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Chinese Pork Watercress Soup Recipe: A Delicious and Healthy Meal

If you're looking for a nourishing soup that's easy to make and full of flavour, look no further than this Chinese pork watercress soup recipe. This Cantonese-style soup is a classic dish that is widely enjoyed for its health benefits and delicious taste. Made with just a few simple ingredients, it's a great option for anyone looking for a quick and easy meal that's both satisfying and nutritious.

A steaming pot of Chinese pork watercress soup with tender pork slices, vibrant green watercress, and clear broth simmering on a stove

To make this soup, you'll need to select the right ingredients, including fresh watercress, pork ribs, and a few other key seasonings and flavourings. Once you have your ingredients ready, you'll need to follow a few basic preparation techniques to ensure that your soup turns out perfectly. From there, it's just a matter of cooking everything together in a large pot and letting the flavours meld together to create a rich and satisfying broth.

This Chinese pork watercress soup recipe is a great option for anyone looking for a healthy and delicious meal that's easy to make at home. Whether you're looking for a quick lunchtime soup or a hearty dinner option, this recipe is sure to become a favourite in your household.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese pork watercress soup is a nourishing and flavourful Cantonese-style soup that's easy to make at home.
  • To make this soup, you'll need to select fresh watercress, pork ribs, and a few other key seasonings and flavourings, and follow a few basic preparation techniques.
  • This soup is a great option for anyone looking for a healthy and satisfying meal that's both quick and easy to make.

Selecting Ingredients

A hand reaching for pork, watercress, and other ingredients on a kitchen counter

When it comes to making Chinese pork watercress soup, selecting the right ingredients is crucial to achieving a delicious and nutritious dish. Here are some tips on selecting the best ingredients for your soup.

Choosing the Best Pork Ribs

When selecting pork ribs for your soup, choose meaty and tender ribs with a good amount of fat. The fat will add flavour to the soup, while the meat will give it a hearty texture. Look for pork ribs that are well-marbled and have a pinkish hue. Avoid pork ribs that are discoloured, have a strong odour or are slimy to the touch.

Fresh Watercress Selection

Watercress is the star ingredient in this soup, so it's important to choose fresh and vibrant watercress. Look for watercress that is bright green and has crisp stems and leaves. Avoid watercress that is wilted, yellowed or has brown spots. It's best to use watercress that has been grown in clean water and has not been treated with pesticides.

Additional Vegetables and Herbs

While pork ribs and watercress are the main ingredients in this soup, you can add other vegetables and herbs to enhance the flavour and nutritional value. Carrots, ginger, goji berries and red dates are all great additions to this soup. Carrots add sweetness and colour, ginger adds a spicy kick, goji berries and red dates add sweetness and are believed to have health benefits.

When selecting ingredients for your Chinese pork watercress soup, choose meaty and tender pork ribs, fresh and vibrant watercress, and additional vegetables and herbs that complement the flavours of the soup. By selecting the right ingredients, you can create a delicious and healthy soup that is sure to impress your family and friends.

Preparation Techniques

A pot simmers on a stove, filled with pork bones, watercress, and aromatic spices. Steam rises as the ingredients meld together, creating a rich and flavorful Chinese pork watercress soup

Preparing Chinese pork watercress soup involves several steps to ensure that the soup is flavourful and nutritious. In this section, we will discuss the cleaning and blanching of the pork ribs, prepping of vegetables and meat tenderisation methods.

Cleaning and Blanching

Before cooking the pork ribs, it is essential to clean them thoroughly to remove any impurities. To do this, rinse the pork ribs under running water and remove any visible fat. Blanching the pork ribs is another important step to ensure a clear broth. Boil the ribs in a large pot of water for two minutes, then drain and rinse them under cold running water.

Prepping Vegetables

Watercress is the star of this soup, and it is essential to choose fresh and tender leaves for the best results. Rinse the watercress leaves and stems separately under running water to remove any dirt or debris. Cut off the stems where the leaves begin, about 5 to 6 cm from the end, but do not discard them. Soak dried scallops in warm water for 10 minutes, till slightly softened.

Meat Tenderisation Methods

Tenderising the pork ribs is crucial to ensure that they are soft and juicy. A popular method is to marinate the ribs in a mixture of salt, sugar, and cornstarch for at least 30 minutes. Another method is to use baking soda to tenderise the meat. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with water and rub it onto the ribs. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then rinse it off before cooking.

Seasoning

To add flavour to the soup, season it with light soy sauce, salt, and white pepper. You can also add ginger slices to enhance the taste.

By following these preparation techniques, you can create a delicious and nutritious Chinese pork watercress soup that is perfect for any occasion.

Cooking Process

A pot simmers on the stove with pork, watercress, and broth. Steam rises as the ingredients meld together in the bubbling liquid

Boiling and Simmering

To make Chinese pork watercress soup, you need to start by boiling and simmering the pork ribs in a pot of water. This process helps to remove any impurities from the meat and create a clear broth. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add the pork ribs and let them boil for a few minutes. Then, reduce the heat to low and let the ribs simmer for at least an hour. You can also add some ginger and garlic to the pot to enhance the flavour of the broth.

Using a Pressure Cooker or Slow Cooker

If you want to make the cooking process faster and more convenient, you can use a pressure cooker or slow cooker. For a pressure cooker, add the pork ribs and water to the pot, close the lid, and set the pressure to high. Cook the ribs for about 30 minutes, then release the pressure and open the lid. For a slow cooker, add the pork ribs and water to the pot, set the heat to low, and let the ribs cook for several hours until they are tender.

