abcdefg Posted May 12, 2016 at 12:47 PM Report Share Posted May 12, 2016 at 12:47 PM It feels like summer here even though it's only May. Sky is blue and the sun is bright from 9 a.m. onward, with a few clouds in the late afternoon and evening. The Summer Equinox doesn’t arrive for another month, but Kunming is already blessed with shorts and tee shirt weather. Time for food that’s light and cool; like mint soup and mangoes. Mint is used a lot here. Every restaurant, humble or fancy, will have it available in several forms for diners whether or not it’s on the menu. One of the most popular ways is mint soup 薄荷鸡蛋汤。It’s so simple that I blush to even call it a recipe. But, nonetheless, I’ll show you how to make it. A large bunch of fresh mint the size of a basketball cost 2 Yuan at the wet market. A medium pot of soup requires two large handfuls. You only need two main ingredients: Mint and one fresh egg. Wash the mint a couple times in tap water and go through it, picking out any thick stems that don't snap easily. You are left with tender, thin stems and leaves. Break the egg in a small bowl and stir it with fork or chopsticks. Boil about a liter of water, add a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of 鸡精. Pour in an approximate teaspoon of sesame oil. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the mint and stir it well. Cook for a minute or two. Stir in the egg in a thin stream, holding the bowl 10 or 12 inches above the pot and stirring briskly as you pour. The idea is to have the egg disperse in small droplets and thin streaks instead of solidifying into clumps and chunks. Taste and adjust the seasoning. This is a simple soup and doesn't need a variety of condiments; don't reach for the soy sauce. Serve it up. You need both a spoon and chopsticks at the table because you will actually eat the mint. Think of it like a serving of tasty green leafy vegetables plus broth. Serve it with a roast duck and steamed rice for a simple meal. TCM maintains that this soup has cooling properties. I usually make enough to put some in the fridge that I can polish off tomorrow. Keeps well like that overnight. If you ate most of the mint today and have mainly clear soup left, add more mint and another egg tomorrow. And what could be better than to finish the meal with a mango? Their season started about a week ago. I bought these yesterday. The two yellow ones are ripe, the other two, which have a little green, will be ready tomorrow or the next day. The four of them cost me 8 Yuan. You may already have a favorite mango method, but I'll show you how to do the "hedgehog prep." Cut off the stem end so you can stand the mango upright. Slice each side straight down. Cut away the central strip that remains. (Just gnaw those small bits when nobody's looking.) Now you have two real pretty "halves." Score each of them in a criss-cross pattern, going through the flesh, but not through the skin. Evert these slightly and the flesh opens up nicely. Can eat it just like that with your hands or scoop it off with a spoon. Presto, you have a light and tasty summer meal. Easy prep, easy clean up. 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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