Saturday, January 06, 2007

Double boiled, all members of the family

I'm now too sick to get back to normal kitchen routine. I can't even speak in complete sentences. It should be "this double-boiled soup is suitable for all members of the family". I do know that missing words and truncated sentences can lead to deep serious misunderstanding. Oops!

Slowly but surely, I hope, this double-boiled soup can whet your appetite.

Lacking a good understanding of chinese herbs, such soup packs save me a trip to the chinese herbal/medicine shop to choose herbs for a particular soup.

雪耳润肺汤 - it writes "Suitable for all members of the family"

It should be one of those least artificial pre-packed food, since there are no preservatives, no additives, no artificial flavorings. The herbs are pre-chosen(usually dried) and combined in a pack to yield soup that can either improve general health, or target certain deficiency in health such as loss of appetite, remove phelgm, improve yin/yang deficiency etc.

First, lean pork was blanched (to remove scum), then placed at the bottom of a bowl. The ingredients/herbs (杏仁, 玉竹, 雪耳, 无花果, 蜜枣) in the soup pack were then placed on top of the pork, and water added such that the pork and herbs were completed submerged.

It's now time for double-boiling.

I had a first attempt, using double boiling technique to cook this soup. Double boiling is a cooking technique to prepare delicate food such as bird nests and shark fins etc. The food is typically covered with water and put in a covered ceramic jar. The jar is then steamed for several hours. This technique ensures there is no loss of liquid or moisture (its essences) from the food being cooked, hence it is often used with expensive ingredients such as chinese herbs.

So soothing to drink. No bitterness, and it's naturally sweet. Can you see the essence ?

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