One day I was needing new soups recipe. Two soups came up to my mind – Watercress soups and Sichuan vegetable soup. Vividly I remember I sort of like them but it was too long ago since I had any. So I started googling and made both of them on different day when I manage to find ingredients resemblance of what the recipes were talking about.
I did not know what Sichuan vegetable was but vaguely had some idea of how they should look like. So I found these in the supermarket and thought I would give it a go. I had since bought 5 packets of them and cooked twice, Willem loves it. I knew he would probably like it because he likes the sour stuffs. This soups sort of reminds me of tom yum without the spiciness and yet more depth in the taste.
Sichuan vegetable comes in some variety of taste but in general, they are salty, bit sour, some are more spicy than the other…etc The one I bought (above picture) was made in Thailand and it says on the packaging in chinese – super sour vegetable. It was actually not that sour. I found that Thai has the same recipe for this dish except they use pork belly instead of pork ribs in the soup.
Ingredients (for 2-4):
- 1 pack of the preserved vegetable – soaked in water for 20 minutes, rinse and cut into 1cm thick pieces
- 1-2 carrots – cut into big chunk
- 1-2 tomatoes – cut into 4 each
- 1 red chili
- 2 teaspoon of roughly crushed white pepper
- Pork/spare ribs – I would have 5 pieces of medium size ribs each person, if this is your main and only dish, you may want to increase the amount of ribs
Add about 2.5 litre of water into a pot, add the preserved vegetable, carrots and tomatoes in. Leave them on medium heat. At the same time, blanch your ribs. Blanching the ribs in my dictionary means bring the water to boil, put the ribs in the water (submerged), leave them boiling for 1 minute, turn off the heat, drain the water and rinse the ribs in cold water.
Now, your pot with the vegetables should be boiling, add the ribs into the pot and reduce the heat significantly so that the soup stops boiling. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes and add a whole chili and the crushed white pepper, simmer for another 30 minutes. Taste it from time to time and if you want to add more chili or white pepper, do so. Avoid adding any salt as the preserved vegetable was preserved in salt.
We usually have this as a side dish to our chinese dinner (with 2 – 3 other dishes) and we will probably make this soup once a week until one of us got enough of the taste. I could also have this on its own when I am on certain diet to reduce carb intake and only have soup for dinner.