A Chinese Garden & Long Life Noodle Soup
We had the Good Fortune 造化
to visit Vancouver, BC last year!
In addition to visiting the breathtaking Butchart Gardens, we walked through Chinatown on the way to Vancouver’s Chinese Garden~ to see the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.
In tandem with Chinese New Year and The Year of the Snake which officially began on February 10th, I thought you might enjoy a virtual stroll :) through the Chinese garden.
Click on the mosaics to enlarge any photo.
The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, was the first of its kind outside of China, built in 1985-1986, using the time-honored principles and techniques of the original Ming dynasty garden.
Fifty-two master craftsmen from Suzhou China, working with Canadian counterparts, completed this landscape masterpiece within a year. The intricate halls and walkways are constructed with precise joinery and without the use of nails, screws or glue.
You can read more about the design
elements of the Garden, here.
In the meantime, journey back in time to 15th Century China
and enjoy this “window to another world”. . .
The photo below is courtesy of
In celebration of the Lunar New Year, a 40 feet long snake sculpture made of green willow and other organic materials, will reside in the Garden next to the Jade Water Pavilion through the end of April. The snake will grow, changing appearance as the green willow sprouts in the spring.
“Lucky” foods are served during the 15 day Chinese New Year celebration.
For longevity eat your noodles long, never cut~ since long noodles represent a long life. Any type of noodle—thin chow mein noodles to broad rice noodles to the thicker Shanghai wheat noodles—is a must at Chinese New Year’s.
I pulled out my Mikasa Daylight to serve the soup. The shape of the bowl makes it difficult to see the broth, but it is about the same shade & color as the tea :)
Long Life Noodle Soup, serves 4
This soup is light, healthy, and comes together quickly! Use rice stick noodles for a gluten-free choice. I would add an extra teaspoon of Sriracha for a little more heat next time.
3 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast
1/2 cup grated carrot (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup thinly sliced snow peas
2 teaspoons Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)
2 teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
1 (2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger
6 cups water
3 ounces uncooked wide rice sticks (rice-flour noodles, I found mine at World Market, but not the wide variety)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1. Bring first 9 ingredients to a simmer in a medium saucepan; keep warm.
2. Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add rice noodles; cook 3 minutes. Drain. Place about 1/4 cup rice noodles in each of 4 bowls.
3. Discard ginger. Add juice to broth mixture; stir. Ladle 1 1/3 cups broth mixture over each serving; top with 1 tablespoon each mint, cilantro, and green onions.
You can find a printable recipe from Cooking Light, here.
If you’re looking for another recipe to celebrate Lunar New Year, you can find a recipe for Blood Orange Shrimp Stir-Fry, here.
Gong Xi Fa Ca!
Wishing you prosperity in the coming year!
Thank you for your visit!
Looks like a beautiful place to visit Mary! Soup always sounds good to me, even at 8AM on a snowy Saturday:@)
Happy Lunar New Year! I adore Asian gardens … each so different. Guess I need to get to Vancouver!
What a beautiful post! – I was sure you has taken these photos in China!
:D This sounds so good, especially with everyone getting sick around here. It sounds similar to the Chinese Flu Shot Soup recipe. Thanks for posting it. I’ve bookmarked this page to try it once my kitchen is put back together!
The gardens are lovely. What a pretty post! I love the teapot and china in this one. So cheerful!
Very Lovely! Are you the photographer in the family?
I enjoyed the composition of the photos as well as the content!
I am always trying to learn from someone else! Thanks…
A nice lighter twist on a family favorite.
– The Tablescaper
Mary, a visit to this garden has long been on my list of places I want to visit. I’ve seen several TV specials on it and am eager to experience this marvel. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous images. I’ll pass the recipe on to the chef. We love noodle soup. ‘-) Gong Hey Fa Chai.
Love the pic of the Water Lilies and Koi. Noodle soup looks beautiful and delicious.
