Following from our last newsletter I wanted to share one of my fav mushroom and yi yi ren soup. Pick this up from a site many years ago and have made it many time with loads of modifications. Yi Yi Ren (also known as coix or Job’s tears or Chinese pearl barley) is also part of the soup. Some research has found that this is a gluten free ingredient even though one of the names for it is barley. It is one of the allowed foods by the NIDDK (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases). The Chinese herbal medicinal use of Yi YI Ren is to reduce swelling, however the elders do not recommend eating large amounts of yi yi ren when pregnant. It is best for any other time when you want to retain less water.
Mushrooms are key to making that umami taste (rich, savory, and earthy), thus three types of mushroom – king trumpet, shiitake, and miyatake (button mushrooms) but of course you can use any type of mushroom.
1kg of carrots, washed, trimmed and rough chopped
1kg onion, chopped
125g. of ginger, washed, sliced, or crushed
500g of napa cabbage (wombok), washed and rough chopped
125g. of dried bok choy, rehydrated and rinsed three times
7.5 l of water
1 honey date, rinsed
1kg king oyster mushrooms
500g fresh shiitake mushrooms
500g brown beech or oyster mushrooms
180g. dried yiyiren, rinsed 3 times and soaked for at least 4 hours
90g lotus nut rinsed and soaked
Soak the barley and lotus seed for 4 hours. They can be soaked together. Drain.
Meanwhile, combine stock ingredients in a soup pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 hours then strain all the stock ingredients out of the soup. Use a fine mesh strainer to get clear stock.
Add barley and lotus to the stock and simmer for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, dice all the mushrooms into small pieces. Toss the mushrooms with some oil. Saute the mushrooms and deglaze with rice wine. Or, broil the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms to the soup and simmer for another 20 minutes.
The soup is done when the stock looks cloudy and the pearl barley are soft.