Cantonese Lamb and Radish Soup
It has been significantly cold recently and my pal has been working almost 16 hours every day for a launching project, so I am making something good for strength and seasonal.
Every year when around this time in early winter, lamb would be seen in farmer’s market in Hong Kong. Cantonese believe lamb is a “hot” food that isn’t suitable to have in long summer and not-cold-at-all spring or autumn. Even in winter, we would use something “cold” to balance, such as radish. Radish is in season in winter and very sweet and juicy. For the lamb, Cantonese prefer it from goat and with skin. Usually I would like to braise it in a pot and serve like hotpot, but today I would make a soup with easy ingredients, and show you how we eat it.
Chinese white radish, 1 medium size, 500g;
Lamb, 700g. Any lamb would be good;
For the dipping sauce –
Fresh coriander, 1 bunch;
Garlic, 2 cloves;
Light soy sauce;
Cooked oil, or olive oil, sesame oil.
How to do –
1. Ask your butcher for help to chop the lamb into big chunks;
2. The soup should be clean and clear so the lamb needs a good blanch. In a big pot, put in the lamb, add plenty of water till the lamb is covered, lid on and bring to boil. Keep boiling for 2 to 3 minutes;
3. Drain and rinse in water, wash off all dirty bits;
4. Radish chopped into big chunks, ginger sliced;
5. Put the cooked lamb into a big soup pot. I like to use cast iron pot. Add in the ginger and 6 cups of water till the lamb is covered. Lid on, bring to boil and simmer for 40 minutes in low heat;
6. After 40 minutes, add in the radish chunks, lid on and bring to boil, simmer for more 30 minutes;
7. Sprinkle a nip of salt for seasoning;
8. Let’s make a dipping sauce for the lamb. In a dipping plate, a pinch of chopped coriander, 1 fermented beancurd, some mashed garlic, a few drops of light soy sauce and oil, then mix well. If you cant obtain fermented beancurd or you don’t like it, then just skip it. But I really suggest you to have a try!
Cantonese like their soup clean and clear, only with the original taste from the ingredients. This soup is sweet enough that only a tiny bit of salt for seasoning is good enough. The lamb should be very tender after a long term slow cook. I don’t know why but Cantonese eat lamb cooked in this way with fermented beancurd! And they match so well. It has been in my gene that every time I have lamb I think of fermented beancurd.
I use cast iron pot to cook food that needs a long cooking, such as soup, for it wouldn’t reduce moist. If you don’t use a sealed pot, then add 8 cups of water when cooking the lamb.