Broth with Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

The Broth with Stuffed Cabbage Leaves Recipe the origins of the soup, called Canh Bap Coun, could be attributed to the french dish chou farci, or to the acient chinese tradition of cooking dumplings in a clear broth. This Vietnamese soup is often reserved for special occasions such as the new year. TET.


10 Chinese leaves (Ch in ese ca bbage) or Savoy cabbage leaves, halved, main ribs removed
4 spring onions (scallions) , green tops left whole, white part finely chopped
5-6 dried cloud ear (wood ear)
mushrooms, soa ked in hot water for 15 minutes
115g/4oz minced (grou nd) pork
115g/4oz prawns (shrim p), shelled, deve ined and f inely chopped
1 Thai chilli, seeded and chopped 30ml/2 tbsp nouc mam
15ml/l tbsp soy sauce
4cm/1l/2 in fresh root gi nger, peeled and very finely sliced
chopped fresh coriander (cilantro), to garnish

For the stock:
1 meaty chi cken ca rcass
2 onions, peeled and quartered
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4cm/1l/2 in fresh root ginger, chopped
30ml /2 tbsp nUDe mam
30m 1/2 tbsp soy sa uce
6 black peppe rco rns
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
sea salt

put the chicken ca rcass into a deep pan. Add all the other stock ingredients except the sea sa lt and pour over 2 litres/31/2 pints/8 cups of water. Bring to the boi l, and boil for a few minutes, skim off any foam, then reduce the heat and simmer gent ly with the lid on for 1 1/2-2 hours.

2 Remove the lid and simmer for a further 30 minutes to red uce the stock. Skim off any fat, season with sea salt, then strain the stock and measure out 1.5 litres/2 1h pin ts/61/4 cups . It is important to skim off any froth or fat, so that the broth is light and fragrant.

3 Blanch the cabbage leaves in boil ing water for about 2 minutes, or until tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and refresh under cold water. Add the green tops of the spring onions to the boi ling water and blanch for a minute, or until tender, then drain and refresh under cold water. Carefu lly tea r each piece into f ive thin strips and set aside.

4 Squeeze dry the c loud ear mushrooms, then trim and finely chop and mix with the pork , prawns, spring onion whites , chi lli , nUDe mam and soy sa uce. Lay a ca bbage leaf flat on a surface and place a teaspoon of the fil ling about 1cmf1l2 in from the bottom edge - the edge nearest to you.

5 Fold this bottom edge over the fi ll ing, and then fold in the sides of the leaf to sea l it. Roll al l the way to the top of the leaf to form a tight bundle. Wrap a piece of blanched spring onion green arou nd the bundle and tie it so that it holds together. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling.

6 Bring the stock to the boi l in a wok or deep pan. Stir in the f in ely sliced ginger, then reduce the heat and drop in the cabbage bundles. Bubble very gently over a low heat for about 20 minutes to ensu re that the fil ling is thoroughly cooked. Serve immediately, ladled into bowls with a sprinkling of fresh coriander leaves .

Broth with Stuffed Cabbage Leaves
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