Pork rib soup recipe is an authentic Asian recipe that served throughout the year. Blending in eastern and western cooking methods and other Asian ingredients, this turns out to be an irresistible dinner that you want to make it again in no time.
Total Time: 3 Hours 30 Minutes
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Inactive Cook Time: 3 Hours
It is called Singapore Pork Bone Soup 肉骨茶. After the first time making this delicious recipe, I had been debating with myself if I should cut the volume into halves. But it was way too good that there was just not enough soup to satisfy my craving of its yumminess. As a result, I decided to stick with my original recipe.
I have been thinking of making this recipe for a while. I used to have it in Hong Kong, my hometown, but never bothered to learn how to cook it.
Then, I started to look it up online to learn about it. I must say that this version was re-arranged quite a bit to get the best of both worlds, Asian and American.
Typical recipes that I stumbled upon are to cook the spices to make broth for 30 minutes and another 45 minutes with the meat. From an Asian perspective, it is a relatively quick soup.
However, the Asian standard of ribs is only cooking the meat through without any pink color, but not falling apart. In my opinion, the texture of quick-cooking ribs feels like taking a bite of fresh celery rib. The American standard is to have the ribs falling apart. In other words, fork tender. However, I do want the ribs still intact when they are served, but tender. As a result, I choose spare ribs as the main ingredient.
I love the flavor out of the bones. So, I prefer to have ribs with plenty of bones. I guarantee you that the broth tastes like heaven. And there is barely any fat in the soup. It's super lean.
The combined cook time took about 3 hours. This was how I did it. I started cooking this whole dish the night before. After cooking the broth for 30 minutes and discard the pouch of herbs, I cook the ribs for 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave everything there on the stove top to let the remaining heat continue cooking. (Side note: DO NOT OPEN THE LID. Leave everything alone and let it cool down by itself.)
Since the night I started cooking, I have repeated the same step (details is in the next paragraph) 3 more times the next day. Here were the times I did it, morning (around 8am), noon and evening before dinner was served (around 5pm).
So, all I did was bring the pot of broth and ribs to a rolling boil, turn down the heat to low boil for 30 minutes and turn off heat and walk away. The remaining heat will continue the cooking process slow and low. By the time dinner was ready, the meat will be super tender. Do you still work from home? You can multi-task by doing so. Then, dinner will be ready when you actually walk away from your work computer.
When I served this, I served it with iceberg lettuce and rice noodles. It’s also great to serve with rice.
Another awesome alternative is to serve along with wonton. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cooked frozen wonton per package instructions. Use a slotted spoon to take them out and and divided them into different serving bowls. Add hot broth, ribs and enjoy!
Yes, absolutely. As you know that I am on low-carb diet, except one cheat meal a week. So, you can definitely serve this pork rib soup recipe along with iceberg lettuce and/or shirataki noodles. Follow the recipe to cook the lettuce first and use the same pot of water to cook shirataki noodles.
The quantity I put together in this recipe may be huge. But I can guarantee you that it won’t last long even if you have leftover. This big portion served 3 people the first time along with noodles and wonton. Man, oh man...I hardly had any leftover. So, you can imagine how awesome it is that nobody could stop having not only second, but also third or fourth serving.
Depending on how much leftover you have, here is a way to store it other than dividing it into several food containers. Here is the trick passed down by my maternal grandmother.
When dinner is over, bring the whole pot of soup with ribs to a rolling boil. Cover it with lid when it is boiling if it is not covered yet. Once the soup is completely cool down, transfer the entire pot into the fridge. The soup will be good up to 5 days in the fridge.
If your fridge does not have space to fit the whole pot, you will need to bring the soup into rolling boil every day. But the soup is good up to 2 days in summer time or 3 days in winter.
Honestly, this soup recipe is so good that your leftover will not last. You may need to consider to put up a lock of your fridge. So, no one will wake up in the middle of the night to help him/herself. Just kidding!
The version that I grew up with had hard boiled eggs in it. Normally, you will boil the eggs separately. Then, crack up the shells a little bit before transferring them into the broth. The eggs will pick up all the yummy flavors.
However, the Asian style hard boiled eggs in this case are expected to boil for more than 30 minutes to get all the flavors. To the American, the eggs are overcooked by then. So, it is totally up to you whether to include hard boiled eggs or not.
You may wonder if it’s possible to make this pork rib soup recipe in a slow cooker. I have never tried it before. It is because my crock pot is not big enough to accommodate such a big volume.
There are at least 2 conditions to fulfill before considering using this method: 1) the slow cooker is at least 8 quart in size. 2) all ingredients need to cut into half of the quantity that this recipe calls for, especially the ribs, in order to prevent overflowing. Otherwise, you are better off sticking to a big stock pot.
For Pork Rib Soup:
5lbs Spare Ribs (2 full rack of spare ribs)
16 Cups (or 4 Quarts) Water (It should fill your stockpot about half way full.)
12-20 cloves of Garlic (peeled; depending how much garlic you can take. I used 12 cloves.)
2 Star Anise
3 Cinnamon Sticks
1 tsp White Pepper
1 tsp Salt
2 tbsp Cooking Wine
2 tbsp Chinese Light Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Chinese Dark Soy Sauce
1 tsp Sugar
1 piece Cheese Cloth
For Lettuce and Noodles:
4 quart Water
1 head Iceberg Lettuce (cored and cut into 8 big chunks)
8oz Dry Rice Noodles
1-2 Scallions (chopped; optional)
Serve This With:
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