Tsam-Thuk (Tsampa Soup)

READY IN: 30mins
Recipe by Shire Born

I have yet to make this, but here is what Beyond the Great Wall: Recipes and Travels in the Other China has to say about it: "There is something soothing and sustaning about tsam-thuk, as this classic soup is called in Lhasa dialect...a beeth broth thickened with tsampa...there's a seductive taste, almost nutty, from the roasted grain, and a smoothness on the tongue from the blend of tsampa and the butter aded at the last moment."

Top Review by Doug Mc

A pleasant and hearty soup with the roasted barley flour giving an interesting background flavor. As our market was out of daikon, I shredded a one pound bag of radishes. I would make this again. The barley flour was a bit hard to find, but I did locate it with the special flours near the 'gluten free' section of our megamart.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. To make sure your flour is fine enough, pass it through a fine sieve and set aside. Peel the daikon radish and grate into long strands. Set aside.
  2. Pour 3 cups of the broth into a wide, heavy pot and bring to a boil. Add roasted flour and stir until smooth. Add remaining 3 cups broth and bring to a boil. Add radish strands and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Bring the 2 tablespoons of oil or butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute gently for several minutes. Add the meat strips and 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce, raise the heat to medium-high and cook, turning once, just until the beef has changed color, about 3 minutes total. Use tongs to life out the meat and set it aside. Add the onion and oil or butter to the soup.
  3. Deglaze the skillet by placing it over high heat, add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to detach any browned bits of caramelized juices, then add the flavored water to the soup.
  4. Add an additional cup of water and bring back to a simmer. Add meat and soy sauce to taste, maintaining the simmer. Add spinach leaves to the simmering broth. When they turn bright green, after a minute or two, add the butter and stir to blend.
  5. Serve hot soup in large bowls with bread.

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