I don’t often travel, but February and March brought me on the road and away from my people for nearly two weeks! Anh is completely self sufficient, but the mom-guilt set in hard for the second trip and I spent the day before heading to SXSW in the kitchen preparing easy meals.
Our new go-to canh (soup) is one of Anh’s favorites from his mom. I can’t always find the right greens, but yu choy (similar to Chinese broccoli) is almost always available. Here’s the foundational recipe.
Vietnamese Greens and Shrimp Soup
Canh cải ngọt nấu tôm
- 12 oz chicken broth (or equivalent water + chicken bouillon)
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 inch ginger, finely minced
- 1 bunch Yu Choy, chopped in 2 inch pieces
- 1 tbs dried shrimps, soaked in hot water for at least 15 minutes (reserve water)
- 1/4 – 1/2 lb shrimp
- 3 green onions, white bottoms and green tops sliced and separated
- 3 tbs Fish Sauce (to start, the rest to taste)
- 4 tbs Sugar (to start, the rest to taste)
- 2 tbs Mushroom Seasoning (to start, the rest to taste)
- 1 tbs neutral oil
In a stock pot, heat the oil on medium high and add the sliced shallot and minced ginger until fragrant (approx 30 – 60 seconds). Pour in the chicken broth, rehydrated shrimp, fish sauce, sugar and mushroom seasoning.
Bring to a simmer and add shrimp — reducing heat to medium low — and cook until they begin to turn opaque. This time I used the last of a bag of langostino tails, which are delicious, meaty bites. You also could skip the shrimp and opt for firm tofu cubes.
Add in the Yu Choy and taste broth, adjusting seasoning to taste. Go slow and allow the flavors to develop and incorporate before adding more. Simmer for five-ish minutes until the greens are cooked but stems still have a bite.