Wednesday, April 4, 2012

White Radish Sour Soup

Achin Hin is a sour soup that can be made from variety of vegetables. It usually starts with an onion and tomato gravy with either dry shrimp or dry fish and later different vegetables are added. The taste of the dish as well as the name given will change depending on the type of vegetables used. Most types of Achin Hin will have tamarind pulp to make it sour but when vegetables that are naturally sour are used, tamarind is eliminated.

I love all types of Achin Hin and I like to pair it with some fried chicken or beef, tomato curry, red chili pound, rice and some fresh cut vegetables such as cucumber, white radish or cabbage. A lot of people eat Achin Hin as a soup dish for a meal but I personally like to pour lots of it over the rice and top it up with tomato curry, red chili pound, mix it all up and eat.

White Radish Sour Soup

Serves: 4 to 6
Preparation Time: 15 to 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour

2 tablespoons Oil
1 large Onion – finely chopped (about 2 cups)
3 teaspoons Dry Shrimp Powder
1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
2 medium Tomatoes – finely chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)
2 tablespoon Garlic – pressed or finely chopped
1 tablespoon Ginger – grated or finely chopped
2 teaspoons Red Chili Powder
1/8 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
3 tablespoons Fish Sauce
1 pound White Radish (Daikon/Mooli) – peeled, quartered and cut into 1/4 inch slices
2/3 cup Tamarind Pulp (adjust to taste)
8 cups Water or more as required
0.8 pound Chinese Greens (Yu Choy) - discard few inches off the bottom and cut into 2 inch pieces
Salt to taste
1/2 cup Cilantro
4 Thai Chilies or any Green Chili – slit with knife lengthwise; keep stems attached

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over high heat; add onion, a pinch of salt and sauté for about 4 to 5 minutes until onion is translucent.
  2. Reduce heat to medium low, add dry shrimp powder, crushed red pepper and continue cooking for about 2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add tomato, garlic, ginger, red chili powder, turmeric powder, stir and cook for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add fish sauce, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until tomatoes are crushed, for about 4 minutes.
  5. Add white radish, mix well, cover and cook stirring occasionally for 5 more minutes until radish is translucent. Add little water if it is getting too dry.
  6. Once radish is translucent, add 8 cups of water, tamarind pulp, cover the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat.
  7. Add Chinese Greens, salt and adjust soup consistency by adding more water if required. Bring it back to a boil.
  8. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot partially and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until vegetables are cooked through.
  9. Adjust sourness and saltiness to taste. Turn off the heat, garnish with cilantro & Thai chilies and cover the pot for about 5 minutes before serving.
For Vegetarian and Vegan version, skip dry shrimp powder and fish sauce.
Note: Amount of tamarind used for this dish will depend on the sourness of the tamarind itself and the amount of water used in making the pulp. Add few teaspoons at a time and adjust according to your desired sourness of the dish.

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