Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Recipe of the Day: Mustard Green & Oyster Soup with Duck Wings

When I am in Hong Kong, all I hear about is how to make the best soup for dinner. Seriously, the Cantonese housewives are the best to ask on where to get the freshest or best ingredients and what type of soup to make for the day. They can simply tell you the health benefit of each ingredient that goes into a pot of soup, usually simmered for more than 1 hour and which one is cooling to the body when the weather is humid and hot and which one that warms the heart and soul when family members are overworked in the outside world and they need the soup to reinvigorate !
I am not a very big soup person but I like certain types. Being married to a Cantonese guy and now having produced 2 more Cantonese human beings, soup comes with dinner almost every night and when I don't make any for a consecutive of days, Curry gives me the look as if he has been deprived of his nutrition and invigorating holy soup water. I think I have never made and taken so much soup in my life before my marriage and I can easily fit in with the group in Hong Kong now.

I am not sure of the origin of this soup as I saw similarities in recipes using the preserved Mustard green in both Cantonese recipes and also the Singapore recipe book, whose Chinese population is mainly of Hokkien descent. Perhaps I have created my own Hakka Cantonese fusion, which uses the humble duck wings and baby tomatoes. The taste is very appetizing as it is sour and musky. The oyster has a certain heavy taste to it and easier to eat if sliced to pieces while the ginger and scallion masked the vinegar smell of the mustard green and the soft tomatoes gives a juicy liquid squirt when you bite into it.

One thing good being married to a Hong Kong person is that he comes with lots of relatives who gives you good ingredients for soup. There are dried scallops and oysters sitting in my fridge all year long and are replenished with new stocks everytime my father in law visits. Oysters are said to strengthen the immune system and increases metabolism rates in the body while its contents of vitamins and minerals are important for every part of the human anatomy. While I am sure anything pickled might not be the best of the crop, mustard green is associated with having a cooling effect to the body. I was not keen on getting the whole duck and aimed for the huge wings instead, which is more gamey in taste and not as fatty as the chicken wings skin, hence giving a lighter version and save me the trouble of skimming on the boiled down fat.

8 oz of pickled mustard Green, washed
3 duck wings, washed & cleaned
10 to 12 cherry tomatoes (or 2 large tomatoes)
4 large slices of ginger
3 stalks of scallion, sliced
4 small sized frozen oysters
6 cups of water

1)Boil the water in a soup pot. When starting to bubble, add in the ginger and scallion.
2)Add in the duck wings and simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes.
3)Add in the oysters and mustard green and continue to simmer on low medium heat for 20 minutes.
4)Add in the tomatoes and simmer for extra 20 mins, till soft and the duck wings are tender and skin peeling. Cut the wings into 3 parts with kitchen shears.
5)Serve hot with the soup fillings.

Serves: 2 to 3 persons

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