Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Flowers, mushrooms and fish: Chinese Daylily Soup (金針木耳滾魚湯)

eahorses, shark fins and swallow nests - the Chinese can make a soup out of anything.

To start from something less challenging, why not try flower buds and tree mushrooms. This light consommé (金針木耳滾魚湯) is fish based but you can substitute fish with stir-fried shiitake to make it veg(etari)an.

Here how you go about fixing it. It is really done before you can say Jack Robinson.
  1. Soak a handful of dried daylily buds (金針) and a handful of black fungus (木耳) half an hour in advance.
  2. Cut a couple of large tomatoes into large wedges.
  3. Slice a 3-inch piece of fresh ginger and fry it lightly in cooking oil.
  4. Add a medium sized fish, e.g., sea brim (or shiitake for veg(etari)ans) to the oil and fry it until done.
  5. While it is frying, bring to boil a pot of water (2-3 litres).
  6. Shred the soaked black fungus and drain the daylily buds.
  7. Add the fish (or shiitake), fungus, buds, tomatoes and ginger to the boiling water.
  8. Season with fish sauce or soya sauce for veg(etari)ans and a dash of ground white pepper.
  9. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

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