The duck stock (recipe here) provides a delicious soup base, however, the shiitake mushrooms and lily flowers amplifies the taste with its earthiness and colour. The dried lily flowers, which are unopened flowers of the lily plant, are easy to find at Chinese grocery stores and only needs a few steps to hydrate and bring out the flavours.
Aside from doing some preparation work with the ingredients, the soup is quick to make and will be an impressive start to your meal.
If you do not have duck stock, chicken stock will do. Adding in chicken pieces or noodles, is a great addition to the versatile and ultra tasty soup!
2 litres of duck stock (recipe here)
A handful of dried lily flowers
A handful of dried shiitake mushrooms (about 8 mushrooms)
3 large Shanghai bok choy- cut the stems and remove each layer
1/4 cup of green onions- small dice
About 350 g of tofu (2 square pieces)- cubed
Season with 1/2 tsp of fish sauce or a pinch of salt
Small piece of ginger- peel and cut 2 pieces 1 inch thick
1. Hydrate and blanch the dried lily flowers: A few hours before serving the soup, hydrate the lily flowers in a bowl and cover enough water to submerge. After a few hours, cut off both woody ends. In a small pot, add 2 cups of water and the ginger, and bring to a boil. Add the lily flowers and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove the lily flowers and set aside. An optional step is to tie a few lily flowers together (refer to the picture) which looks great for the presentation.
2. Prepare the shiitake mushrooms: Soak the mushrooms a few hours before serving the soup in a bowl of water. If you have time, soak the mushrooms overnight. Once hydrated, remove from the bowl, cut off the stems and thinly slice the mushrooms. Set aside.
3. Prepare the bok choy and green onions as stated.
1. In a pot, add the mushrooms to the soup and set to boil. Turn down the heat to low-medium and simmer for 20 minutes.
2. Before serving, add the bok choy, tofu and lily flowers and cook for another 3 minutes. Taste and add the seasoning.
3. Ladle into bowls and add in green onions. Serve immediately.