Home Style Pork and Cucumber Soup

Course : Chinese
Serves: 6
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1/4 pound lean pork
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vegetable oil or Asian -- sesame oil
1 small cucumber
4 cups chicken stock or water
1 quart fresh ginger -- lightly crushed
1 tablespoon minced Smithfield ham or -- prosciutto
1 tablespoon coriander sprigs for garnish

Preparation / Directions:

Nothing fancy about this soup--it's just simple, delicious and refreshing. Cut the pork into thin slices and combine with the sugar, soy sauce, wine, cornstarch and oil. Set aside. Peel, halve and seed the cucumber. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thin slices. Bring stock and ginger to a boil. Add the pork and reduce to a lively simmer; simmer for 10 minutes. Add cucumber and simmer until translucent, about 3 minutes. Garnish with the optional ham and coriander. Serves 6 as part of a multiple-dish Chinese meal. Joyce Jue, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/23/92

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