Sunday, January 23, 2011

Slow cooker "Buddha jumping over the wall"

As Chinese New Year approaches, I feel the urge to make something traditional like this soup. I've never had the real "buddha jumping of the wall" soup, also known as "fo tiao qiang" in mandarin. All I know is it takes many ingredients (about 18) to make and it's time consuming to prepare.  There are many versions out there but this is my version in a slow cooker minus a few items like pig's stomach and duck gizzards since those take time to clean. This is an excellent soup rich in flavor.

Ingredients (for 4 servings) :-
1 piece or 1 lb each of chicken leg, duck leg, pork leg- excess fat removed, chopped into 1x3 inches chunk, blanched in hot water separately for 2 minutes to remove impurities
1 lb of pork ribs, blanched in hot water for  2 minutes
1/4 lb of virginia ham, soaked in water for 30 minutes
6 pieces of dried scallops
6 pieces of dried abalone slices, soaked in water for 3 hours
4 pieces of dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in water for 30 minutes
2 pieces of fried fish maw, soaked in water for 30 minutes and blanched in hot water for 2 minutes
1 piece or 1 lb bamboo shoots, sliced into 1 inch size
2 pieces of thumb sized ginger
1/2 lb of soaked sea cucumber, intestines removed and cleaned thoroughly then blanched in hot water for 2 minutes
10 quail eggs, hard boiled and peeled
1 ounce of shark fin ( optional)
3 1/2 cups of water or enough to cover all the ingredients
Some foochow red rice wine (optional)

1. Set slow cooker at low heat. Place ham, scallops, abalone, fish maw, bamboo shoots and mushrooms in the bottom of slow cooker. Next, layer the ginger, pork feet, duck feet, chicken feet and pork ribs. Add  water and cook overnight or at least 8 hours.
2. Remove fat floating on top of the soup. Place sea cucumber, quail eggs and, shark fin, if using, on top of soup. Let cook undisturbed for another 1 1/2 hours. Again, remove the top layer fat before serving. Dish up in an individual soup bowl and drizzle 1-2 tsps of  foochow red rice wine for extra flavor or serve it as it is without the wine.

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