9 cups of filtered water, stir, and bring everything to a boil
- Continuing boiling/simmering the ingredients on high heat for 1 - 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally and being careful to not let the water or foam overflow. The bigger your pan the less you have to monitor the soup.
- You'll know the soup is ready once most of the water has been absorbed by the ingredients and a thick porridge has formed.
- Once thickened, add in about ¼ cup of sugar, or more to taste and allow it to dissolve before serving.
- Serve warm.
- This soup can be easily doubled.
- You can also pick and choose which ingredients you want or add in other ingredients that you think would go well.
- If you use less than 8 ingredients, you may need to reduce the amount of water you use.
Did you enjoy this post? Check out a couple of my other China-related posts here:
Thank you for this recipe and for the photos and links that make it easier for me to source the ingredients. I tried this dish a long time ago at my Chinese friend’s place and absolutely loved it. I tried to make it myself but without a proper recipe I failed to get the same consistency.
I do like to add black sesame seeds and Jujube, and if I’m lucky to find lotus seeds I’ll ad them too. Now that I own an Instant Pot the whiole process will take much less time and I look forwardto trying your recipe for breakfast this weekend 🙂
Faith VanderMolen says
You commenting on this post reminded me I need to make this soon! I haven't had this soup in ages, but it's one of my favorites as well. I hope it turned out okay for you. Thanks for commenting!
So excited to find a recipe that reminds me of childhood... American born Chinese person here who has not had this dish for decades and it was exactly as I remember. I will add much more stuff next time such as lotus seeds and dried red dates. Thank you for putting this on line!
Faith VanderMolen says
Isn't it amazing?! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Definitely adapt it to suit your preferences!
Where can I find red sugar and dried lily flowers?
You can find a lot of the unique ingredients in this recipe on amazon or at an asian/Chinese market. You can substitute coconut or brown sugar for the red sugar as well! Hope that helps Payton!
Hi I was looking for this recipe online to share with my friends and I'm so glad I found yours. My mom makes this quite often and she sometimes adds some black sesame seeds to the soup, which I find adds a unique taste to the soup. Also I personally like to eat it cold. It's a lot thicker when it's cold and it feels like I'm eating dessert that way. But I really love this blog and I'm definitely gonna try some other recipes here. Thanks so much 🙂
Hi Tina! I'm so glad you found this recipe too! Sorry for the weird photos. I've been meaning to redo this post, but seems like it's still helpful for you. Black sesame seeds sounds like an amazing addition! And I too love mine cold and after a day or two or thickening in the fridge. I need to make it again now! I hope you end Story friends enjoy it!
This is awesome, I love that you're sharing this recipe! I'm Chinese, and my mom makes this about twice a month, and I lovee it!!! One thing she puts that makes it sweeter is dried dates. They look drier than the normal medjool dates on the outside but just as sweet when boiled! I think she buys them at the Chinese store, so you shouldn't have trouble getting them in China 🙂 Love your blog too, I'm going to definitely try some recipes. I'm just a high schooler who loves eating and trying new healthy foods, and your site really inspires me :))))
So cool Shirley! I LOVE this soup and know exactly which dates you're talking about. I definitely need to add them next time! Good luck with high school and thanks so much for saying hi. I hope to talk to you more soon!
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table says
I love that you're doing this! I really enjoy trying out recipes fro other cultures. I'm pretty sure I've seen all of these ingredients in the Asian market here. I love wandering the aisles there!
So glad to hear your excited about this series Laura! And that's so great you think you've seen all these ingredients...definitely try it out then!
Natalie | Feasting on Fruit says
I was already excited about this series when you mentioned it on IG, but I didn't realize you were actually going to learn to make the dishes straight from your Chinese friends! Wow, you cannot beat that for authenticity, and what a neat experience too I am sure. It's funny because usually when I read a recipe I can at least sort of imagine what it would taste like based on the ingredients, but with such a unique ingredient list this would be a total surprise! Although with your description of a sweet creamy thick soup sounds very delicious. I'm now wishing sugar in soup a thing here 🙂 Thank you for sharing Faith!
It's really crazy to me that the soup is sweet actually, because Chinese people would usually choose savory and spicy food over sweet any day. But yeah, I'm so excited to start learning more from my Chinese friends here. It's like having an Authentic Chinese cooking class all the time! Thanks Natalie!