Radish|Daikon Soup

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I notice that I have not been eating my greens as I am suppose to lately. Bad bad me, I know. I guess I’m just very picky on the types of vegetables and what dishes it goes into.

Growing up I never like radish aka daikon. I didn’t like the smell nor the taste. Turned away when my Mother make soups out of it. Pick it off when she use them to make pickle things. However, as you might have notice, I really like it in my pickled carrots and daikon. Maybe it’s an acquire taste and smell? Or perhaps my taste buds changed over time. Nevertheless, I made an attempt to make and eat my radish soup (Sngor Chai Thao) ស្ងោរឆែថាវ. I never thought I would say this but “I <3 radish soup”. It very light and refreshing and it makes me feel healthy and I sip the tasty broth.

The longer you simmer, the tender the meat gets. The radish also becomes nice and soft but not mushy (only if you prefer it that way) . If you don’t have time to make the stock, you can use small cut of meat and add stock cube (pork or chicken) to help flavor the broth. It’s a very easy soup to put together. The soup can be enjoyed as is or with steamed rice with a full meal.

Ingredients
1.5 lbs pork neck bones with meat attached
6 cups of water
3 cloves of garlic
½ onion, peeled and cut in half again
½ lb radish/daikon, cut into bite size pieces
1.5 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
cilantro & chili for garnishing

Method:
Wash meat thoroughly and drain well. This next step is optional but I usually take the time to pre-boil the meat to remove those gunk and residue from the bone giving me a nice clear and delicious broth. Bring a big pot of water to boil and add the meat. Boil for about 5-10 minutes and then discard the liquid and rinse the meat again.

Rinse your pot to remove any residue on the sides and add 6 cups of water. Wait til it boils and then return the meat. Allow it to come to a blasting boil and then cover and simmer low for 1-2 hours. The longer you simmer, the tender the meat gets. Also I find that the broth is much more tasty as all the juices and flavors are extracted from bones. You can prepare this stock in advance and refrigerate it. Reheat when it’s time to prepare the soup. If there’s any visible fat you want to remove it would a lot easier to do so resulting in a nutritious and healthier soup.

Prepare the soup by adding cut radish to the stock when it boils. Allow radish to cook until soft to your liking. If you are not in a hurry you can cover and simmer it for about 30 minutes but check every now and then making sure it doesn’t get too soft or break apart. Once you are satisfy with the texture of the cooked radish, go ahead and add the sugar, soy sauce and fish sauce.

To serve, ladle to a bowl and garnish with some chopped cilantro and chili. You can also serve it directly on top of steamed rice for a delicious one bowl rice soup.

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