The mother has been giving me something called huai shan, she says it is nutritious and can be cooked in soup. The last stick of huai shan ended up in the trash can because 1) I had no idea how to cook it 2) it started growing furry stuff all over!
I finally googled it and found out that 淮山 is in fact Chinese yam! To be honest I was slightly disappointed, I was expecting it to be something more exotic. Also, yam = carbohydrates, something I am not too crazy about.
Nonetheless, I did some research on yam soups and came across this website with simple enough recipes. I needed to clear the overflowing containers of fish stock in the freezer, so I went with the Pork soup with Chinese yam and goji berries.
The internet says I should wear gloves or something protective over my hands when handling the hairy huai shan, and I did just that. Upon peeling the skin I realised the flesh was sticky, gooey and very slippery! Chopping it up into chunks required more caution and I was terrified of chopping off my fingers. Well, I learn something new everyday!
Confession time: I actually have a slow cooker which we purchased when we first moved in, but I have never taken it out before, so I don’t know how to use it. There wasn’t time to fiddle around with a new equipment, so I turned to my trusty stove top soup pot to boil the soup. After 2 hours, the soup was ready and it tasted really great!
- A said I overcooked the yam. That is true, after all the yam was simmering inside for 2 hours. I shall make a note to add the yam 1 hour into cooking.
- I added carrots, because I like carrots.
- The mother-in-law commented that she doesn’t like to drink fish soup because of the fishy smell (referencing the soup I cooked a few days ago), but this soup was fine. She doesn’t know that this was in fact the same fish stock as before! I think a combination of long simmering + ginger slices masked the fishiness very well.