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Spicy Pork and Mustard Greens Soup


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#1 jennifer

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:25 PM

The January 2014 issue of Bon Appetit is one of the best to come along in a while. I've tried 2 winner recipes so far and have many more pages dog-eared.  One was this fennel-rubbed pork roast, which I figured would be simple and hopefully not too boring, and it was fantastic.  The 2nd is this Spicy Pork and Mustard Greens Soup.  Incredible.  

 

You start with ground pork and add Sichuan peppercorns, chili flake, garlic, ginger and a couple of other things.  Cook that up then dump in broth, fish sauce, soy sauce, scallion & mustard greens, then ladle over bowls of cooked noodles (I used udon since that's what I had in the pantry).  That's it.  Start to finish was under 30 minutes.  One of the most flavorful and satisfying soups we've made in a long time.  

 

Lame pic below, the bowl is actually a lot larger than it looks.  Recipe below that.

 

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Ingredients:

  • ½ pound ground pork
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
  • ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bunch mustard greens, torn (about 4 cups)
  • scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
  • oz. wide rice noodles

Instructions:

  • Mix pork, garlic, ginger, Sichuan peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and cumin in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add pork mixture; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, 8–10 minutes.
  • Add broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until flavors meld, 8–10 minutes. Add mustard greens, scallions, soy sauce, and fish sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, 5–8 minutes; season with salt and black pepper.
  • Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; drain.
  • Divide noodles among bowls and ladle soup over.

 

My Notes:

-  I didn't use the cumin seed.  I hate cumin more and more everyday.  There I said it.  Hate me if you want. 

-  I used 1 lb of ground pork, because that's how it was in the frozen block from Singing Pig.  Great pork products btw.

-  I used 6 C of broth instead of 4.  

-  I didn't have the Sichuan peppercorns but did have a Sichuan peppercorn & salt mix from Penzy's, that I used in the meat and skipped salting the soup to compensate.  Between the soy, fish sauce & the salt-peppercorn mix, it was well seasoned.

- Winco sells a 1-lb pack of ready-to-go chopped Mustard Greens.  This is an excellent product.  There can be a lot of stems, but they soften quickly in the soup so it's no big deal. 

 

And the best note of all, my kid loved it and said I was an awesome cook.  



#2 Jill-O

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 09:10 AM

The only thing worse than cumin is coriander/cilantro...can't stand either of them!


Never give up! Never surrender!

#3 vj

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 11:56 AM

Damn, I know what I'm making for dinner tonight! Thanks, Jennifer! 



#4 jennifer

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 05:32 PM

Btw, if anyone makes that pork roast in the link above, I used ground fennel instead of the seeds because that's what I had, and it came out great.  I also roasted it in a shallow skillet in the oven, then removed the roast from the skillet and made a pan sauce with the drippings from the roast, some chicken broth, a small bit of Pernot and a Tbs butter.  The whole thing cooked in an hour and it was super easy and terrific.  



#5 StMaximo

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 04:39 PM

I made the soup today for lunch. It was delicious. I used the cumin and I used kale instead of mustard greens. I couldn't taste the cumin and I used large cloves of garlic and it was a bit on the "too much garlic" side of things for me. Ended up putting a healthy squirt of Sriracha in it too. Next time I'm going to add a bit more red pepper flake to the pork. I used a pound of pork and udon noodles too and also upped the broth to 6 cups. I also added about a half cup of thinly sliced shitake that I had in the refrigerator.

 

Thanks for posting the recipe. It's a keeper and lends itself to what you've got on hand.



#6 jennifer

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 11:21 AM

We made it again earlier this week also.  This is a new staple in the rotation.  I picked up Szechuan peppercorns at Penzy's and it definitely changed the flavors a bit, for the better.  It added a different kind of heat than the red pepper flakes, which was also nice.  We also up'd the red pepper flakes.  In the end I seemed to have too much greens so I dumped another 2C of broth in (8C total) and it was fine. The Penzy's chicken soup base (which I just tried for the first time) is surprisingly good.  

 

I didn't add any salt again, and the soup was still well seasoned from the soy, fish sauce and salt in the broth.



#7 StMaximo

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 03:17 PM

I haven't tried the Penzey's soup base. I used the lower sodium Organic Chicken Better Than Bouillon from Costco. Good stuff.



#8 Flynn

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 04:14 PM

I must agree that this soup is a damn good payoff for relatively little work. I bashed up a bunch of szechuan peppercorns, used kale and mustard greens, 8c broth, added some frozen gyoza, and it was very satisfying. You can put lots of things into this and end up with a great winter soup.