June 22, 2010

Lotus Root Soup

A bowl of soup is customary to the Chinese as it is designed to digest food, or used medicinally to balance a person's yin-yang. My mother is a firm believer that a meal is not complete without a soup, simple or elaborate. She once quote me a famous saying, "When there is soup there should be rice, the relationship between the both is like water to a boat," from a great Chinese poet, Li Yu. I asked my Chinese teacher about it one day in class and she gave me the full version of this poem. "As long as there is rice, there should be soup. The relationship between soup and rice is like that between water and a boat. When a boat is stranded on a sandy bank only water can wash it back to the river; thus rice goes down better with soup." This is one of my mother's exemplary soup and is also one of my favorite.
1½-2 lbs. pork neck bones, washed and drained
1½-2 lbs lean pork, washed and drained
1 lotus root, skin scoured and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 piece dried octopus, presoaked with water to soften
10-12 pitted dried red dates (jujube)
½ cup raw skinless peanuts, washed and drained
12 cups water (approximate)
sea salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large deep pot, add enough water to cover meat and bones. Bring to a fast boil, remove and wash meat in cold running water to remove scum and impurities.
2. Put meat and bones, lotus root, red dates, peanuts and water, making sure water should cover the ingredients completely. Cook without the lid on high for 30 minutes. Replace lid and simmer for another hour and half, until the meat and lotus root are soft and fragrant. Season to taste and serve with rice.
Printable Recipe

1 comment:

Terrie said...

My daughter loves this soup very much esp. with the taste of octopus.