Hi Mary. Your pictures are stunning. We visited Vancouver a couple of years ago and saw the Chinese Gardens. Such a beautiful place. I bet that willow snake will be spectacular as it progresses. The soup looks yummy. Perfect for this weather..Happy Weekend..Judy
Beautiful photos and a fascinating story…Would love to visit the gardens someday.
We had a small First Day of Chinese New Year celebration on Sunday and served the thicker Shanghai style wheat noodles (uncut, of course!) but instead of in soup, I served them with Hoisin Pork Roast.
Kung Hee Fat Choy to you also!
THANK YOU for this virtual tour!! I would LOVE to go there and see this in person. I LOVE that snake! Everything about this garden is a dream!!!!
Thank you for those lovely photographs. Vancouver is one of my favorite cities and you did it justice. I printed out the recipe for the soup and can’t wait to try it.
My husband was born and raised in the greater lower mainland of Vancouver and we have seen and experienced most of the local sites. My mom loved Queen Elizabeth Park when she visitied and at that time there were no Chinese gardens in Vancouver but the Chinese farmers farmland was a thing of beauty to see as one drove into the Richmond area.
I had read about the history and building of the gardens but we rarely if ever go into Vancouver anymore. Now that I have viewed your photos of the Chinese Gardens I am going to have my dear one take me there for a treat and a visit and since it is still the year of our 60th wedding anniversary we can call it an anniversary gift, n’est-ce pas?
I was raised in Virginia and so the South was my home. I do still miss it at times and strangely more as I grow older. If God so wills I do wish to do one more trip home to see family and friends before I am no longer able to go.
Your pictures truly show the beauty of the gardens and I am going to send them to my children who live scattered around the globe.
The gardens are beautiful – been to Vancouver but never to the garden.
Went to a Chinese New Year Party last night and the food was outstanding – never stopped coming – 7 course meal. I am going to try your soup!
Thanks so much.
Hi Mary, The garden is beautiful and so are your pictures. I enjoyed the link to the explanation of the elements. I wonder if there is any emphasis on the scents produced by flowering plants? The soup looks delicious–my husband is a ginger fan–so I will definitely try this! Happy Chinese New Year! Linda
Asian gardens are so peaceful and lovely – thank you for sharing this one. We should all eat the soup every day and we can continue blogging for a very long time -lol!!
so many gorgeous images, i love how your eye is trained on the details of life. that snake scares me, so huge, and how incredible to watch it grow! i had a 10′ dead piece of a curly willow i used for a birdhouse stand, imagine my shock when the log, and i do mean dead log, sprouted and grew an entire tree where once was a bird house arch… oh and did i mention it was at a staircase, where no one would ever plant a tree, much less a willow… i left it there though, becasue i can not ever forget from a dead log a tree can sprout… like that snake can shed its skin and grow green~ thanks for such gorgeous imagery~
What a beautiful Chinese garden! It looks so tranquil and lush. Your soup looks delicious, Mary. The flavors sound so inticing –I must make this-thanks!
What a lovely garden to visit. Your photos are wonderful, I especially love the snake. Thanks for sharing your tour. Have a happy week!
My mom is Japanese and every New Year’s Day we would eat long noodles for long life..and I keep up the tradition in my house…and then of course the corned beef and cabbage for the traditions of my dad for St. Patrick’s Day…so love traditions…the Chinese gardens are beautiful and hope to make it there one day!..The Butchart Gardens are definitely on my bucket list…Your table setting and “soup” are beautiful!!
Beautiful! I especially love the shot of the koi and would love to see the snake sculpture in person throughout the year! Oh and that soup sounds perfect for the cold snap we’re having!
The gardens are absolutely beautiful! It would be a wonderful place to visit.
What a wonderful post. I visited these places some 12 years ago and was in heaven. What a fabulous city. Did you get to see the narrowest building. It was on a corner as I remember and REALLY narrow. Loved seeing photos of places I remember. genie
This looks so yummy. I’d like to invite you to participate in my blog’s round up called Pantry Party! This month’s theme is pasta and this dish would suit it perfectly! Enter this dish or another, we’d love to have you!