Tofu, Pork and Cabbage Soup

While thogg didn’t love this one, I found this to be one of the best brothy soups I have EVER made, hands down. If you like clear broth soups this one won’t disappoint. The flavor is rich yet delicate at the same time. There is a subtle sweetness from the caramelized onions and cabbage. The lemongrass imparts a delicate citrus quality and the meat and tofu make it satisfying and full of protein. I had mine served over a brown rice and whole grain blend. I ate 3 bowls it was so good.

This is another recipe that I pretty much made up. It has a lot of Vietnamese flavor but I have no idea if there is an authentic dish that is similar.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups of Lemon grass and Ginger Pork Broth: http://cookingforthogg.livejournal.com/18412.html If you substitute chicken or veggie broth make sure to add some ginger and some extra lemon grass.
  • 1 package of firm tofu – drained
  • 6-8 oz of extra lean ground pork
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass
  • 1 medium sized american shallot or 3-4 small asian ones – minced
  • 4-5 leaves of Nappa Cabbage – chopped
  • 2 stalks of green onion
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2-3 Tbs white wine or sherry
  • Nouc Mam to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Sugar to taste

Directions:

  • Slice the tofu and place it on something to drain it. I find that a large oil splatter screen (a flat fine screen used to keep oil from splattering from your skillets) works well. On top of the tofu place a medium cookie sheet and on top of that use a large 32oz can of something or any other weight. Let the tofu drain for at least 15 minutes. Take off the root end of the green onion. Slice the white portion thin and then mince it. Diagonally slice the green portion of the green onion in 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick slices. Using a wooden mallet or rolling pin, pound the lemon grass stalk until it is mangled but still in one piece.
  • In the mean time, add the minced shallots to a pot. Add about 1 Tbs olive oil, or other cooking oil, and bring the heat up to medium-high. Stir constantly to avoid burning, let the shallots begin to caramelize and do not add salt yet. Add the pork and white portion of the green onion when the shallots have taken on a medium golden color. Cook until the pork is about 1/2 way cooked, breaking up the chunks. Add the lemon grass and wine and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the wine is mostly, but not completely, evaporated. Add the broth, cabbage, and tofu and bring to a boil.
  • Since we have added so many ingredients to this broth it probably needs more seasoning. I found that I needed about 2 more Tbs Nouc Mam and several healthy grinds of black pepper. Depending on the variety of cabbage you use (you don’t have to use Nappa) you may need more sugar. I find that head cabbage is sweeter than Nappa so I used about 2 tsp of evaporated cane juice.
  • Serve over rice and garnish with green onion.
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