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Bak Kut Teh- Chinese-style Pork Ribs Soup


1kg pork ribs
300g pork backbones, cut 2 inch
300g pork femur bones, cut 2 inch
12 cloves garlic, bruised
5 tsp white peppercorn
5 tsp black peppercorn
2 pinch cumin
1 pinch nutmeg powder
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 cardamom
8 cloves
2 tsp light soy sauce
1tsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp rock sugar
½ tsp fish sauce, optional however this will provide an umami boost
½ tsp ground white pepper
½ tsp ground black pepper

Cooking Method

1. Trim away some fats and the skin from the pork ribs.

2. Blanch pork bones and ribs for 5 minutes in a pot of boiling water. Discard water and clean off scum from the pork ribs and bones.

3. Refill the pot with 2 litres of water and bring to boil.

4. Dry toast white peppercorn, black peppercorn, cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves and cardamom on a pan till crackle. This should take a few minutes. Crush lightly and transfer to a spice mesh or spice bag before placing into the pot.

5. Add blanched pork bones and ribs. Then add cumin, nutmeg powder, salt, rock sugar, dark soya sauce, light soya sauce and fish sauce (preferably red boat brand 50°N). Simmer for 75 minutes over medium-low heat with the lid half covered.

6. Add garlic and let it simmer for another 15 minutes or until the pork ribs are soft.

7. Remove pot from heat and discard spice bag/mesh and bones. Season to taste.

8. Serve hot with Jasmine rice, Chinese dough fritter or ‘youtiau’ and chopped chilli padi with dark soya sauce.

Recipe by Andre Huber,  Huber's Butchery


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