Serving
(click to enlarge)

Pork & Opo Gourd Soup
Vietnam
  -   Canh Bau
Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
6 soup  
***
1-1/4 hrs  
Yes

This is a light but flavorful Summer soup. Soups combining pork with gourds are made all over East and Southeast Asia by dozens of different recipes. This one can serve as a light main dish soup if served with a side of cooked rice to spoon into it as desired.



7
1-1/4
4
4
2
5
2/3
1
1/4
-------
1/4
oz
#
oz
oz
T
c
t
T
t
---
c
Pork, lean (1)
Opo Gourd (2)
Mushrooms (3)
Onion
Oil
Water
Salt
Fish Sauce (4)
Pepper (5)
-- Garnish
Cilantro
Prep   -   (30 min)
  1. Cut PORK into 1/4 inch cubes.
  2. In a sauce pan, bring plenty of Water to a boil. Pour in the Pork and bring back to a boil for 20 seconds. Strain out the pork and rinse off any sludge.
  3. Peel OPO as thinly as you can. Cut it into 1/2 inch slices, and the slices into 3/4 inch squares.
  4. Cut MUSHROOMS into about 1/2 inch chunks.
  5. Quarter ONION lengthwise and slice thin crosswise.
  6. Chop CILANTRO medium for Garnish.
Run   -   (45 min)
  1. in a suitable sauce pan, heat Oil and fry Onion, stirring until translucent.
  2. Stir in Pork and Mushrooms. fry stirring until Onions threaten to color.
  3. Stir in 5 c Water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in Opo and bring back to a boil. Continue to simmer until it is starting to become translucent and no longer floats, another 15 minutes or so.
  5. Stir in Fish Sauce, Salt and Pepper. Bring back to a simmer and turn off the heat.
  6. Serve in individual bowls, garnished with Cilantro.
NOTES:
  1. Pork:   Weight is boneless and with all excess fat trimmed off. Any cut of Pork can be used, except belly.
  2. Opo Gourd:   [Opo Squash, Upo, Bottle Gourd] This light green gourd is quite available in produce markets here in Southern California, always sold as "Opo Squash". For details see our Opo Gourd page.
  3. Mushrooms:   I recommend the small King Trumpet mushrooms now available, or another of the Oyster mushrooms that are relatively firm. For details see our Fungus page.
  4. Fish Sauce:   This clear liquid is as essential to Southeast Asian cuisine as it was to Imperial Rome. For details see our Fish Sauce - Introduction page.
  5. Pepper:   Vietnamese usually use white peppercorns rather than black - but I usually use the more aromatic black anyway.
  6. Comments:   The mushrooms are my addition, made because I had some that needed to be used up, and figured they would be appropriate, and they definitely were.
  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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