There are some dishes that you only see during special occasions. For you it might be pumpkin pie, roast turkey, lasagna, beef stew.. or even smores.
For me, dishes like pig stomach soup, prawn fritters and rice ball dumplings (tang yuen) all scream “Special Occasion” to me because we only got to enjoy them once a year. There are even certain vegetables that we only have on those rare occasions. Leeks were one of those. Braise with fish maw and carrots, it was oddly enough only eaten during Chinese New Year. Of course these days, my mom would prepare this dish when she gets some really good fish maw. I’ve had it about 3-4 times this year alone. If I can catch her making some again, I’ll share it here. But the thing is, leeks are available all year round. I don’t know why we never had it more often, in different ways.
That’s one of the best parts of being an adult. I can eat special dishes whenever I want, as often as I like. I no longer confine my leek consumption to certain holidays. And I don’t have to limit myself on how I use it.
So when I spied some really beautiful organic leeks at the supermarket a while ago, I knew I wanted to make something out of it that will bring out all its oniony sweetness. Pork, in my mind, would complement that sweetness well because pork too has a somewhat sweet aftertaste when braised long enough. Plus a major major cheat for flavour bomb. Which might put some of you off but hey, sometimes we need all the help we can get right? Within reason of course. 😉
To clean out the leeks as they are sometimes filled with dirt, first lob off those harder green leaves, roots and discard. Then holding the root end, make slices along the whole stem all around it, leaving just about 1 inch on top attached. Run the leaves under running water thoroughly, making sure to clean out every single leaf because them sneaky dirt can get into the tiniest of crevices.
I wanted loads of sauce to go with my couscous so I dunked in the entire can of soup together with some water, vinegar, pepper & Worcestershire sauce.
Deciding to take a different route, I decided to serve this with simple couscous, not unlike the one I made here.
So I guess if you’re not iffy about condensed soups and like quicker dinners like I do, this might be for you! I’ve seen dozens and dozens of crockpot recipes using canned soup as the flavour base and got inspired. The addition of leeks just made it better.
“I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.” (Hosea 11:4)
- 400gm (appx 1 lb) Pork Shoulder cubes
- 300gm (appx ¾ lb) Leeks, cleaned well & chopped
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, deseeded & chopped
- 2 thick pcs Ginger
- 1 cube Firm Tofu, cubed
- 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 can (10¾ ounces) Campbell's Condensed Cream of Chicken & Mushroom Soup
- 1 tbsp Cider Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- ½ tsp ground Black Pepper
- 1 sprig Spring Onion, chopped
- ¾ cup Water
- Heat up a stewing pot on MED HIGH with the vegetable oil.
- Brown cubed pork pieces, in 2 additions if necessary. Remove and reserved.
- In the same pot, saute leeks, spring onions & ginger for 2-3 minutes until softened and somewhat translucent.
- Toss in peppers & reserved pork.
- Pour in condensed soup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, pepper & water. Bring to a boil & turn heat down to a simmer for 30 minutes, or until pork is tender.
- Add in cubed tofu and stir in. Once tofu is heated through, about 1 minute, turn off flame.
- Serve up with couscous, rice or noodles.