A tale of two best friends on opposite sides of the world and their quest to cook everything from
Stephanie Alexander's 'The Cook's Companion'

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cantonese-style sweetcorn and crab meat soup

Further to my last post, I still had fresh garden corn kicking about in the fridge from the in-law's garden. They have an acre of land and are both retired, so they have the time to work in the garden, and they also have the water tanks to keep the vegetables green! It's been fantastic for us, as it means we get to reap the benefits from a pesticide-free garden.

I thought I'd dish the sweetcorn and crab meat soup up to hubby's parents for dinner, as it was showcasing some of their produce. I did cheat a little, and used the tinned crab meat, rather than fresh, but it was hardly noticeable. In the end, it was a weeknight, and everyone is entitled to a shortcut here and there. It was also a pretty busy time at work, so I think I was busy working until about 6.30 anyway, but still managed to whip this up in no time. It always helps when you have frozen chicken stock on hand too.

Cantonese-style Sweetcorn and Crab Meat Soup (Printable Recipe)
adapted from Stephanie Alexander's The Cook's Companion, pg 351

5 corn cobs, grated (yes, it is worth the effort, creamed corn is ok for a shortcut, though)
vegetable oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped spring onion
1 teaspoon freshly minced ginger
250g picked crab meat
1 tablespoon mirin, rice wine or dry sherry
600ml chicken stock
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornflour
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 egg
1 tablespoon black or red rice vinegar

Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a saucepan or wok. Sear the spring onion and ginger for 30 seconds. add the crab meat, then sprinkle with salt, mirin and stir it lightly. Pour in the corn, stock and the soy sauce, stirring the mixture until the soup comes to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer it for a few minutes. Mix cornflour, water and sesame oil in a bowl and stir until smooth, then add a little of the hot soup into the bowl and stir it to combine. Pour this mixture into the soup, ensuring that you swirl it in evenly. Turn the heat off and trail the egg whisked with a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil over the surface, stirring slowly to break up the strands. Add vinegar and taste the soup for seasoning, adjust if required with soy sauce. Serve and enjoy immediately.

Hubby absolutely loves this soup. I've been cooking variations of this soup for years, but nothing compares to this one with the fresh, sweet corn from the garden. It's so much better than tinned kernels or creamed corn. He requests this soup whenever he's a bit cold. This can also easily be a great gluten-free recipe for those with dietary requirements, if you use the right soy sauce, chicken stock and cornflour.

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