Monday, May 26, 2014

Edible Wild Plants -- Shepherd's Purse Tofu Soup

Every year early in spring there sure will be guides and discussions about edible wild plants on the cooking forum that I visited,  It is also not a uncommon scene to see people walking around in the wild near the woods and rivers in search for these plants. 

Shepherd's purse ((Capsella bursa-pastoris) is one of the common edible wild plants and could be found in most parts near where I lived, it is a plant from the mustard family and has a very unique pungent smell and taste. This wild plant is also extremely high in potassium and vitamin C, making it even more attractive to us.

It is a very common vegetable eaten around Shanghai area in China, it could be used in most dishes that called for mustard green.

I have been trying to search for this plant in the wild for the past few years, the only time I ever spotted one was near a barn and it was already seeded thus too old for eating, I brought back those seeds and scatter them around my vegetable garden with the hope that it will spring out (literally) in the spring.But it didn't happened. 

So I opted  for the next best thing, I went to my friend Liren's house, I knew that he has a whole bunch of shepherd's purse that he intentionally let it grow like weed! I guess I would do a good thing over the weekend to help a friend weed his garden! 

Shepherd's Purse in the wild :
(Source :

1 box of silken tofu  (diced and soak in cold water)
1 colander full of Shepherd's purse ( around 200 gm after cleaning)
2 cups of vegetable broth optional
2 dried mushroom (soaked and diced)
1 tsp of oil
salt to taste
a pinch of white pepper powder  Optional
2 tsp of corn starch (dissolved in 4 tbsp of water)

1. Remove roots and yellowish leaves of the Shepherd's purse, wash and rinse thoroughly, as many time as it takes to clear the sand and mud off the plants, chopped finely. Dice silken tofu into 1 cm x 1 cm cubes, soak in clean water.

2. In a cooking pot, heat up 1 tsp oil, add diced mushroom and fry until fragrant. 

3. Add 2 cups of stock and 1 cup of water and bring to boil, drain and add tofu, cook for 8-10 minutes or until it come to a rolling boil again.

4. Add the chopped shepherd's purse and give it a gentle stir, cook for 5 minutes or until the greens soften, season with salt.

5. Slowly stir in corn starch water, the soup will thicken as you swirl the liquid in the pot. Add some white pepper powder before serving if you like.

We had this soup with some Chinese steam buns, blurp...


  1. 这种菜在我老家后院会自己长出来,不用栽种,我从小就吃它,家人都是用来煲排骨汤,味道很特别好吃。