Savoring Cantonese Pork & Mustard Greens Soup: An Age-old Delight

An Ode to a Community-Driven Delicacy

The first time the flavors of Cantonese pork & mustard greens soup danced on my palate, I was awestruck. This delicacy, with its impeccable blend of tender pork and zesty greens, achieved perfection using just eight key ingredients. Its allure isn’t solely in its taste, but also in the rich heritage it represents.

This delightful recipe was birthed from the vibrant exchanges within The Woks of Life community. To know that we’re not just dishing out recipes, but also weaving in the cherished memories and traditions shared by our community, is heartwarming. Such recipes not only satiate hunger but also nourish the soul by keeping culinary legacies alive. Moreover, the therapeutic attributes of this soup, celebrated for its ability to cleanse the lungs, make it a staple for many as both a health tonic and a comfort dish.

A Symphony of Flavors

Contrary to popular belief, mustard greens, when simmered in this recipe, shed their typical bitterness. The result? A soup that surprises and pleases with every sip. While the mustard greens bring a fresh twist, the slow-cooked pork bones infuse the broth with a profound umami. The subtle sweetness from dried dates and goji berries rounds off the taste, creating a harmony in your mouth.

Milky Broth Magic: The Secret Revealed

During my culinary deep dive, I discovered two distinct versions of this soup – one with a translucent broth and the other, a creamy, milky one. For our rendition, I’ve opted for the latter, not only because of its rich texture but also as an avenue to unveil the art of crafting milky broths. Achieving this desired consistency hinges on three pivotal steps:

  1. Golden-brown pan-frying of your choice of protein.
  2. Immediately drenching it with boiling water.
  3. Vigorously boiling the stock until it transforms into a milky shade.

For this recipe, we’ll utilize mustard green stems, commonly sold without leaves. However, if you stumble upon mustard greens with leaves intact, don’t hesitate to throw them into the pot. Whether you opt for petiole mustard greens or head mustard, both will elevate your soup to perfection.


  • 2 lbs meat-rich pork neck bones (pork ribs are a viable alternative)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 10 cups boiling water
  • Generous slice of ginger
  • 1 lb mustard green stems (or stems coupled with leaves)
  • 2 tbsp sun-dried goji berries
  • 6 desiccated Chinese dates (jujubes)
  • Salt, as per your preference

Steps to Soup Perfection:

  1. Submerge the pork bones in cold water for a couple of hours, refreshing the water midway.
  2. Place the pork bones in a deep vessel, cover with water, and boil briefly for a minute. Rinse the bones thoroughly, drain, and set aside.
  3. Warm up your wok until it emits smoke. Drizzle in the oil, ensuring it covers the wok’s base. Introduce the pork bones, browning them uniformly. Shift these bones to a soup pot, and separately, get 10 cups of water boiling.
  4. Gently pour the boiling water over the bones, tossing in the ginger. Crank up the heat till it boils.
  5. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium. Let it bubble away for around 30 minutes until the broth adopts a milky hue. Ensure it’s simmering steadily without overflowing.
  6. Diminish the heat to its lowest and let it cook covered for an additional hour until the meat is succulent. Skim any floating fat.
  7. Toss in the mustard greens, goji berries, and dates. For an extra hint of sweetness, bisect the dates.
  8. Reignite the boil and lower the heat, allowing it to simmer for another 20-30 minutes. Season with salt and serve it steaming hot.

Insider Tip: Salt quantities in nutrition information are excluded. Adjust as per taste.

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