I had some lovely extra soft tofu left though and wondered what to do with it. Various websites told me to make vegan mayonnaise. Bleugh. Instead, it went into this soup.
Pork bones were simmered slowly, with a few chunks of winter melon thrown in. Winter melon is one of those vegetables that don't taste of much at all, but it's cooked flesh is juicy and soft, yielding a textural element. Purple seaweed tastes... seaweedy, as you might expect, and chunks of extra soft tofu broken into it are jelly-like. Pickled mustard greens provide that essential contrasting crunch to the slimy delicate wobbliness of it all. I've made that sound very unappealing, and perhaps it is if you're squeamish with textures, but if you're not, get cracking with it. After a serving my stomach claimed it was full, but I couldn't resist another bowlful.
Purple Seaweed, Tofu & Pickled Mustard Green Soup
500ml pork bone broth
100gr winter melon (turnips of daikon would also work well)
A handful of dried purple seaweed (you can buy this at your local Chinese supermarket)
2 tsp chilli bean paste
100gr extra soft tofu
4 tbsp pickled mustard greens, sliced finely
2 slices of ginger
Soy sauce to taste
2 spring onions
Soak the pickled mustard greens in water to remove some of the saltiness. Heat a scant tablespoon of oil in a saucepan and fry the chilli bean paste until fragrant. Add the broth and simmer with ginger, chunks of melon and carrot, chopped to even sizes, for 15 - 20 minutes. Soak the seaweed in cold water for 5 minutes and then drain. Drain the mustard greens and add them. Simmer for 5 mins, then add the seaweed and the tofu, breaking the tofu into chunks carefully. Add soy sauce to taste and then serve with the spring onion chopped and scattered on top.