Seaweed: super snack, super soup
I bet you've seen the fantastic variety of dried seaweed snacks line the snack aisle: roasted, salted, wasabi, teriyaki, even kimchi-flavored. Popular as they are, these tasty snacks are all basically the same kind of seaweed with different flavors.
But there are so many more kinds! These are some of the soup-making seaweeds that deliver to you vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids:
Kombu is a category of heavy kelp that's the key ingredient in Japanese soup bases, or dashi. There are over ten types of kombu, and they all look and taste different!
Wakame, or miyeok in Korean, is another kind of seaweed that's used to make soup. Korean seaweed soup, miyeokguk, is traditionally eaten after childbirth and on birthdays.
The seaweed we're using for Cantonese Seaweed Soup resembles snacking seaweed in that it's thin rather than kelp-like, but instead of pressed into thin sheets, it's dried into loose cakes that you can tear or cut through very easily.
Build your own soup
My dad likes to add napa cabbage to build more complex and layered flavors in the soup. You can try other leafy vegetables too, like bok choy.
Tofu is a really popular addition. You can cube it and add it a bit after the pork.
Or, experiment with any kinds of proteins you have on hand. How wonderfully thematic would it be to have a seafood protein like fresh shrimp in your seaweed soup?
Our recipe uses fish sauce for seasoning. If you would rather not use fish sauce, or can't find it, you can use light soy sauce, or skip it altogether.
The answer to "yeet hay"
Do your parents blame chips, pizza, and fried foods for the pimples on your face?
In traditional Chinese culture, it’s believed that foods have two energies - yin, or cold, and yang, or hot. It doesn't correlate with the temperature of the food, but factors like when and where the food naturally grows or how it's prepared.
For example, radishes are yin/cold, even if they're freshly steamed and piping hot. Lychees are yang/hot, even if they're straight from the freezer. Carrots are neutral and don't lean heavily in either direction.
How about a doozy? American-grown ginseng is yin/cold, but Korean-grown ginseng is yang/hot.
When we consume too much of one type, our bodies become imbalanced, and Chinese tradition points to this imbalance as the root cause for symptoms like pimples.
Yeet hay, or "heaty", describes both the foods and symptoms we feel when we’ve consumed too much yang energy, and a common remedy is something like leung cha (Chinese herbal tea) or something like Seaweed Soup.