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Pork, oyster and root vegetable soup

I was delighted to find Chinese green radishes available at Union Square greenmarket during the early months of this year. Growing up this lovely soup was a regular feature at home. The deceptively small number of ingredients yields a soup with remarkable complexity. Pork gives it a meaty depth while root vegetables add sweetness, balanced by briny oysters and accented by a light, gingery heat. You should be able to find dried oysters in most Chinatowns - look for stores with dried seafood on display or ask at a supermarket.



300g pork spare ribs

400g carrot

400g green radish

6 dried oysters

3 slices ginger

light Chinese soy sauce

sea salt


What to do


Peel the carrots and cut into one inch thick pieces. Wash the pork and oysters. Put everything into a pressure cooker or large, heavy bottomed pot and cover with water. Cover the pot, bring to the boil and simmer for at least four hours (two for a pressure cooker), more if you have the patience. Use a sieve or a spoon to skim off any scum. Taste the soup - if you like it stronger bring it back to the boil and reduce. Add soy sauce and salt to taste at the very end. 


Strain the soup into bowls and serve with the soft carrot, oysters and pork, along with a dish of soy sauce for dipping.

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