Friday, November 2, 2007

Salted Vegies Duck Soup (Xien Chai Ya Tang)

When someone has good appetite, even the most normal food is appetizing. With poor appetite, even the most elaborated food is not good enough. Xien Chai Ya Tang is really a very normal dish, but it is very appetizing, very good even when you don't have the appetite. The soup is clear and the taste is on the saltish-sourish side.

I normally feel a little guilty cooking this because of the Salted Veges (The Xien Chai/Humchoy). I always feel that preserved items from China are hmm.. how should i put it...not very comfortable. My father-in-law always tells scary stories about preserved stuff with overloaded chemicals. So I was really excited when Aunty Terri blogged about her Xien Chai recipe. I tried it and it turn out really good. I dont think i will ever buy any Xien Chai outside again.

Here's what you need to do:

1 no of small duck (approx 1.5kg or so), cleaned with salt and chopped to pieces
1.5 litre of water
2 medium stalks of homemade Xien Chai, cut in 3 parts
2-3 no of local tomatos, sliced
1/2 bulb of garlic, washed and leave as whole
1 small pc of ginger (about thumb size), scraped skin and smashed
3-4 pcs of sour plums (more if you like it more sour)

1) Boil water. Add garlic, ginger, sour plums and Xien Chai to boiling water.

2) Add duck to boiling water. Let it boiled. Then turn to simmer til duck meat are soft but still in intact.

3) Add tomatos right before serving and let it simmer for at least 20 minutes for flavours to release

4) You can place soup mixture in claypots and boil it over fire if you want to keep it warm for longer. And it looks better as well. I dont add any salt, msg or pepper.

Nice and warm on rainy and chilly days. It has been raining non-stop everyday in Kuching now. Rainy season has arrived! Well, come to think of it, it has been a weird year. It has practically been raining the whole year.

Terri's Homemade Xien Chai

My Xien Chai (Aunty Terri, Pass or not?!)

4-5 bunches of leafy mustard green or Kua Chai
Some Salt
Water used for washing rice

1) Wash and clean Kua Chai well and wipe dry. Sun dry for two days or so.

2) Rub the leaves with salt. And place in a nice clean bowl with lid. Pour the cloudy water used for washing rice into the bowl to soak the vegies. Cover and soak for 3-4 days. Check to make sure all parts are soaked.

3) When it is ready, i just wash it a little and place in a clean covered bowl and store in refridgerator.


Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

excellent, prob better than mine! will try the duck soup next week, cos i'm eating peking duck on sunday. hey, the chowcai turned out good but my chumeefun was ok only. must use sibu prawns ah?

Greg Wee said...

NEE: Thanks, Sifu! Also for the soup add more tomatos (dont know about kk but kuching local tomatos are more sourish compared to the imported ones) if you like the sourish taste more.

Will try cooking chow chai mee fun this weekend.. if it turns out good will blog it.

Brede said...

hi Nee! that looks so good. I prolly should avoid coming round to ur blog just before lunch or dinner...

Greg Wee said...

NEE: hi derbe! good to see you online hehe...thanks! i take that as a compliment. should organise some dinners or lunches one of this day since you, ck and gang had been going out for photography sessions. oh ya, mandarin restaurant. is that a foochow restaurant ah cause the last time we went with you guys, i thot the food taste rather foochow.

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