Chinese Mustard Greens Soup

Chinese mustard greens have been a favourite vegetable of mine since I was a child. Their strong, pungent aroma and mustard bite, with a slightly bitter edge, is refreshing - whether combined with meat in a stir-fry or when they add zest to a refreshing soup, as in this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 225 g (8 oz) Chinese mustard greens
  • 225 g (8 oz) lean pork
  • 4 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 2 teaspoons groundnut oil
  • 1 litre (1ΒΎ pints)Chinese Chicken Stock or store-bought fresh stock
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ΒΌ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions, white part only
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onion greens, to garnish

Method

Prepare the mustard greens: separate the leaves and stalks, and cut the leaves into 5 cm (2 in) pieces. Peel the stalks, cut them into diagonal slices and wash them well in several changes of water.

Cut the pork into thin strips and mix it with 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, the rice wine, sesame oil and cornflour.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over a high heat until it is hot. Swirl in the groundnut oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, toss in the pork and stir-fry for 1 minute. Remove and set aside.

Put the chicken stock in a pot and bring it to a simmer.

Sprinkle the sugar into the simmering stock. Taste and add salt, pepper and the remaining 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, then give it several good stirs. Next toss in the mustard greens and the white spring onions.

Remove from the heat and add the pork, stirring all the while. Garnish with the finely chopped spring onion greens and serve at once.

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