The Chinese use pork in an amazingly large amount of dishes and soups. You can explain this from a historical stand-point. Pork was the most readily available type of meat available and you were lucky at that to have the meat. So it makes sense that Chinese dishes stem from the most readily available ingredients.
Pork is probably one of the most common types of meats available in Chinese soups. While chicken is also a likely meat for soups, it’s usually reserved for cold, wintry days. Pork on the other hand, is versatile in its usage, season and soup base. Really – the key to having good soup is in its stock. Which means you need a good soup base and then whatever you add on top is merely for enhanced flavour and nutrition.
Here are the types of pork that you can find and use in soups:
- Pork shank
- Pork bones
- Lean pork
- Pork lungs
- Pork feet
- Minced pork
- Processed pork (ham)
It’s a hefty list but at least it gives you variety. It’s very common these days to find people using lean pork and pork shank for soups primarily because they are low in fat content. Pork bones are rich in calcium, but because of their cut, they often produce a layer of fat that sits on top of the soup. I would suggest removing the fat prior to consumption – it’s easy, just use a fine-meshed scooper (made for soups).
Regardless of the type of pork you use, soups are a nutritious and delicious addition to you and your family’s diet. It helps maintain your level of water consumption (remember, 8 glasses of water a day), it gives you added nutrition you may not otherwise consume, it can assist with conditions (confinement or coughs), it’s easy to digest, it’s relatively easy to make, it can serve as a meal and it quenches thirst (although my idea of thirst quenching is something ice cold). I try to keep my fridge/freezer stocked with pork and some types of vegetables so that I can make soups on the go. It doesn’t have to be a massive pot, but enough to satisfy even my childrens’ delicate palates.