Step 2 of 3
A bowl of “Chinese” tomato soup
Being of Chinese descent and having parents who own a Chinese-Indonesian restaurant, I’m often asked how Chinese-Indonesian dishes are prepared. One of the most requested dishes is the so-called “Chinese tomato soup”.
Time to look at this “Chinese” tomato soup. Dutch-Chinese cuisine emerged in the 1950s, when more and more Chinese came to the Netherlands through “chain migration”. Their goal was to try their luck in the restaurant business, and the dishes were thus adjusted to local tastes
In Chinese cuisine, soups are quite different from those served in Chinese-Indonesian restaurants. When searching online for Chinese tomato soup in Dutch, a lot of ‘Chinese tomatensoep’ recipes as we know from the Chinese-Indonesian restaurants show up. However, a search for the same term in English yields other results: ‘Chinese tomato and egg (drop) soup'. This soup comes close to the tomato soup famous in the Netherlands, but it is not nearly as thick as the Dutch tomato soup.
Ask any Chinese restaurant owner, and they will most likely say they do not eat this kind of soup themselves. However, the Dutch are very fond of the Chinese tomato soup sold in Chinese-Indonesian restaurants. The sweetness is very much associated with this soup. It is available premade in supermarkets as “sweet Chinese tomato soup”.
On cooking sites, many Dutch look for the perfect “Chinese tomato soup” recipe. Often the ingredients listed include tomatoes, tomato paste and the secret ingredient: appelmoes.