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Watercress Soup

(recipe, Ellen Leong Blonder & Annabel Low)


  1. 1½ lb. pork neck bones or 1 pound country-style spareribs or pork shoulder
  2. 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  3. 6 cups water
  4. 12 small jujubes (Chinese red dates)
  5. 2 bunches watercress (5 ounces each)


  1. Place the pork, salt, and water in a stockpot. Cover and bring to a boil. With a spoon or fine-mesh sieve, skim off any fat or foam that rises to the surface. Rinse the jujubes and add them to the stockpot. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 1½ hours.
  2. Meanwhile, wash the watercress and discard the large stems and any roots. You should have about 6 or 7 ounces of leafy stems remaining.
  3. With a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the soup and set aside. Skim off any fat that has risen to the top of the broth, then add the watercress and simmer 10 minutes.
  4. While the watercress cooks, discard the bones from the meat and use two forks to shred the meat into bite-sized chunks, or cut the meat into chunks with a knife. Return the meat to the soup, heat through and serve hot.