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Recipe: Spicy Dai tomato soup

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Editor's note: This recipe is taken from the "The Yunnan Cookbook" by Annabel Jackson and Linda Chia. The compendium of 120 recipes was originally published in October 2014, by Hong Kong-based Blacksmith Books.

The dishes contained in the book focus primarily on the cooking traditions of the Han Chinese and the Bai, Dai, Naxi, Tibetan and Wa minorities who all call Yunnan home. For more information on the authors and their works, or to purchase a hardcopy of the cookbook, check out the publisher's website or their Amazon page.

This delicious and very spicy Dai soup traditionally incorporates slices of a cake made with green beans. This may not be easy to find — or make! — so here slices of rice cake are substituted. If you don't have access to rice cake either, use about 25 grams of wide, flat dried rice noodles. Blanch first and then add to the finished soup.


1 tablespoon oil, for frying
4 tomatoes, cut into chunks
12 chilies, de-stemmed and halved lengthwise
4 cloves garlic, finely crushed
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
20 grams fresh coriander sprigs
20 grams fresh mint sprigs, roughly chopped
2 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
225 milliliters hot water
200 grams rice cake, sliced
2 chopped spring onions for garnish
2 sprigs chopped coriander, for garnish


• Heat oil in a pan and stir-fry chilies, garlic and peppercorns until aromatic
• Add tomatoes and press the pieces into the pan to fuse flavors
• Add salt
• Simmer until the tomatoes have reduced to a thick sauce
• Add coriander, mint, vinegar and soy sauce and simmer for one minute
• Add water and simmer for an additional 20 minutes
• Add rice cake slices and cook for three minutes or until al dente

Garnish with spring onions and coriander and serve either hot or cold. Enjoy!

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