Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ginger Chicken Soup with Lop Cheung and Gai Lan

Yesterday was supposed to be a beautiful day (being April 7) but it was not. It was a chilly 50 degrees and raining all day. My joints were aching. That beautiful Thai Beef Salad I was going to make for dinner? Yeah. No.

Who says the weather doesn't influence how we eat? Yesterday was a soup day if I have ever seen a soup day. And so it didn't take very long for us to abandon the beef salad in favor of a big bowl of soup.

Ginger Chicken Soup with Lop Cheung and Gai Lan
A big family pack of piernas de pollo (all the meat is labeled in Spanish at my preferred market), a pound of ginger, a bunch of gai lan (Chinese broccoli), a pound of udon, a small pack of lop cheung, a bunch of green onions, a bunch of cilantro, and a little bit of pickled mustard stems followed me home from the market.

The soup couldn't be any simpler to make. Into the bottom of the pot went about 8 crushed garlic cloves, half a bunch of cilantro (whole), the tops of a bunch of green onions, and about six ounces of slabbed ginger. On top went the chicken and all was covered with cold water, brought to a simmer, skimmed from time to time, and left to poach for 3 or 4 hours: we weren't keeping track of time.

At dinner time, I sliced half a lop cheung per person and the bunch of Chinese broccoli. And then dipped the solids out of the soup pot and brought the remaining stock to a rolling boil. The chicken was cooling a bit while I was seasoning the broth with fish sauce, soy sauce, and salt. Into the pot went the sausage, the broccoli stems, and the udon.

Meanwhile, I pulled a bit of chicken and put it into the serving bowls along with the sliced broccoli leaves, pickled mustard stems, and cilantro leaves.

Once the udon were done, I used tongs to take noodles straight from the pot into each bowl and then ladled the boiling broth over the top.

And it just couldn't be any simpler or more flavorful!

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