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Salted Pork Soup: Yan Du Xian


Yan (腌salted), Du (笃stew or simmer), and Xian (鲜umami) is Yangtze Delta's signature spring dish.


It is traditionally prepared with salted pork, fresh pork like ribs or pork belly, and celtuce or tofu knots. No salt is added to this dish; the savory flavor is from the salted pork.


YAN DU XIAN RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 12 oz salted pork

  • 1 ½ lb diced pork ribs. Soak ribs in water overnight in the refrigerator.

  • 1 large head of fresh winter bamboo. Or use the same amount of spring bamboo shoots. This dish is traditionally made with spring bamboo shoots, but winter bamboo is usually more available. Avoid frozen or canned bamboo.

  • 1 head of celtuce

  • 2 scallions, cut into 2-inch batons

  • 3 large slices of ginger

  • Shaoxing cooking wine


Instructions

  1. Rinse 1 pack of salted pork. Cut pork into bite sizes.


2. Remove bamboo husks. See the photos below. When you get to the inside, remove the hard tips.


3. Trim the tough bits on the bottom. Roll-cut bamboo into bite-size pieces. Blanch bamboo in boiling water for one minute to remove the earthy and chalky taste. Drain and set it aside.


4. Remove the leaves from the celtuce. You can save these for salad or soups. Peel celtuce and roll-cut it into small chunks.


5. Rinse soaked ribs. Add ribs to a pot of water. Bring it to a boil. When it's boiling, remove the foam from the top.


6. Add salted pork and blanched bamboo. Add enough water to cover the pork. You can make a stew-like dish or a soup with extra broth to make noodles. If you prefer the latter, ensure the water level is at least one inch above the pork.


Add 3 slices of ginger, scallion batons, and 3 Tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine.


I realized the first pot I used was too small while recording this recipe. I transferred the pork to a bigger one. 


7. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 40 minutes. Add celtuce and simmer for another 20 minutes.


8. Garnish with chopped scallions. Enjoy!


 

 

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