Bowl of Pork & Choy Soup
(click to enlarge)

Pork & Choy Soup
Burma - Kayan State
   
Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
3 w/rice  
***
1 hr  
Yes

This is an outstandingly delicious soup! While Burmese Sour Soups are made with Fish in Burma, this one from the Karen people of Kayan State is based on Pork, and it works very well. It has no chili heat (unless you want it to).



10
------
1/8
1/2
------
3
1
1/2
1/4
14
------
4
1/4
1
------
2
1/8
5
1/2
oz
---
t
t
---
T
c
t
c
oz
---
oz
in

---
T
t
c
T
Pork meat (1)
-- Marinade
Turmeric
Salt
-----------
Tamarind paste (2
Water, boiling
Shrimp Paste (3)
Water
Choy (4)
-- Aromatics
Shallots
Ginger root
Lemongrass
---------
Oil
Turmeric
Stock, light (5)
Salt
Prep   -   (25 min)
  1. Slice PORK thin. Cut slices into pieces roughly 1 x 3/4 inch.
  2. Rub all Marinade items into Pork well and evenly. Set aside for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Chop TAMARIND PASTE as well as you can. Place in a heat proof bowl and pour in Boiling Water. Let soak for at least 20 minutes. Force it through a wire strainer keeping liquid and pulp that passes through. Be sure to scrape off the paste that adheres to the outside of the strainer. Discard fibrous debris.
  4. Mix Shrimp Paste with 1/4 c Water and stir until dissolved.
  5. Wash and trim CHOY of choice. Slice coarse. You should end up with about 3 cups moderately packed.
  6. Peel SHALLOTS and slice thin. Slice Ginger very thin crosswise, then chop fine. Peel tough outer leaves from LEMON GRASS and cut off hard root end. lightly crush the bottom 4 inches with your kitchen mallet, and cut the 6 inches into two 3 inches pieces. Mix all Aromatics items.
Run   -   (35 min)
  1. In a heavy bottomed pot, heat Oil over moderately high heat. Toss in 1/8 t Turmeric, and a second later stir in the Aromatics mix. Fry stirring until Shallots are translucent.
  2. Stir in Pork and fry stirring until all raw color is gone.
  3. Stir in Stock and Shrimp Paste mix. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in Tamarind liquid and Salt. Bring back to a boil, then stir in CHOY. Again return to a boil and simmer until the Choy stem slices are just tender.
  5. Check Salt and adjust if needed. Serve hot accompanied with plenty of steamed Jasmine rice (see Comments).
NOTES:
  1. Pork:   Weight is for pork meat with excess fat removed. Just about any cut will do.
  2. Tamarind:   This recipe presumes block form (best). Concentrate could also be used. For details see our Tamarind page.
  3. Shrimp Paste:   Use a Thai version. I prefer the paste without Soy Oil, though its harder to find. For versions and details see our Shrimp Sauce / Paste page.
  4. Choy:   Practically any vegetable called "Choy" can be used. The photo example is made with Shanghai Bok Choy (called "baby bok choy" in markets). For details see our Cabbage, Mustard, Turnip & Radish Greens page.
  5. Stock:   The pattern recipe calls for Vegetable, Chicken or plain Water. Actually, Pork stock will also work fine, but even if you don't have stock ready, there's no need to use plain water. Chicken Powder is now much used in Asia as many modern families no longer have a stay-at-home cook, and it is easily available in North America.
  6. Comments:   In Southeast Asia it is common practice to ladle some soup over your rice. In North America, service is different, and I find it much more satisfactory to provide a bowl of rice at the table. A good spoon full can be added to one side of the soup and stirred in as the soup is eaten. More spoons of rice can be added as desired .
  7. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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