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Shan Flowering Mustard Green Soup

Updated on November 30, 2010

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.)
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Next, add in the remaining ingredients and let it all simmer together until the vegetables are good and softened, about 20 more minutes.
  4. 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)
  5. 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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