Thursday, June 20, 2013

Soy-Braised Pork Spare Ribs with Shiitake Mushroom

 Who says a good comfort stew can only be eaten in the winter? Obviously, not me!

Today’s menu is the dish that I grew up eating it all year round in Thailand. The soy-braised pork spare ribs is the well-known dish in most of Southeast Asia countries that everyone loves it. It usually serve over steamed jasmine rice along with chili-vinegar based sauce (for adult only) and hard-boiled eggs that are often added into the stew. It the most comfort, hits-the spot, food that every parent would feed their kids almost every day. It can be made in different variations from thick sauce served over steamed rice to thinner sauce, or soup-like broth, severed as noodle soup. It can be made with pork, beef, chicken, or duck with the additional of hard-boiled eggs and tofu.  

I make this dish quite often here in L.A. regardless of the weather – hot or cold. The best part is that the hubby has fallen in love with this soup as well, especially when the weather gets really cold and I make this stew with chicken legs and hard-boiled egg in thin broth and serve with egg noodle. He would say, “The best soup at all time!” or “I can eat this every day!” Don’t you just love that reactions!?
This time is a thick sauce that would be served over steamed rice. No hard-boiled eggs added, but I added shiitake mushroom instead because I cooked stir-fry vegetable at the side. The trick of this stew is that the longer you let it simmer over the low heat, the tender the meat. Mine is literally falling off the bones and the meat is literally melted in my mouth! The fried garlic is just an optional and you don’t ever need it because you already added them at the beginning. But I just crazy for garlic…what can I say!!!

 What you need:

2 lbs. small pork spare ribs, cut and cleaned
2 oz. dried shiitake mushroom or use fresh mushroom
1 tbsp. Chinese five-spiced powder
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large white or yellow onion, chopped
2 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
8 cups water (can be added more if needed)
3 tbsp. soy sauce
3 tbsp. dark soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. white ground pepper
2 star anise
3 pieces clove
1 cinnamon stick, 3-in long
1/2 cup cilantro leaves – reserve some of stems to add into the soup
1 tbsp. fried or toasted garlic – optional

How to:

- put the pork ribs in a large bowl and add five-spiced powder, toss them together and set aside.
- soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in warm/hot water for 10 minutes to revive and soften, set aside. If using fresh shiitake, do not need this step.
- set a large pan or wok on medium-high heat and add the oil into the pan.
- when the oil is hot, add the pork ribs to brown them 5 minutes on each side, then add garlic and onion and cook another 5 minutes. When finish, transfer them to a large pot
- add water into the pan, add shiitake mushrooms, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, brown sugar, star anise, cloves, cinnamon stick, and cilantro stems.
- turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for at least 1 hour.  You may need to scoop out the dirty foams that floating up to the top at this point.
- when the pork ribs are cooked and tender, turn off the heat and add white ground pepper
- garnish with cilantro leaves and fried garlic when serving with steamed jasmine or brown rice, along with Asian chili garlic sauce if desired.



  1. At what stage do you add the mushrooms? I didn't see it in the recipe apart from soaking them in water and setting aside.

  2. Hello Witchaven,
    Thank you for stopping by. I am so sorry for the mistakes that i forgot to include the mushrooms. The mushrooms should be added into the pot on step five with other ingredients mentioned after the browned pork ribs are transferred into the pot. The recipe has been revised.

    Sissy Nui ^_^


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