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Dried Bok Choy Soup

In ancient times, bok choy was dried to preserve it until the next growing season. Today fresh bok choy is available year round, but it is also dried because cooks and diners like the unique flavor drying gives it. My mother used to blanch the surplus from our garden and hang it on the clothesline to dry. This homespun soup was one of her specialties.

Courses: Soup
Serves: 8 people

Recipe Ingredients

3 oz 85gDried bok choy
4   Jujubes or dried figs
1   Large can chicken broth - (49 1/2 oz)
4 cups 948mlWater
1/2 lb 227g / 8ozBoneless lean pork - cut 3/4" cubes
2   Thin slices ginger
  Salt - to taste

Recipe Instructions

Soak the bok choy in warm water to cover for 2 hours. Wash it in clean water to remove dirt around the stems. Remove the stem ends and cut the bok choy into 1 1/2-inch pieces. If jujubes are used, soak them in warm water to cover for 30 minutes; drain.

In a large pot, combine the bok choy, jujubes, chicken broth, water, pork, and ginger. Bring to a boil over high heat and skim any foam that forms on the top. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until the bok choy is tender. Add salt to taste before serving.

This recipe yields 8 servings.

Tips: Jujubes, also called Chinese dates, are not actually of the date family. They are small, dried, wrinkled red fruit with an apple-prune-like taste. They are imported from northern China and grown in drier sections of the western United States. They give subtle sweetness to soups and braised dishes.

In some Chinese markets, packages of dried bok choy are labeled "dehydrated cole."

Everybody's Wokking by Martin Yan, (Harlow & Ratner, 1991)


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