Saturday, December 30, 2006

Pork Rib & Lotus Root Soup.

Pork Rib & Lotus Root Soup.

it's now ascertained that moving house is nothing if not a bitch. after what seems like forever, i've finally got myself more or less settled into the new place in the city. plus, i bought me some new kitchenware to celebrate the move; am now a proud owner of (among other things) a handheld food processor and the loveliest TEFAL wok! not to mention i'm absolutely in love with the new kitchen, pity the dishwasher doesn't really work.

anyway, back to today's dish!

personal history.
this is one of my favourite recipes, something passed down to me from my grandmother. it's arguably one of the few dishes of hers that i enjoy over-eating since i was a kid.

in general, the dish is quite a common sight in chinese families. however, what i've learnt from many of my friends is that most of their families and in fact hawkers leave the soup in its 'natural' flavour. my grandmother swears by a bit of rock sugar, and for that i think she rawks!

500g, pork ribs (much of the flavour comes from the bones)
200g, lotus root (washed and sliced)
1.5 cup, dried red dates
1.5-2 cup, raw peanuts
1.5 cup, chinese lycium
1 cup, rock sugar
a few cups, hot water (enough to drown all the ingredients)

Pork Rib & Lotus Root Soup: Ingredients.

Additional Notes On Ingredients
1) my grandmother says that fresh young lotus roots give the best taste; i'm resorting to freeze-pack ones from the local asian grocer's because i can't find lotus roots around here.

2) sometimes my grandmother adds dried longan as well. if you're a fan of the taste of longan, halve the amount of dates and replace that half with longan.

Special Crockery
i'm using an electric crockery pot for this dish because it takes time for all the ingredients to break down. give it at least twelve hours in the crock pot, although i normally go for twenty-four.


Step 1-and-only-1: Toss it all in!
too simple! drop the porb ribs to the bottom of the pot, then followed by the rest of the ingredients, try to leave the roots for last. pour the hot water into the pot, cover and let it cook on high for at least twelve hours. when it's ready, the aroma of the soup will naturally fill the room.

Pork Rib & Lotus Root Soup: Cooking in Crock Pot.

when it's done cooking, you'd see that the soup and most of its ingredients turns a dark umber. the peanuts and dates normally continue to float in the soup.

Final Serve.
the dish is best served alongside some steamed rice. because there's meat in the soup, there's really not much of a need for additional sides to go with.

Pork Rib & Lotus Root Soup: Final Serve.

More Notes
if you're not a fan of rock sugar, you might want to taste the soup before adding any rock sugar to the mixture. this is best done at the half-way mark (i.e. twelve hours, in my case), so that you give the sugar some time to infuse with the other ingredients, and vice versa. alternatively, you can omit the rock sugar altogether because the lycium, dates and longan are all by right natural sweeteners.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

honey dates the secret to replace sugar in soups