Tsam-Thuk (Tsampa Soup)

"I have yet to make this, but here is what Beyond the Great Wall: Recipes and Travels in the Other China has to say about it: "There is something soothing and sustaning about tsam-thuk, as this classic soup is called in Lhasa dialect...a beeth broth thickened with tsampa...there's a seductive taste, almost nutty, from the roasted grain, and a smoothness on the tongue from the blend of tsampa and the butter aded at the last moment.""
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  • To make sure your flour is fine enough, pass it through a fine sieve and set aside. Peel the daikon radish and grate into long strands. Set aside.
  • Pour 3 cups of the broth into a wide, heavy pot and bring to a boil. Add roasted flour and stir until smooth. Add remaining 3 cups broth and bring to a boil. Add radish strands and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Bring the 2 tablespoons of oil or butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute gently for several minutes. Add the meat strips and 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce, raise the heat to medium-high and cook, turning once, just until the beef has changed color, about 3 minutes total. Use tongs to life out the meat and set it aside. Add the onion and oil or butter to the soup.
  • Deglaze the skillet by placing it over high heat, add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to detach any browned bits of caramelized juices, then add the flavored water to the soup.
  • Add an additional cup of water and bring back to a simmer. Add meat and soy sauce to taste, maintaining the simmer. Add spinach leaves to the simmering broth. When they turn bright green, after a minute or two, add the butter and stir to blend.
  • Serve hot soup in large bowls with bread.

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  1. A pleasant and hearty soup with the roasted barley flour giving an interesting background flavor. As our market was out of daikon, I shredded a one pound bag of radishes. I would make this again. The barley flour was a bit hard to find, but I did locate it with the special flours near the 'gluten free' section of our megamart.


As my name suggests, I am a part-time hobbit, escaping to my quiet life in the Shire whenever I can. In reality, I am a busy student who uses cooking as therapy. I am severely gluten intolerant and mildly dairy intolerant, so most of the recipes I post/comment on will be compatible with my dietary restrictions. Still, I love to eat, and have learned that you don't have to sacrifice flavor and personality when you go gluten and dairy free. I tend to like recipes that are either real homey comfort food, or transport me to the places I've travelled to, or would like to someday visit. I believe in eating organic, ethically raised meat and vegetables. I like to stay as close to nature as possible, eating mostly whole foods.
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