Pickled mustard greens (cải chua) can be made at home or purchased at the Asian market. The mustard greens are of the Asian variety – thicker leaves and not curly at the end like the American variety. The recipe for making homemade cải chua will be the subject of a future blog! Today, I’m focused on making soup with pickled mustard greens.
The soup will be on the salty and sour side – easy on the fish sauce since the pickling process will have added plenty of sodium.
Any cut of beef you have will be fine, just adjust the cooking time to ensure the meat is tender. Sliced beef is the best choice I think. Angus beef stew cut will be fine as long as you slow simmer the meat for about an hour and add two more cups of water – more cooking time with cheaper cuts of meat. Others, may choose to use ground pork or beef.
Pickled Mustard Greens Soup (Canh Cải Chua)
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb sliced beef/beef stew
1 tsp salt
½ tsp crushed black pepper
1 large tomato, quartered
½ cup diced onion
8 cups of water
2 packages or 4 cups of pickled mustard greens, roughly chopped
2-3 tbsp fish sauce
1. Heat a medium size pan with olive oil, braise the beef over high heat and season with salt and pepper. Braise until slightly brown on both sides.
2. Add to braised beef, tomatoes and diced onion. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add water, pickled mustard greens and fish sauce to the pan and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat to medium to low heat to maintain a slow simmer for 30 minutes.