Monday, March 24, 2008
*Hong Kong Coffee Shop Classic: The Red Soup
Continuing the soft diet...goshhh when is it gonna be over?? Hmmm but let's see the silver lining, it's motivated me to try things I've never tried before, for once my blog may not be full of crispy golden browns for a change (who am I kidding? I still miss the golden browns. sob sob sob).
Those who are from Hong Kong knows this one very well, for this is a famous item in Hong Kong coffee shops. Most "fast meals" (fai chan) comes with either:
- Chinese soup (which often taste like stinky feet soup or with major MSG overload, or severely flavorless)
- "Cream" soup (which normally is just super corn starchy with almost no cream and again tasteless) or
- my favorite, Red soup, which taste decent if not yummy most of the time.
I imagine it takes hours to boil, so I hardly try to recreate it at home. When I eventually did, without knowing the secrets, I failed miserably, my red soup was even more flavorless than HK coffee shop's "cream soup". Shame. On. Me. HAHA
The other day, desperate for something tasty, I requested sous chef's help to make the red soup. After a lengthy (luckily not charged by the hour) consultation with sous chef's mom, we learnt "The Secrets to Successful Hong Kong Style Red Soup" (this is sooo gonna be a self-help book title), which are:
1. Tomato Paste (this gives the soup its vibrant red hue and thickness)
2. Vinegar (this gives the soup its acid punch)
No matter how much I tried to replace those two ingredients with read tomatoes, it just didn't work.
- lots of tomatoes
- 1 large potato
- 1 onion
- 2-3 stalks of celery
- 1 medium sized carrot
cut into chunky bits
- pork/beef brisket, blanch with ginger before cutting into chunky bits
- 1 can of Tomato paste
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- salt pepper
Throw everything into a boiling water, boil for about 1.5 hour, stir in the tomato paste, add the vinegar, salt, pepper, boil some more (the longer the better). Serve with bread + butter or garlic bread.