Tonight I made Spicy Pork and Mustard Green Soup from Bon Appetit. After not being able to find all the ingredients in the grocery store I made the following substitutions:
- medallion cuts of pork that chopped up instead of ground pork
- an extra tablespoon of soy sauce* instead of the tsp fish sauce
- vermicelli rice noodles instead of wide rice noodles
- Tellicherry black pepper corns instead of 1 tsp Sichaun peppercorns
- Ground cumin instead of 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
*If you are gluten-free, be sure to look for gluten-free soy sauce.
A word on washing greens: I don’t have a salad spinner and I dislike the leaf by leaf washing method (and think it is ineffectual). To wash greens, I get a large bowl, place the greens in the bowl, fill the bowl with water and a splash of vinegar. I agitate the greens in the water for a few minutes. As I pull them out to rip them up they get shaken and inspected. Use a bowl and not just your kitchen sink as your sink has either bacteria or cleaning agents in it (or both!).
I asked John to help me rate my meals. The rating system we used is 3 spoons.
0 spoons = Please never ever make this again. It was gross.
1 spoon = It was a OK.
2 spoons = solid meal
3 spoons = instant classic, immediate add to the remake list
John gave this meal 2 spoons. He said that he had some trepidation about the meal because he’s not a fan of pho and that this seemed very pho like, but it turned out he liked it. He also said (and I agree) that it was very filling.
I gave this meal 3 spoons. The peppercorn gave it a punch and it was warm and satisfying on a winter night. I’m dreaming of leftovers over the week.
I had a lot of left over ginger (even after selecting the smallest size at the grocery store), so I looked up how to make candied ginger. You’ll need a food scale for this one.