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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bittergourd and spare rib soup


This Chinese influenced Thai soup recipe should use the soft, gristle pieces of bone from the pig, so that when it is well boiled, the bones will be soft and chewable.The harder pieces opf bone on the spare rib serve to add flavourto the stock.

If you don't like bittergourd, then you can use pumpkin or courgette, or even fresh bamboo shoot if you like.the bittergourd should be soake preferably in rock sugar not table sugar, because it will have a bore even balanced flavour to the soup broth.

The other essential ingredient to this soup is "hed Horm" (chinese wood mushrooms), which lend a superior aroma to the broth, permeating it with a wholesome savoury flavour.


Pork Bones (preferably spare ribs with the cartilage still connected - 500g.
Bittergourd 1kg, or 2 medium ones
6 dried Chinese wood mushrooms
4 coriander roots, one Tablespoon of sugar, 2 tablespoons of salt, 3 tablespoons of light soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of "Gao Gii" (เก๋ากี้)
and some water for soaking.

Preparation method;

Take the dried mushrooms and soak in tepid water until they swell open (unless you are using fresh ones, in which case you can clean them straight away).After this, take the bittergourd, slice it longways in half and remove the pith from the middle.Cut it then into relatively large chunks.Bring the water to boil in a pan, and add one tablespoon of salt to it adding the bittergourd once the water is boiling.the water should cover the bittergourd; you should not put a lid on the pan.Let the bittergourd boin for about 20 minutes, and remove the water from the pan - then pour fresh cool water on the bittergourd and put the vegetable on a plate to wait for the next stage.

Next, bring a new pan of water to the boil, add the coriander root, pork ribs, 1 tablespoon of salt and one tablespoon of rock sugar. Whilst the soup is simmering, carefully remove the foam from the bone that builds on the surface of the broth. after maybe 20 minutes, you can add the bittergourd and the mushrooms to the broth, and simmer until both the bittergourd and the bones are soft. Add the soy sauce, and test to see if the flavour is to one's taste, adding more soysauce if necessary (or sugar if you feel it should be sweeter).
Serve in a steaming bowl.

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