So we COOKED cucumbers today for the first time! And I guess we also stuffed pork into cucumbers for the first time too! Onwards we go with Rock’s Whole30 challenge and tonight I made this soup from Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings book. Kind of reminded me of Chinese winter melon soup and it was delicious. Even our toddler finished his bowl which is amazing considering he’s so picky lately. A few things – to make it Whole30 I had to substitute the soy sauce with coconut aminos (something i didn’t even know existed until a week ago!) and I used organic chicken stock instead of bouillon cubes (which still has some trace amount of sugar in it but I made the executive decision that I just didn’t care. Turns out sugar really is in EVERYTHING! If you’re strict with Whole30 you can always make your own chicken stock.)
And as for the cucumbers, I used the English cucumbers that are readily available at the supermarket but after making this soup, I’m pretty sure the recipe uses the other variety of cucumber that’s shorter and chubbier; not sure what it’s called. Our cucumbers looked waaaay longer than the ones in the book. Do we not use the same type of cucumber as in the US?? Will google that later. Next time I’d probably hunt down those fatter cukes or cut the English ones into thirds. I also only used 4 cucumbers and 10 cups of stock, which I’m glad I did because my dutch oven was almost filled to the brim! Here I’ll give you the recipe with the ingredient list straight from the book though.
This would serve 3-4 as a main.
1 lb ground pork / 1/4 cup light soy sauce / 10 cloves garlic, minced / 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper / 5 cucumbers, peeled, ends not trimmed / 3 chicken bouillon cubes / 1 bunch honshimeji mushrooms, trimmed (I couldn’t find these so I substituted enoki mushrooms) / 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
Mix the pork, soy sauce, garlic and pepper together in a bowl. Then, cut the cucumbers in half, crosswise. Chrissy suggests using a measuring spoon or a pineapple corer to hallow out the cucumbers so that they become hallow tubes with still the end intact. I just used the handle of a spoon and it worked great.
Then you stuff the cucumbers with the pork mixture. (We had quite a bit of pork mixture leftover and in hindsight, we should’ve just made them into meatballs and added them to the soup. Next time!)
Next, in a large dutch oven or soup pot over high heat, mix 12 cups of water with the bouillon cubes and bring it to a boil. (Or if you’re using chicken stock, simply heat it to a boil.) Add in the cucumbers and lower the heat to a simmer; letting it cook for 30 minutes.
Then add in the mushrooms and cook for about 15 minutes longer. The cucumbers should be tender and the pork cooked through. Serve with the green onions over top.