This is one of my favourite soups. In China, it is called ‘double-boiled’ or ‘double-steamed’, the name deriving from the cooking technique used. The prepared ingredients are put in a casserole containing a boiling rich stock; then the casserole is sealed and placed in a steamer — a double cooking process that creates a flavourful soup. It is popular among all Chinese, and in Hong Kong it is made from various ingredients, such as shark fins, pigeons, bird’s nests, chicken and, as in the recipe, vegetables. Because vegetables cook quickly, this takes little more than half an hour to cook to full flavour and the result is a clear soup, rather like a rich consomme. It makes a splendid first course for dinner parties or can be served as part of a family meal.
Soak the dried mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes until they are soft. Squeeze the excess liquid from the mushrooms and remove and discard the stalks. Leave the caps whole.
Peel and cut the Chinese radish into
Heat a wok or frying-pan until hot and add the oil. Pour in the egg mixture and cook until it sets. Remove the omelette and leave to cool. Cut it into
Set a rack into a wok or deep pan. Fill with
When the soup is cooked, it can be served immediately or cooled and stored in the fridge or freezer to be re-heated when required. Garnish the soup with the watercress just before serving.
© 1995 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.