Friday, August 26, 2005

Ginger & Black Mushroom Soup

Black Mushroom & Leek Soup
From Nina Simond's A Spoonful of Ginger

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
If you have chicken broth or an additional 1½ hours to make Nina Simond's - it’s worth the time.
Serves 2
I even got to use my funky julienne gadget that cuts the skinniest julienne strips ever.

12 dried Chinese black mushrooms, softened in 4 cups hot water for 20 minutes or so
1 large leek, trimmed down to white part only & thoroughly cleaned and finely julienned
1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
½ tbsp canola oil
½ tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
¼ cup rice wine (or sake)

1 cup black mushroom soaking liquid
2 cups chicken broth (see Nina’s recipe at the bottom of this one) It's worth it, trust me.
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 ½ tbsp oyster sauce
½ tbsp cornstarch
½ cup firm tofu, cut into julienne strips after pressing out extra liquid (this is my addition because I can never leave well enough alone – it’s a curse - or a blessing, it depends on the day)

1. Cut the stems off the soaked mushrooms and discard them. Cut the caps into thin julienne shreds. Reserve 1 cup of the soaking liquid for the broth.

2. Cut the leeks and carrots into thin matchstick size shreds about 2 inches/5 cm long.

3. Heat a heavy pot, add the oils and heat until hot (but don’t let it get too hot or the garlic will scorch – which is exactly what I did the first time around). Add garlic and ginger and just stir fry for a minute or two until all those wonderful fragrances get you moaning.

4. Add the leeks, mushrooms and carrots and stir fry for another couple of minutes over high heat. Add rice wine and cook for another minute or so until most of the liquid had been absorbed. You want the flavor not the alcohol.

5. Combine all the broth ingredients and stir until the broth thickens slightly to prevent lumps. Add to the pot, stir and add the tofu. Let it sit for a couple of minutes over low heat and serve.

Nina Simond’s Absolutely Fabulous Chicken Broth
This is the real recipe

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 1 ½ hours
Makes 6 cups

9 cups water
2 ½ lb/1 kg chicken backs, necks, bones and/or pieces
1 cup rice wine or sake
6 slices fresh ginger, each the size of a quarter, smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife
6 whole scallions (green onions) ends trimmed, smashed with the flat side of a knife

1. Put the water with the chicken bones, rice wine, ginger slices and scallions in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 1 ½ hours, skimming the surface to remove any impurities.

2. Strain the broth through a fine- meshed strainer, removing bones and skim to remove any fat.

Now how easy was that!!! Stay tuned for her Chile Chicken with Cashews ove Ginger Scallion Fried Rice later this week.

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