An anchor of Chinese dinner is clear, hot soup. And I mean literally hot. Don’t bother to serve the soup if it is not boiling hot , it just doesn’t taste as good. Making Chinese soup is easy with the slow cooker. Our family favorite is Salted Vegetables Tofu Soup (酸菜豆腐汤). I believe this is a Teochew dish and the key ingredient is salted vegetable, sometimes known as pickled mustard. Teochew salted vegetable is both sour and salty and does not have a lot of leaves. You have to use only Teochew salted vegetables to get the authentic taste. The hot soup doesn’t get you in trouble, it will only warm your heart :).
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: Depends on crock pot setting
- 6 chicken drumsticks (substitute chicken with duck for even better taste)
- 1 package teochew salted vegetable/pickled mustard (潮洲咸酸菜 available at Chinese grocery store)
- 1 box silken tofu, cut into cubes
- 2 tomatoes, cut into segments
- 3 pickled plums (酸梅子）, comes in a bottle, available at Chinese grocery store
- 10 cups water
- Cilantro for garnish
- Remove the skin from the drumsticks and cook in boiling water for 5 minutes. Discard the water and transfer the drumsticks into the crock pot.
- Rinse the salted vegetable and cut into sections. Add to the chicken in the crock pot. Add 10 cups of boiling water.
- I usually set the crock pot to low in mid morning and let it cook for the rest of the day. It is ready by the time I get home in the evening.
- An hour before serving, set the crock pot to high. Add the cubed tofu, tomatoes, and pickled plums. Squeeze the plum before adding to the soup. I use the hour to prepare other dishes while the soup continues to cook.
- Soup is ready when it is boiling. Add salt if needed, I usually do not need to. Adjust to taste.
- Serve soup hot. Garnish with cilantro and a sprinkle of ground white pepper.