|Ingredients: A piece of dried orange peel and some pork ribs in addition to the above|
If you are wondering what is this "ribbon look-alike" thing in the above picture - it is dried duck gizzard or 鸭肾 (duck kidneys). I mainly used this for soups, in particular, for making watercress soup. Adding dried duck gizzards is a traditional Cantonese way of preparing the watercress soup. Besides adding a very nice flavour to the soup, both my mum and MIL highly recommend this soup for kids - helps to relieve lungs and body heatiness while improves appetite. In the olden days, there were no multi-vitamins pills as health supplements, so mums will prepare this soup when their kids had poor appetite. For me, I certainly love the wonderful flavour that the duck gizzards add to the soup. Alternatively, I used dried cuttlefish which it is more commonly available in our local wet markets.
|Another home-cooked traditional soup|
1 bunch watercress (西洋菜）
4 pieces pork ribs, around 250g (排骨）
1 - 2 dried duck gizzards （干鸭肾）
6 - 7 red dates （红枣）
2 honey dates （蜜枣）
A handful apricot kernels （南北杏）
1 piece dried orange peel （果皮）
Small piece of ginger （姜）
1) Blanch the pork ribs in hot water to remove impurities. Remove and set aside.
2) Bring a pot of water to boil (about 1.8 litre). When the water starts boiling, add in all the ingredients. Let it boil for 5 minutes and then simmer over low heat for 90 minutes. Add salt to taste.
I divided my watercress to two portions - the stalk and the leafy portions. I added the stalk portion at the beginning and only added the leafy portion at the last 15 minutes of cooking without covering with a lid. I was trying to retain the nice green colour of the leaves. MISTAKE! There is a slight bitter aftertaste in the soup from the watercress. I recalled the old-time advice to add the watercress while the water is boiling (mine was simmering as it was already into the last 15 minutes of cooking), else there will be a bitter aftertaste in the soup!
OK, lesson learnt:
- add the watercress while water is boiling.
- let it boil for a while before lowering the heat to let it simmer.