Making the Stock or Broth

After boiling and simmering the pork ribs, you can strain the broth and discard any solids. This will give you a clear and flavourful stock that you can use as a base for the soup. Alternatively, you can keep the meat and vegetables in the broth and turn it into a hearty stew. You can also add other ingredients such as watercress, carrots, and mushrooms to the pot and let them cook until tender. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with chopped spring onions or coriander leaves.

Seasoning and Flavouring

Chinese pork watercress soup simmers in a pot, with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce adding flavor. Green watercress floats in the broth

Chinese pork watercress soup is a simple yet flavourful dish that is easy to make. The key to making a delicious soup is to balance the saltiness and sweetness of the broth. Here are some tips to help you achieve the perfect balance:

Balancing Salt and Sweetness

To balance the saltiness and sweetness of the soup, you can use a combination of soy sauce and honey dates. Soy sauce adds saltiness to the broth, while honey dates add sweetness and depth of flavour. You can adjust the amount of soy sauce and honey dates to your liking, depending on how salty or sweet you want the soup to be.

Another way to add sweetness to the soup is to use Vitamin C-rich vegetables like tomatoes. Tomatoes not only add sweetness to the broth but also help to balance the flavours.

Herbs and Spices for Additional Depth

To add more depth of flavour to the soup, you can use herbs and spices like white pepper and ginger. White pepper adds a subtle heat to the soup, while ginger adds a warm and earthy flavour. You can also add some chopped garlic for a more savoury taste.

Here's a table summarizing the seasoning and flavouring ingredients used in Chinese pork watercress soup:

Ingredient Function
Soy sauce Adds saltiness to the broth
Honey dates Adds sweetness and depth of flavour to the broth
Tomatoes Adds sweetness and helps to balance the flavours
White pepper Adds a subtle heat to the soup
Ginger Adds a warm and earthy flavour to the soup
Garlic Adds a savoury taste to the soup

By using these ingredients in the right amounts, you can create a delicious and flavourful Chinese pork watercress soup that everyone will love.

Serving Suggestions

A steaming bowl of Chinese pork watercress soup garnished with fresh cilantro and sliced green onions, accompanied by a side of fluffy white rice

Chinese pork watercress soup is a delicious and healthy dish that is perfect for a Chinese meal. Here are some serving suggestions to help you enjoy this soup to the fullest.

Pair with White Rice

Watercress soup is best served with a bowl of steaming hot white rice. The rice helps to balance out the flavours of the soup and makes it a more filling meal. You can also serve the soup with brown rice or noodles if you prefer.

Add Some Leafy Green Vegetables

If you want to add some extra greens to your meal, you can serve the soup with a side of stir-fried leafy green vegetables such as bok choy, gai lan or choy sum. This will add some texture and colour to your meal and make it even more nutritious.

Serve as Part of a Chinese Meal

Chinese pork watercress soup is a classic dish that is often served as part of a larger Chinese meal. You can pair it with other dishes such as stir-fried vegetables, dumplings, or steamed fish to create a well-rounded and satisfying meal.

Garnish with Fresh Herbs

To add some extra flavour and freshness to your soup, you can garnish it with some fresh herbs such as coriander or spring onions. This will give your soup a pop of colour and make it look even more appetising.

Enjoy as Leftovers

Chinese pork watercress soup is a great dish to make in large batches and enjoy as leftovers. You can store the soup in the fridge or freezer and reheat it whenever you want a quick and healthy meal. Just make sure to store the soup and rice separately to prevent the rice from getting soggy.

By following these serving suggestions, you can enjoy a delicious and nutritious bowl of Chinese pork watercress soup that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Frequently Asked Questions

A steaming pot of Chinese pork watercress soup with ingredients laid out on a wooden cutting board

What's the simplest way to make Chinese pork and watercress soup?

The simplest way to make Chinese pork and watercress soup is to boil pork ribs in water until tender, then add in washed watercress and simmer for a few minutes until the watercress is wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. For a more flavourful soup, you can add in other ingredients such as dried dates, ginger, and garlic.

Can you use chicken in a pork watercress soup recipe?

Yes, you can use chicken in a pork watercress soup recipe. You can use chicken bones or chicken breast to make the soup. However, keep in mind that the flavour of the soup will be different from the traditional pork watercress soup.

What's the best recipe for a hearty Chinese pork watercress soup?

The best recipe for a hearty Chinese pork watercress soup is one that includes pork ribs, watercress, dried dates, ginger, and garlic. This combination of ingredients creates a flavourful and nutritious soup that is perfect for a cold day.

How do you cook pork watercress soup in a slow cooker?

To cook pork watercress soup in a slow cooker, place pork ribs, watercress, dried dates, ginger, and garlic in the slow cooker. Add enough water to cover the ingredients and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

What are the benefits of having watercress in your soup?

Watercress is a nutrient-dense vegetable that is packed with vitamins and minerals. It is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and calcium. Adding watercress to your soup can help boost your immune system and improve your overall health.

How should watercress be prepared for soup to ensure it's clean?

To ensure that watercress is clean before adding it to your soup, wash it thoroughly in water. Cut off the more fibrous part of the stem that is near the root. Make sure to change the water several times until all the dirt and sand are removed. Drain in a colander and set it aside.