“Flavoursome Chinese soup that helps to reduce body ‘heatiness’.”
Salted vegetables soup is what Chinese believes to help reducing ‘body heat’ (降火). Moreover, salted vegetables and tofu soup is my favourite. I loved to have the soup cooked with duck meat.
Duck meat yields more intense flavour in the soup, especially roasted duck. Yes, I loved roasted one. Whenever I bought whole roast duck from the store for dinner that evening, I would use those boney parts, such as, duck neck, wings and spines, to cook this soup since we do not eat those parts. As such, I will not waste any of my food. So, we have the hot and flavoursome soup to go along with our roast duck meal!
However, if you are unable to get any ready-roasted duck, and having the duck roasted for making just the soup is too much trouble, use fresh duck meat instead. Fresh duck meat, indeed, is healthier with less oil. You, pick the choice of meat for the soup!
200 grams of duck meat (may use both fleshy and boney parts), skinned and cut into bite-size
200 grams of salted vegetables (amount about size of your palm), steeped and sliced
1 packet of beancurd aka tofu, cut into chunk cubes
1 semi-ripe tomato, quartered
2 preserved (salted) plum (咸水梅 “xian shui mei”), lightly mashed
1 teaspoon of white peppercorns (whole pepper), coarsely mashed
1 pot of water, 50% filled (about 1500ml)
1) Steep salted vegetable in large bowl of water for 2 – 3 hours. Change water after every hour of steeping. You may check readiness of the vegetable by tasting a little of it. Its saltiness should be just right for the taste bud. Then, slice into stripes. Set aside.
2) Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add duck meat, salted vegetables and peppercorns. Reduce heat to low fire, or enough heat to keep the soup bubbling. Simmer for 2 hours.
3) Add preserved plum, tomato and tofu. Continue to simmer for another 30 minutes. Heat off, and serve hot.
Making good salted vegetable & tofu soup, steeping of the salted vegetables with right length of time is essential. 1 to 3 hours of steeping for a handful of amount should be just right.
My salted vegetable, tofu & duck soup yields about 180kcal per regular bowl.
Tips: Check the taste of the soup when simmering. Reduce simmering time, if you find the soup is salty enough to taste.
* Do not stir the soup after placing tofu in order to retain the good shape of tofu.
* Adding peppercorn is optional, if you prefer some spicy peppery flavour.