Another dish with fresh mustard cabbage! I made mother promise this is the last one. Seriously we had too much of this vegetable. And I don’t want to bore people who actually read my blog! This soup is a keeper though. Providing that you are a fan of pig’s trotters. However, the limbs can be substituted with roast pork. No need to panic.
The dish is heavily flavored by the usual sour agent, tamarind slices, shallots, lemongrass, garlic, chilies and tomatoes. They work together like a choir that brings all the flavor together. The mustard cabbage is happy with his new spices friends. The one thing I love the most is probably the shallots. They are used whole and when cooked, they look like little pearls! Pearls that can make your breath smells funky, of course!
Did you see the pearly shallots and the thick pigs’ trotters? They might not look pretty in the bowl, but that bowl of soup can make me eat a big bucket of steamed rice. Oops. That doesn’t sound very lady-like. Don’t forget some sambal belacan (shrimp paste chili) for dipping.
Store-bought Chinese-style roast pig’s trotters. Or just good o’ roast pork, if you don’t feel like having toes in your soup. (I did not just say that!)
A couple of slices of tamarind. This can be bought in Asian groceries
A bunch of mustard cabbage (or “Kua chai” or “Gay choy”)
Red chilies and lemongrass. I never throw away the green part of lemongrass. I use everything. Green part, white part. Bruise slightly with a pestle if you wish.
Cloves of garlic and shallots.
Boil some water in a big stock pot.
Add garlic, shallot, tomatoes, tamarind, chilies and lemongrass into the boiling water.
And roast pork. Really sorry about the blurry action, by the way.
Let simmer over medium heat.
For quite some time.
Toss in cabbage.
Stir everything well and season with salt and sugar. Cover and simmer some more over low heat.
When everything looks slightly over-cooked, it is done.
Serve with steamed rice and sambal belacan (recipe here). We call this soup “Kua chai theng” in Hokkien dialect.
Chinese Roast Pork and Mustard Cabbage Soup
2 ltrs water
2 slices / 20 g dried tamarind
7 / 30 g red chilies
6 / 60 g shallots
4 / 20 g garlic cloves
1 tomato, quartered
500 g roast pork, or roast pig's trotters, cut into medium size pieces
600 g Chinese mustard cabbage, kua chai / gay choy
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar (optional)
Boil water in a stockpot.
Add tamarind, chilies, shallots, garlic and tomatoes into boiling water and lower heat to medium.
Add roast pork into the pot. Cook for 5 minutes.
Combine the greens into the soup and season with salt and sugar.
Cover and simmer for 20 minutes over low heat.
Remove from heat and serve warm with steamed rice.