Friday, 30 May 2008

Canh cai soong and canh trung ca chua (Vietnamese watercress soup and Tomato and Eggdrop soup)

Canh cai soong (watercress soup with shitake mushroom and chopped bacon)

Canh trung ca chua (tomato and eggdrop soup)

I am not a big fan of canh (Vietnamese soup). I normally find it too watery to be poured over steamed rice. The hubby finds it too bland in general so I rarely make it. Admittedly though, when I'm too tired to cook I tend to crave for a bowl of steaming hot canh. Served on its own, it is a wonderfully light snack and a kind of pick-me-up that I need now and then.
To make a decent bowl of canh you need decent broth and decent broth, in my opinion, definitely needs some proper pork bones in it (Wandering Chopsticks has a good post on how to make broth for canh)
If you are lazy (like me), a simple broth can be made by frying some ginger and then adding ready made chicken/vegetable stock.

Below are the most basic canh you can conjure up in a matter of minutes.

Canh Cai Soong (Watercress Soup - my version)
My adopted granddad Muoi (my grandma's 10th brother) loved this soup when he was alive. He was a bachelor all his life so he spent quite a few years living with my family. He doted on me when I was little and obviously he was like a granddad to me. He's gone for quite a few years now but I still miss him dearly every time I make this soup.
Ingredients:(serves 1)
Watercress (100g)
Bacon (1 slice - cut into thin strips)
1 cup of chicken stock
3 chopped shiitake mushrooms

Fry bacon in a bit of oil until the meat has changed colour.
Pour hot stock and shiitake mushrooms in the pot
Let it boil for 5 minutes, taste and adjust if necessary.
Quickly blanch watercress in the boiling broth, turn the heat off

Canh trung ca chua (Tomato and eggdrop soup)
I make this soup fairly often as a student (since it costs next to nothing to make). It's guaranteed to be fool-proof :)

Ingredients (serves 1)
3 tomatoes, chopped into 8 chunks each
1 egg
chopped spring onion to garnish
chicken stock (1 and a half cup)

Fry tomatoes in a bit of oil (5 mins would do)
Pour hot stock into the pan and wait until it starts boiling
Turn the heat down 1 notch and crack the egg into the pan, stir it around, make sure you pierce the yolk as well because you don't want to end up eating a boiled egg yolk in your canh.
Garnish with a bit of spring onions and serve (take care when eating the tomatoes since they stay hot for quite a long time - FYI I burnt my tongue last time trying to eat it too fast D'oh)



Wandering Chopsticks said...

I like to add green beans to my tomato egg drop soup for color. It looks all Christmassy that way.

Hedgehog said...

mmm,good idea, I'll try it next time. Maybe with some proper broth as well :D

Oanh said...


I had no idea you had a food blog, too. Or did I know and just not put you on my RSS? Silly me.

Now I'm following!

And I've had a little read through your archives ... if you're ever 'down south', let me know. There's a fantastic Korean restaurant in Bournemouth, right near the train station!

Hedgehog said...

oanh, my food blog is not quite a food blog since I mostly cook other people's recipes :D I do try to get better at cooking. Thanks, I've never actually been that far down south (furthest point I've been is London really) will let you know if I have a chance :D