I only recently found out that the amazing dried vegetables in Choy Kon Tong is actually dehydrated bok choy. Like, how amazing is that? If you compare the flavours of fresh and dried bok choy, they are so contrasting. Fresh bok choy is juicy, slightly astringent, with a sweet bitterness that most leafy greens have. Dried bok choy however has an interesting deep earthy umami flavour, not unlike dried mushrooms. It’s also really fragrant. Once boiled, it becomes tender, chewy and stringy. A lot of people discard it after boiling but I just love munching on them to extract that coveted earthy flavour. I would have never guessed that it was bok choy if not for the labels on the packet. That transformation it takes from dehydration… like so many other ingredients (chillies, mushrooms, peppercorns, beans….). Isn’t it great when you learn something new by accident?
This soup is so simple. Besides having to remember to soak the dried veggies for about 20 minutes before boiling this up, all you need to prepare is Chicken Drumstick (or whatever soup meat/bones you prefer), Honey Dates, Red Dates (Jujube), Salt & Water.
I really like this soup when I feel my body needs a little bit of cleansing after lots of fried or oily foods. It has a really clean flavour and generally makes me feel really good.
Let us have more soup!
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
Dried Bok Choy Soup (Choy Kon Tong)
2 bunches (70gms or 2.5 oz) dried Bok Choy, soaked in water
2 Honey Dates
4-6 Red Dates (Jujube)
8 cups Water (boiling water if using slow cooker)
2 Chicken Drumsticks (skin removed)
Salt (to taste)
- Soak the dried bok choy for 20 minutes. There is a lot of dirt and debris on it so make sure to wash and drain it well. Give the long rehydrated strands a few snips with a pair of kitchen scissors for ease of serving later.
- Place all the ingredients into your stock pot or slow cooker. If boiling in a stock pot, bring it all to a boil then reduce to a simmer, covered, for 2 hours. If using slow cooker, use boiling water and set to HIGH for 4 hours, or LOW for 8 hours.