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I am partial to soybean foods: bean curds, tofu, soy milk, bean curd sheets, bean curd sticks, and vegetarian food made of soybeans. I consume these products a lot; as a matter of fact, I drink soy bean milk every day and I can’t live a week without soy sauce.
Bean curd sticks (known as “Teik Gah Kee” in Hokkien, or “Foo Chuk” in Cantonese) is one of my favorite soybean foods. I love them in soup–with pork ribs, dried mushrooms, and red dates–cooked slowly over low heat. Bean curd sticks soup is certainly my comfort food; I appreciate the warming effect it brings on a cold day…
While soup is not hard to make, making really good soup requires skills, patience, and a good cookware. (A pressure cooker or a crock pot preferred but it takes the longest time to cook.) A great soup should have a somewhat clear broth; the soup base shouldn’t look overly cloudy or murky. A great soup should also retain all the essential essence of the ingredients–in this case, the meaty taste of pork ribs, the delicate sweetness of dried red dates, and the unique taste that is of the beancurd sticks. This soup is certainly not my typical 30-minute meals, but it sure ranks high in my favorite food list.
Related Post: Bak Kut Teh / Pork Bone Tea Soup Recipe
1 lb of pork ribs
3 sticks of dried bean curd sticks (“Teik Gah Kee“ or “Foo Chuk“)
10-12 dried red dates
5 dried mushrooms
4 medium bowls of water
Salt to taste
Soak the bean curd sticks in warm water for 1 – 2 hours. (The time required to soften the bean curd sticks varies on the brand you get.) Once the bean curd sticks are softened, cut them into 2-inch strips. Soak the dried mushrooms until they become soft and spongy. Cut them into small wedges. Cut the pork ribs into pieces. Set these ingredients aside.
In a pot (I used a normal pot), heat up the water and wait for it to boil. As soon as it boils, add the pork ribs. Boil the pork for 10-15 minutes and spoon off the foams that surface. Add in the bean curd sticks, dried mushrooms, and red dates and simmer over low heat for 1-2 hours. Add salt to taste and serve hot.
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