Lotus Root and Pork Rib Soup莲藕排骨汤lián ǒu pái gǔ tāng

This is a classic dish of Hubei food, one of the eight major China regional cuisines. Though pink lotus blossoms reach peak bloom in high summer. The rhizomes (the Lotus Root) hidden underneath the plant and in the pond are harvested much later. The most prized rhizomes are the fat, long, juicy specimens that are almost meaty, which is best served in late autumn or early winter.

Serve 3-4

  • 500g (a little over 1LB) pork ribs, cut into bite size
  • 1 tablespoon              cooking oil
  • 2 inches, fresh ginger, sliced生姜
  • 2 spring onions, trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons    Chinese cooking wine
  • Boling water, as needed
  • 2 lotus roots
  • Salt to taste
  • White peppercorn powder白胡椒粉, optional
  • 1 spring onion, minced
  • 1 sprig, cilantro, coarsely chopped

Method

  1. Soak the pork ribs in cold water for a half hour. Rinse thoroughly and drain. The soaking process helps to get rid of any impurities or blood, to keep the soup clear.

2. In a large stock pot, heat the cooking oil over medium high heat. Place into the pork ribs, and then brown the meat on all sides. Tie the 2 spring onions into knots. Add into the pot the spring onions and sliced ginger. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add into the cooking wine. Cook for another 2 minutes.

3. Cover the ribs with water. Bring the pot to a boil. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover the pot with lid. Cook for about 1 hour until the meat is very tender.

4. While the meat is cooking and almost done, peel and clean the lotus roots. Trim the ends and roll cut them into pieces in inch wide. If you notice any mud at all inside the roots, wash it off carefully.

5. Discard the ginger and spring onions from the pot. Add the salt to taste. Add into the lotus roots. Bring the pot a boil again before lowering the heat to a simmer. Cook the lotus roots until tender, about 30 minutes.

6. Portion out the soup into large individual bowls, sprinkle with white peppercorn powder, chopped green onions and cilantro. Serve hot.

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