Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sick Day Soup {Hoisin Pork and Mushroom}

I have a vague memory of buying the mushrooms. 

The hubs and I went to the doctor after a week or more of fighting off nasty colds. Next to her office was a small grocery store. I wanted to make soup. We wandered in. I had a hankering for a Chinese inspired pork soup. I grabbed a head of napa cabbage and some mushrooms. Pork we still had in abundance. I went home and sat on the bed. No soup came about that afternoon.

Days later, when I finally started feeling a wee better, I was up to the soup making.

Multiple meals of instant ramen noodles and oranges will inspire that kind of motivation I suppose. 

The recipe is based on some old ones I'd written up and simply tweaked to fit what was available in the cupboards.

 I should also note that the recipe includes Chinese five-spice powder, which you may not have on hand. But if you're sick in that putzing around the house kinda way, I bet you could easily whip up your own blend in a spice grinder. I usually do an online search for it and play around with a few recipes. There's a rather detailed description of it here on Serious Eats. Happy spice blending!

Continue to Recipe
Hoisin Pork and Mushroom Noodle Soup
Serves 4
Eat with oranges (if you are sick)

1 lb (500g) pork pieces (perhaps cubed from a shoulder piece)
2 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder*
2 Tb flour

6 cups (1.5 liters) low-sodium chicken broth (or dilute half and half with water)
2/3 cup dry vermouth (or cooking sherry or dry white wine)
4 Tb soy sauce
2 Tb hoisin sauce
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut in half
3 cloves garlic, sliced in half
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
5 small dried chilies, minced (1 tsp. dried flakes)

half a small head napa cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
9 oz (250g) mushrooms (shitaki or the brown creminis would be nice), sliced
2 carrots, cut in small wedges

8 oz (250g) noodles (egg or rice would be great here)

1) Coat the meat pieces in the five-spice powder and then the flour with a bit of salt/pepper. In a big pot, heat some oil and brown the meat pieces (in two separate batches) about 4 minutes each. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon and get rid of the oil/fat.

2) Combine the broth with vermouth, soy sauce and the hoisin sauce. Toss in the pork pieces, ginger chunk, garlic halves, cinnamon stick, star anise, and minced chilies. Bring to boil, reduce and add in the cabbage and mushrooms. Simmer for 45 minutes. About 15 minutes before it finishes simmering, add in the carrots. Start water boiling in a separate pot and cook the noodles. When cooked, strain and toss into the soup pot.

Dobrou Chut'/ Enjoy.
-- Jo


  1. This looks so good, sick day or not! I do have Chinese 5 Spice on-hand and have been searching for the perfect recipe. Looks like a good one to try it on :)

  2. Couldn't agree more - it is pretty good, sick or not :) For me, the 5-spice blend always does the trick with pork. I hear it's great with duck as well!


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