Shan Flowering Mustard Green Soup
Here’s a recipe for a Shan State style green soup that may come from the tropics of Burma, but that’s rustic and hearty enough for a cold weather meal wherever in the world you may be.
Shan Style Flowering Mustard Green Soup
- 2 lbs of flowering mustard greens (look at the picture if you’re not sure what this is)
- 1 Tbls of salt
- 1 Tbls of MSG
- 2 lbs of pork soup bones, ideally bones with a little meat attached to them. Although leg bones will work for this, chopped up ribs probably make for the tastiest soup, and as a bones they provide a lot of meat for tasty gnawing off the bone as you devour the broth.
- 3 Tbls of ginger, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 tomato, quartered
- 1 cup of vegetable oil (this is not a typo…one of the reasons why Thai Yai (Shan) food tastes so good is due to the very liberal use of oil in many dishes.)
- Rinse off the pork soup bones and then put them in a large stock or sauce pot, covering them with water by about an inch
- Bring the water to a boil and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, skimming of any scum that comes to the surface of the water
- Next, add in the remaining ingredients and let it all simmer together until the vegetables are good and softened, about 20 more minutes.
- Taste for seasoning, adding more salt if necessary (or conversely, if things taste to salty or rich, you can also dilute the mixture with some extra water)
- Serve as a meaty full-meal soup dish with side plates of jasmine rice.
I should mention that I give all credit to the above recipe to the cooks in my restaurant…it’s certainly not a recipe of my own invention!
Although I’m hardly an expert on the cooking of the Sham people (never having been there) a great many of my staff in the restaurant over the years have come from that region of Burma to work in Northern Thailand during their young adult years – and over the years that I’ve worked with these great cooks I’ve had a ton of delicious meals, very unlike what I’ve ever had elsewhere; but as far as I can tell, the cooking of the Shan people is little known outside of the immediate region.
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