Vietnamese Stuffed Cabbage Soup (Canh Bap Cai Cuon Thit)
When eating a Vietnamese rice dinner, it's not a complete meal unless you have a soup side dish, also known as Canh. In fact, my dad will not eat a rice dinner without it. I find it burdensome to have to quickly make Canh whenever he comes over for dinner or deal with the constant grumbling. Fortunately, Canh can be quickly whipped up with whatever protein and vegetables you have on hand. One of the quickest and simplest Canh is ground pork with cabbage. It can, however, look dull in a bowl. To fancy it up, I would stuff cabbage leaves with ground pork and tie it with a green onion, making cute little packages of savory goodness. The taste is the same whether I stuff the cabbage or not, but it makes a pretty presentation. It requires a little bit more labor but it's a great way to fish for the needed compliments once in awhile.
Vietnamese Stuffed Cabbage Soup Recipe (Canh Bap Cai Cuon Thit)
1 small head cabbage
1/2 lb ground pork
8-10 green onions (finely mince up 3 green onions)
1/4 cup dried Woodear Mushrooms (re-hydrate in water, drain then mince finely)
1 large shallot (peel then mince finely)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 cups water for soup
1 tablespoon dried pork stock powder
Slice the cabbage in half. Remove the core at the end. Bring a small pot of water to a boil then blanch cabbage halves and whole green onions for 30 seconds. The hot water will soften up the cabbage and green onions for easier handling. Drain content into a colander and slowly peel the whole leaves from the cabbage.
Combine ground pork with minced green onions, Woodear mushrooms, shallot, salt and pepper.
Wrap about 2 tablespoons of ground pork into each cabbage leaf, tying each one up with a blanched green onion.
Bring a small stock pot to a boil with 6 cups water. Add stuffed cabbage. Turn the heat to low and lightly simmer for 30 minutes. Remove any scums that float to the top.
Season with dried pork stock powder.
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