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Chinese Cabbage Soup



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Chinese Cabbage Soup
Gourmet February 1993

1 medium head of Chinese cabbage
(2 pounds)
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons Chinese
rice wine or sake
1 tablespoon minced peeled
fresh gingerroot
1 1/2 teaspoons Asian (toasted)
sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 small dried Chinese black mushrooms or
dried shiitake mushrooms (about 1 ounce)
soaked in hot water to cover for 20
minutes, drained squeezed dry, stems
discarded, and caps chopped fine
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon safflower or corn oil
8 garlic cloves, peeled, flattened
with cleaver
5 cups extra-rich Chinese chicken
broth [recipe follows]
1 teaspoon salt

Core the cabbage, remove 4 of the outer leaves and reserve them. Cut the remaining cabbage leaves into 2-inch squares and separate the tender pieces from the tougher ones. In a bowl combine the turkey with 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons rice wine, gingerroot, sesame oil, pepper, mushrooms, and cornstarch, stir the mixture well, and form it into 4 slightly oval shapes. In a large flameproof casserole heat the safflower oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking and in it sauté the turkey ovals, turning them occasionally, until they are browned. Transfer the turkey ovals with a slotted spoon to a plate and to the casserole add the tougher cabbage
squares, the garlic, and 1 tablespoon of the remaining rice wine. Sauté the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute, or until the cabbage is softened, and add the tender cabbage squares, the remaining 1/4 cup rice wine, and the broth.
Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer the mixture for 10 minutes. Return the turkey ovals to the casserole, arranging them in the middle, cover them with the reserved cabbage leaves, and cook the soup, covered, in the middle of a preheated 350-degree F. oven for 1 hour. Remove the casserole from the oven and transfer the 4 cabbage leaves to 4 bowls. Stir into the soup the remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce and the salt and ladle the soup into the bowls. Serves 4.

Extra-Rich Chinese Chicken Broth

2 1/2 to 3 pounds chicken backs,
necks, and/or wings
10 cups cold water
1/3 cup Chinese rice wine (sake)
4 slices of fresh gingerroot, each
about the size of a quarter,
flattened with the side of a cleaver

Discard the loose fat from the chicken backs, chop the backs into large pieces, and cut the wings at the joints into thirds.
In a kettle of boiling water blanch the chicken for 1 minute, drain it in a
large colander, and rinse it under cold water. Rinse out the kettle, return
the chicken to it, and add the water, rice wine, and gingerroot. Bring the
liquid to a boil, skimming the froth, simmer the mixture, uncovered, for
1 1/2 hours, and strain the broth through a sieve lined with a triple thick-
ness of rinsed and squeezed cheesecloth into a large bowl. Let the broth
cool completely, uncovered, chill it, covered, and remove the fat.
Makes about 7 cups.

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Basic Stock Recipes
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