Monday, May 25, 2009

Ginger Vinegar part I

Dear reader,

As we went into the last eight weeks, we started to get prepared a little bit more for baby's arrival and one of these tasks is to prepare a ginger vinegar pot. In the Chinese traditions, Pork feet eggs ginger vinegar is a soup that is cooked for a new mom. It's a high calcium and iron content meal. The pot need to be readied several weeks before the delivery in order to maximize the nutrients benefit of it. I'll post several post about this as it takes time to get it done.

So, the ingredients are:
-sweet vinegar
-pork feet
-a clay pot

For the sweet vinegar, we use Tung Chin brand, there are other brands out there, after a quick round up among friends advices, we went for this one. It's said to be less thick.

Bottle of vinegar
Ginger Vinegar Soup - Sweet Vinegar
Note the 2500mL! Yes! It is a huge bottle.

For the ginger, we use what we call "ground ginger", they are said to be more suitable for this soup. They are smaller, a bit dirtier and a bit more expensive (7HKD/catty instead of 6HKD/catty at our retailer)

Ginger Vinegar Soup - Ground Ginger

For the eggs and Pork feet, I'll talk about them later as it can be prepared after the delivery.

For the pot, DO NOT USE METAL POT, the soup is quite acid and the resulting oxidization of the metal will mess it up. As we are using induction cooker, it was quite a mission to find a suitable pot. At first, we found a small clay pot (4 liters) in Jusco (a local Japanese megastore) with a thin layer of metal on the bottom, it works, but we wanted something bigger. We then found another clay pot with a complete metal layer at on the outside at the same place, it's bigger (8 liters) and should be just fine. If you use gas cooker, there will be no issue, you can easily find clay pot of any size.

Time to mix things up!

First, you need to get a pretty large amount of ginger, we had 3 kg of it. Peel them and make sure they fit your pot. One very valuable piece of advice: WEAR GLOVES unless you are used to feel hot and spicy things through your hands.

Peeling work:
Ginger Vinegar Soup - Peeling work

Smooth and clean:
Ginger Vinegar Soup - Ground Ginger Peeled

Before continuing, make sure you do have the right pot. Here is an example of wrong pot:
Ginger Vinegar Soup - Wrong pot
It's in metal, and the ginger obviously do not fit... :D

Here is a better one:
Ginger Vinegar Soup - The Right Pot
Inside in clay, right size!

Keep the skins as they will serve for mum's bath after delivery (I will talk about that later too). Dry them and keep them in a bag for later use.

Skins ready to get a sunbath in the oven:
Ginger Vinegar Soup - Drying the skin
Side note: the oven was a bad idea, just lay them flat on some newspaper in a dry place.

This is the end of part I. Actually, we took an evening to peel the gingers...

UPDATE: Part two is HERE.