15 Jul 2018
I like to conclude the savory portions of my menus with a light broth to sip on. My first iteration was a sprouted lentil soup. This updated version is my take of a Chinese soup made from daikon radish and pork. It's served as a consommé, which means its been clarified to remove excess fat and sediment that would cloud the soup - crystal-clear consommé is a labor of love and point of pride for many chefs. The traditional method of clarification involves combining a mixture of egg whites, vegetables, and ground meat and simmering in the soup for up to an hour. During this time, the proteins in the egg white congeal the mixture into a "raft" which collects impurities from the soup, which is then very carefully ladled out through a hole in the center and strained through cheesecloth or similar fine mesh.
Like many recipes on fivetwentysix, we're doing away with traditional methods in favor of modern technique (inspired by one from ChefSteps, of course!). Instead of using egg whites for the raft this preparation uses a cellulosic gum called Methylcellulose F50 which gels when hot, the opposite of virtually all other gelling agents. When simmered in the soup it has the same effect of forming a raft and drawing out impurities but does not leach out as much flavor as traditional methods. It's also much faster. Modern technique improving on a very traditional dish is a big win in my book.
For 4 servings (you may have extra, but plan for yield loss during clarification)
520g pork sirloin roast, cubed
360g chicken wings
290g onion, sliced
20g garlic, sliced
20g ginger, sliced
480g Daikon radish, sliced
85g shiitake mushroom, sliced
560g soup base, from above (100%)
190g pork chop (33%)
1.8g Methylcellulose F50 (0.33%)
Reserved fat, melted