Pork Rib Soup

“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

Mark Twain was onto something then. Bay area weather is unlike anything one would expect. Merely 2 weeks ago, temperatures were in the high 70s, daring some souls to meekly bring out t-shirts and flip flops, tempting the fickle clouds. This past week had all running back to Uggs and recycled fleece, heaters kicking into gear. The thing about making soup over a stove is that it warms up the kitchen and living room quite nicely, at the same time filling the house with homely aromas. Sweet corn is coming into season here (10 for $5), and sweet corn is my middle name. This is a clear soup, naturally sweetened by rib bones, dried cuttlefish and sweet corn. Root vegetables offset the pork protein. Gogi berries are not usually added but they were in my pantry. They are the cause of the slightly reddish tinge in this otherwise colourless soup.

Pork Rib Soup 20160513 (7)

Ingredients
1 lb pork back ribs
2 carrots, coined
2 ears of fresh corn, broken into 3″ sections
1 lb winter melon, cubed
1 potato, cubed
(optional) 1 dried cuttlefish, for flavouring
(optional) Handful gogi berries

Pork Rib Soup 20160513 (1)

Instructions
1. Blanch pork ribs. This will ensure the soup is clear and free of debris.
2. Bring a fresh pot of water boil. Place blanched ribs and cuttlefish into boiling water.
3. When pork is nearly cooked through, add carrots, potatoes and gogi berries for about 2 minutes.
4. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Add soy sauce to taste if desired.
5. Add winter melon and increase heat for 3 minutes till melon is just cooked through. This delicate root turns becomes bitter when overcooked.

Serves 4

 

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3 bushels bee hoon
¼  handful dried shrimp
1 dried scallop
1 cup dried bean curd strips
½  cup green beans, cut into 1″ strips
¼  cup mushrooms, dried or tinned
¼  carrot, julienned
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 spring onion, sliced thinly. Save some for garnish.
1 egg
1 tsp soy sauce
Fried shallots for garnish

Optional
1 lap cheong (chinese sausage, sliced)

Serves 3

Soak and drain bee hoon, dried shrimp, scallop and dried bean curd strips.
Fry garlic and spring onions till fragrant. Fry lap cheong.
Add dried bean curd strips and cook till softened.
Add carrots.
Add green beans and mushrooms.
Add soy sauce. Adjust to taste.
Add bee hoon to ingredients and mix well, adding a little water or leftover water from shrimps/scallops it gets too dry.
Crack egg over bee hoon and stir well into it.
Top with shallots and spring onions to garnish.
Serve with chilli.

Kueh Pie Tee

Kueh Pie Tee is a popular nonya appetizer. Crispy shells are filled with a sweet mix of turnip or jicama and variety of vegetables, all thinly sliced or grated, topped with prawns and sambal chilli. Part of the fun in eating it is assembling them with together with family and friends around a table.

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