9 December 2019

Chinese Borscht

Today is an easy dish for these blustery days: the Chinese version of borscht, Mother Russia’s quintessential soup.

Even the name in Chinese tells you that: Luósòng means (and sounds like) “Russian.” But as soon as you taste it, you know you’ve wandered over the border into Manchuria, as those rich, Slavic flavors have been tempered and emboldened by ginger, rice wine, soy sauce, and (yes) sometimes even catsup.

But what really launches this soup into culinary heaven are two things: really great canned tomatoes plus the oxtail that forms the backbone (sorry) of the broth.

A friend of mine recently introduced me to the canned tomatoes of Europe, and I am officially hooked. Full-flavored doesn’t even begin to describe them. These taste of pure, ripe tomatoes – nothing else, not even salt.