salted vegetable and tofu soup

“Come, have a bowl of this delicate Salted Vegetable, tofu and prime ribs soup!”

Previously, I cooked this salted vegetable tofu soup with roasted duck meat. Taste was more intensive than this prime ribs version as the ribs were not roasted/ baked, but merely blanched and boiled together with the salted vegetable in soup. I did not even add tomato this time.

I loved this version, for its delicate taste of the soup. As for the salted vegetable, I did not use much of the leafy part. I used the short stems, cut into stripes for better presentation. The stem offers more crunchy and interesting bites, if you have the habit of eating the salted vegetables in the soup. Remember to steep the vegetables for at least 3 hours (rinse it once, and change the steeping water every 1 – 2 hour).

This simple salted vegetable tofu soup may not able to make a big statement out of it, but it helps to cool your body heat, as what Chinese believes. Hence, it considers a simple tonic soup to be easily cooked at home! It may also be our 1-dish-meal, by eating the ribs, tofu and salted vegetables in it, with a bowl of hot steamy white rice. Yummy… Add some carrots, if desired (smile)!

Ingredients
300 grams of prime pork ribs, blanched
200 grams of salted vegetable stems part (amount about size of your palm), steeped and sliced
1 packet of beancurd aka tofu, cut into chunk cubes
1 preserved (salted but taste pleasant sourish) plum (咸水梅 “xian shui mei“)
1 teaspoon of white peppercorns (whole pepper), coarsely mashed
1 pot of water, 50% filled (about 1500ml)

Method
1) Steep salted vegetable in large bowl of water for 3 hours. Change water after every 1 – 2 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. Reserve for later.

2) Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add blanched pork ribs, salted vegetables and peppercorns. Reduce heat to low fire, or enough heat to keep the soup bubbling. Simmer for 1-2 hours.

3) Add preserved plum, and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes. Add in tofu 5 minutes before heat off. Serve hot.

This salted vegetable tofu soup yields about 180kcal per regular portion.

Tips: Cut short the boiling hour, shut the fire once soup tastes right (saltiness).
* Choose more meaty pork ribs, as desired.