Com (cooked rice)-Canh (soup or broth)-Nuoc mam (fish sauce) was all my kids could eat when they came here because everything tastes so much different from home. Can you imagine that we came from a developing country but we could have warm fresh cut meat, live fish, and fresh vegetable everyday? The vegetable was picked in the evening and transported to the market early morning. The pig and cow was slaughtered and sold the same day. The meat was still warm at markets before sunrise. Canh is really helping when you do not feeling good and do not want to eat for some reasons too. Just make a pot of canh and some cooked rice (or leftover rice) and save the day.
Make 4 servings
1/2 lb ground pork
1 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 bunch of mustard greens, tough ends removed, washed, coarsely chopped, drained
A small piece of fresh or frozen ginger (a thumb size), smashed (optional)
4 cups water
2 Tbs fish sauce
A few sprigs of cilantro, coarsely chopped
1-2 green onion, thinly sliced
4 cups cooked rice to serve
- Mix ground meat with fish sauce, salt, sugar, black pepper, garlic, and shallot together and put in a freeze 10-15 minutes while cleaning the vegetable. Take the cold ground meat out and regrind it again in food processor until binding together.
- Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Use a small teaspoon, scoop the ground meat and drop into the boiling water or form a mini meatball with your hands. When the water back to boiling, add fish sauce,ginger and mustard green. Simmer gently uncovered over medium or medium low heat 5-10 minutes until the meat is cooked (no more pink in the center of big pieces) and mustard green is soft. Remove the ginger, taste and adjust seasoning.
- Transfer to a large bowl, sprinkle cilantro, green onion and ground black pepper. Spoon over a small bowl of cooked rice. Eat hot or warm. Refrigerate leftover and warm it up when eating. It will be good in the fridge up to three days.
Beef, chicken, turkey, fish or shrimp can be used. If use shrimp, shell, devein and smash with a knife blade or meat mallet. Fish can be cooked whole if small fish or pieces if large fish and fish can be ground too.
Different vegetables can be used: spinach, baby choy, cabbage, etc.
Chicken, pork or vegetable stock can be used instead of water but you need to taste before adding fish sauce.