Source: Chinese Beef Soup
Source: Down East Clam Chowder
4 dozen hard-shell clams, scrubbed, or 1 quart shucked cooked clams with their broth
1/4 pound cubed salt pork or 6 slices bacon
1 onion, coarsely chopped
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups milk
2 cups half-and-half or evaporated milk
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
freshly ground pepper
Pour clams into a large pot with 1 cup water. Cover, bring to a boil, and cook until shells open, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool, then shuck clams and set aside. Pour off broth and reserve, taking care not to disturb any sediment in the bottom of the pan.
Cook salt pork in a large saucepan over medium heat until the fat runs. Add onion and cook, stirring, until tender. Pour off half the fat.
Add potatoes to the pan and stir well. Add clam broth and just enough water to cover the potatoes. Simmer until potatoes are tender.
Add milk and half-and-half (or evaporated milk); bring to a simmer. Add clams and butter; simmer a few minutes until clams are heated through and butter is melted. (Do not boil or clams will be tough.) Season with salt and pepper.
This soup needs some preparation, but is well worth it. It is my original recipe, and based on some great Chinese cooking techniques.
–4 cups beef broth (use homemade if you have it. If you buy it, try to use a high quality brand such as Knorr or Swanson.
–I bunch green onions (or scallions)
–8 ounce fresh sliced mushrooms. I love baby bellas (portabellas)
–8 ounce chuck steak (or another tender beef, sliced in small pieces)
–1 pack of extra firm tofu (fry in oil until they golden brown and put aside).
–2 tsp. black pepper
–Chinese cooking wine
–Sesame oil (you can use the hot version or the regular version)
–One star anise
–one bunch of small Udon noodles. Par cook, and put aside.
The broth is the star of this show. Prepare the above ingredients as described, and I put them on separate plates. Sauté mushrooms in a small bit of oil. Add the beef, and sauté. Add the cooking wine. Add the broth, and flavor the broth with the star anise, pepper, salt. Simmer for a few minutes, and add the green onions, prepared tofu and taste broth. Add the par cooked noodles. Adjust seasonings, and add 1-2 teaspoons of sesame oil. I have the hot version, as well as the regular. If you use plain sesame oil, and want a little heat, add a few drops of your favorite hot sauce.