‘Jahtsai [榨菜 ]’ is aka Szechuan Cai [四川菜], Sichuan vegetable and pickled mustard tuber. According to the chef of this soup, the secret of tender meat without the use of cornstarch, is that cold water is used to start the cooking process. I have overlooked this step and have boiled the mushrooms and Jahtsai from cold water and added the pork slices after the bringing the soup to boil. If you do try this soup, please remember to throw all the 3 ingredients [Jahtsai, mushrooms and meat slices] to your soup pot and boil them with cold water.
Anyway, the pork slices were tender and still has a bite.
Do not soak the Jahtsai if you like the soup to taste a like spicy and the saltiness of the preserved vegetable is enough to season the soup. I have rinsed the vegetable after slicing and soaked them for 5-10 minutes as I didn’t want the soup to be over salty.
This is an appetizing soup complete with protein and fibre.
Recipe adapted from ‘You Can Cook Anything Chinese’ by Madame Yee Yo with modifications
3 dried mushrooms - sliced
200 gm pork neck – sliced
½ a bulb of Szechuan Cai/Jahtsai - sliced and rinsed
10 gm glass noodles – soaked for 5 minutes/drained
1 tbsp wine
½ tsp chicken stock granules
750 ml water
Salt to taste [optional]
Some chopped spring onions for garnishing
- Soak dried mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes. Discard water and stems, sliced or quartered.
- Put the first 3 ingredients in a soup pot with cold water. Bring to boil over medium heat, remove scum.
- Continue to boil until meat is tender, add seasoning and glass noodles. Glass noodles is best added just before serving.
- Bring to boil again, dish up to serve hot. Garnish with chopped spring onions.