Updated Apr 16, 2010
I’m updating this up with new photo of this soup along with a video cooking tutorial. The recipe is fairly easy and doesn’t require much ingredients but I’ve on a video making spree so thought I capture and show you how I made this yummy soup.
Yesterday I headed to Stockton to drop off some stuff at my parent’s house and also stopped by my sister’s salon to get my bangs trimmed. 😛 Mother always try to pack me stuff every time I visit. My fridge is still stock with kwah ko (Cambodian Sausage) and trey ngeat (Cambodian Sun-Dried Salty Fish) from my last visit so there was no need for more of those, yet. Mother still had other goodies for me to bring back home and this time it was jruk spey ជ្រក់ស្ពៃ (Cambodian pickled mustard greens).
My favorite part of jruk spey is the center where the stems are still young and crunchy. I remembered growing up Mother used to make like buckets of jruk spey at a time and us kids would sneak up and pinched the center stem portion of the mustard green then eat them. When it’s time to cook my Mother is left with the outer leaves potion with a hollow center. She would questioned who did it. Of course we pointed fingers at each other and no body dare to admit they were the guilty one. 😀
Jruk spey can be used to make a variety of Cambodian dish as soups, stir-fry, and as a relish/salad to accompany grilled fishes as well as other meats. Today I am sharing with you how I make Sngour Jruk Spey ស្ងោរជ្រក់ស្ពៃ (Pickled Mustard Green Soup). Very few ingredients are called for but this soup yield LOTS of flavor! I am using bone-in chicken but you can use pork as well. Bone-in meats I think tend to yield a more flavorful broth due to long period of simmering. The broth becomes rich and the meats get oh so tender, like fall of the bone goodness. However, if time is tight then opt for meats only (without the bone) and chop into smaller pieces as it will cook faster.
3 skinless chicken thighs (about 1 lb) cut into chunks
3 cups chopped pickled mustard greens
5 cups of water
3 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon chicken broth mix (or ½ chicken bullion cube)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
chopped green onion or cilantro for garnishing
hot red chili peppers to serve (optional)
Wash and rinse and squeeze as much water from the pickled mustard greens prior to chopping to remove some of the salt content.
Bring water to a boil and add chicken pieces and garlic cloves. Allow to boil for 10 minutes making sure to remove scum that rise to the surface. If you are using meat only this will be less visible. Cover and simmer stock for 30 minutes or longer if have the time, otherwise 10-15 minutes is sufficient.
Add chicken broth mix followed by chopped pickled mustard greens. Continue to cook another 5 minutes. Finish the soup off by adding sugar and fish sauce. Pickled mustard greens can vary in flavor. Some have a very high salt content even after you rinse it while others make them pretty sour. Taste and adjust to your liking.
Once you are satisfy with the flavor turn the heat off and add chopped green onion then stir to combine. To serve, ladle to a bowl and garnish with fresh whole or chopped chili. This soup can be served as is or along with steamed rice at part of a meal.