Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Cooking 2: Apple Soup

Slowed cooked soup... a notable trait of Cantonese cuisine. The soup is usually a clear broth made by simmering meat and other ingredients for several hours to bring out the essence of the ingredients. Putting all the ingredients in a pot and boiling them. That shouldn't be too difficult ain't it? Read on for Mr. Robotic attempt at making apple soup.

Apple Soup
Learned of this recipe from the Noob Cook. Changes made in no. of apples used for recipe.

Ingredients(Serves 2-3):
- 1.5 litres water
- 200-300g spare ribs or pork shoulder ribs
- 1 onion, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 red apples, cut into pieces (advisable to remove skins if you are using waxed apples)
- 6 red dates
- Salt for seasoning if required

1. Blanch the pork ribs.
2. Boil water in a pot and put in the blanched ribs, onions, apples and red dates.
3. Bring to boil again and turn to low heat.
4. Simmer for 2 hours.
5. Season with salt if required.

Note: As far as Mr. Robotic understands, blanching the pork ribs is to put the ribs in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes, followed by washing away the impurities.
There is more to Chinese soup than Mr. Robotic's original simple view. For one, Mr. Robotic realise the test in making a good soup lies in the simmering skills of the cook. One would need to be able to control the fire (控制火喉) in order to really bring out the taste of the meat and ingredients. Due to a shortage of time, Mr. Robotic took the shortcut and only simmered the soup for 1 hour. Hence, the soup turned out to be a weaker version of the familiar ABC soup.
Apples in Chinese recipes are pretty rare. The original recipe calls for 4 apples. If you are using apples in cooking for the first time, Mr. Robotic's advice is to reduce the no. of apples to 2 so that you can get acquired to the taste.

Practice makes perfect! Mr. Robotic is going to take up the apple soup challenge again some day!

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