Chinese Pork and Black bean soup is one of the many much loved Chinese home cooking soups. While soup is popular in many different types of cuisines, it is often regarded as a healthy and tasty tonic for the body in Chinese cuisine. This soup is also frequently served to women during pregnancy and confinement for its high nutritional values. Easy to make and perfect comfort food for the whole family especially during the cold winter days. Typical ingredients used in Chinese black bean soup are black beans, pork spare ribs, dried red dates and dried cuttlefish. For my naturally gluten free recipe, I am using pork shoulder (bones on), black beans, carrots and dried red dates. This recipe is also soy free, dairy free, egg free and nut free.
The Black bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), commonly referred to as black turtle bean, has a small, glossy black and shell-like shape. It is sweet tasting, meaty texture and has flavour similar to mushrooms. Black beans originated in the North, South and Central Americas and first cultivated all the way back to more than 7,000 years ago. Like all legumes and pulses, they are enjoyed in many different kinds of cuisines worldwide, mainly for their health benefits and to add textures and nutrition to dishes like dips, salads, stews and soups. Black beans are also popular in vegetarian and vegan dishes for their nutritional values. They are highly valued for their high protein and fiber content with low glycemic index.
Black beans are also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals like folate/folic acid, vitamin B1 (thiamine), copper, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium and iron. Furthermore, black beans are an exceptional source of molybdenum, a micronutrient that is vital for life. Its main role is to act as a catalyst for enzymes to assist in the breakdown of amino acids in the human body. Additionally, black beans are abundant in antioxidant properties from their high content of flavonoids, especially anthocyanin. Health benefits of black beans include: help lower blood pressure; decrease risks of cardiovascular diseases; reduce risks of common cancer especially colon cancer; support healthy digestive system; management of diabetes; lower blood cholesterol level and aid weight loss and weight management. In traditional Chinese medicine, black beans are used to treat kidney ailments; help detox and cleanse the body; promote blood circulation; promote healthy skin and longevity.
Chinese Pork and Black Bean Soup
- 1 kg 2.2Ib/35.3oz pork shoulder, bones on (get your butcher to cut into large 3 inch pieces)
- 300 g 10.6oz black beans, washed
- 10 dried red dates seeded
- 5 medium carrots cut into 2 inch pieces crosswise
- 4 litres water
- 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
Method 1 – Using Pressure Cooker:
- Place pork, black beans, dried red dates and carrots into a large pressure cooker. Mix the ingredient well together.
- Add water to maximum level indicated by the pressure cooker. Cover the pressure cooker and lock lid.
- Bring to a boil, once pressure is attained, reduced heat to low. Cook for 35 minutes. Turn off heat.
- Let the pressure cooker rest for another 10 minutes, carefully release pressure. Unlock lid.
- Add salt to taste and serve.
Method 2 – Stove Top Cooking:
- Blanch pork in some boiling water to remove scum. Drain and set aside.
- Place 4 litres of water into a large covered pot and bring to a boil.
- Add pork, black beans, dried red dates bring to a boil again. Then turn the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, add in all the carrots and cook for another 30 minutes or until pork and black beans are soft and tender. Add salt to taste and serve.