Seaweed and pork slices soup

“House Specialty Seaweed Soup You’ll Never Missed”

Seaweed is known to be healthy food which contains lots of vitamins and minerals beneficial to both adults and children. Moreover, it’s a good culinary ingredient. Many of us like to have seaweed in the soup when eating “Yong Tau Foo (Assorted vegetable with fish paste stuffing) meal. I have another recipe of seaweed soup besides having it with Yong Tau Foo here. Very simple, and yet tasty soup!

You may get dried seaweed from various grocery shops in neighborhood  or supermarkets (dried food section). Most of these seaweeds were dried and formed into large sheet of round or square shape, sold by packet. This dried seaweed sheet looks black in colour when in large sheet, but in fact, it is dark greenish colour in individual strips. Unlike those Japanese or Korean seaweeds in thin greenish sheets which good for instant consumption, this kind of dried black seaweed needs to be cooked before consuming it. After cooked, the hard and crispy seaweed pieces will turn into soft and tender texture, disintegrated in the soup.

Just give it a try!

Ingredients
1 large sheet of dried seaweed, break/ cut into smaller pieces (amount used depends on your preference)
8 fish balls
300 gram of lean pork meat (about one palm size), thinly sliced or julienned
2 medium eggs
1 chicken stock cube (Chinese translation: 鸡精块)
Pinch of salt and ground white pepper
1 pot of water, 50% filled (about 1500 ml)

To season lean meat slices:
1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
5 tablespoon of corn starch (to coat the meat slices)

To garnish:
1 tablespoon of Zhejiang black vinegar (Chinese translation: 浙江黑醋) *See pic on right

Optional:
2 tablespoon of cooking oil (to fry seaweed pieces into crisps, and reserve for later)

Method
1) Season pork meat slices with light soy sauce, for about 15 min. Set aside. Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium fire, and add chicken stock cube into the boiling water.

2) When stock cube immerses into boiling water, add in fish balls. Coat meat slices with corn starch. Make sure all sides of meat are well-coated. Add in the coated meat slices.

3) Reduce heat to low fire, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until meat slices are tender. Add in seaweeds, and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper, and stir well.

4) Break eggs in a bowl, briefly beat with serving fork (beat no more than 4 strokes). Set aside. Then, return to the soup, increase heat to medium-high fire. When the soup starts boiling, bring the beaten eggs back, and slowly swirl eggs into the soup (in few stages). Stir constantly till egg-drop forms strips. Heat off. Garnish with black vinegar and serve hot.

Seaweed counts extremely low calorie (about 30kcal). So, this soup dish counts less than 150kcal for a portion of regular bowl. However, to make this soup even better taste, I fried the seaweed pieces before putting into the soup. This type of dried seaweed absorbs oil surprisingly fast, and hence, it has added with 50kcal more calories. To fry it or not, I’ll leave the choice to you.

Tips: Use fork or soup ladle to break up the seaweed in the soup, if it is difficult to scope into serving bowl when serve.
* The purpose to coat meat slices is to have smoother consistency of meat in the palate. It gives very smooth, tender and kinda chewy bite of the meat instead of dry and coarse feeling. The meat will taste much better with corn starch or flour coating.
* Garnish the soup with some black vinegar gives you a pleasant sourish taste in the soup which will increase your appetite and add frangrance into your palate. This seaweed soup will be so much tastier, with just a few drops of Zhejiang black vinegar. In any case, if you decided to forgo the vinegar, add a little bit more salt to taste. Otherwise, the soup might taste a little too bland.