Looks like I put a handful of hair into the soup??
My friend Khong's mom used to cook the family a special fatt choy soup for CNY. Upto that point (more than 10 years ago), I had never heard of fatt choy soup because we ate fatt choy as a stew instead. Since then I have cooked fatt choy soup only a couple of times on CNY so it makes it all the more special.
I was told that black moss (called fatt choy in Cantonese, which also sounds like 'to prosper') has been found to have some toxins that can attack the nervous system (is that why my motor skills are so bad today? I kept typing 'p' instead of 'o') so it is a good thing we only eat it once in a few years. Maybe it is wiser not to add the moss to the soup because it has no particular flavor at all. The other thing about black moss is that it is found in the wilds of Mongolia, making it very rare and expensive. Which means the black moss we eat may not be the real thing, because at RM300 per kg, it really is not expensive as it is light as air.
Ming, a soup lover, took a sip of this soup last night and said "Perfect!" I was surprised that even Wey drank half a bowl. Some may not like it because the dried oysters will give the soup a fishy smoky flavor and the addition of so many ingredients makes it a delicious but rich and heavy soup. I could only manage one bowl.
Khong Aunty's Prosperity Soup
1 kg pork bones, washed & fat trimmed off
1 handful black moss, soaked & washed well
6 to 8 large dried oysters, soaked
10 dried chinese mushrooms, soaked
1/2 cup peeled gingko nuts
1 cup sliced sea cucumber (optional)
1/2 pkt dried beancurd sticks, soaked till soft, in 6 cm lengths
1 cup peeled water chestnuts
10 red dates, soaked & washed
2 thin slices ginger
salt and white pepper to taste
1. Blanch the pork bones with plenty of boiling water to get rid of any dirt and smell. Put bones into a large pot with the ginger, red dates, mushrooms and plenty of water and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the meat falls off the bones.
2. Add the gingko nuts, water chestnuts and oysters and simmer another 30 minutes. Add the sea cucumber. The soup will turn cloudy because of the dried oysters. If you like to, remove the bones and meat because they are tasteless by now.
3. When the sea cucumber is tender, you can add the beancurd sticks, salt and white pepper to taste. Lastly add the black moss (this softens and disintegrates easily) and switch off the heat.