Tamarind pork rib soup

Tamarind pork rib soup

By
From
East
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Leanne Kitchen

This rustic staple from the north of Thailand is about as basic a soup as you could make. What’s more simple than pork bones (meaty ones though), the usual flavouring suspects and water all thrown into a pot and simmered away? The addition of tamarind imparts a great sour note. By all means substitute pieces of bone-in pork belly or pork hock, but you absolutely need bones for flavour. This soup is just as good, if not better, reheated and served the next day.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1.5kg pork spare ribs, cut into 5–7.5 cm pieces, (ask your butcher to do this)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
80ml water, boiling
60ml yellow soy bean sauce
500g mustard greens, washed and cut into 5 cm pieces
2 onions, each cut into 12 wedges
60ml fish sauce
sea salt
Fried shallots, to serve (optional)

Paste

Quantity Ingredient
12 dried red chillies, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes, drained, plus extra to garnish
2 lemongrass stems, roughly chopped, white part only
1 teaspoon salt
16 garlic cloves, halved
6 red asian shallots, halved
1 1/2 tablespoons gapi (thai shrimp paste)

Method

  1. To make the paste, put the chillies, lemongrass, salt, garlic and shallots in a food processor and process to a rough paste. Alternatively, use a mortar and pestle. Mix in the gapi and set aside.
  2. Put the pork ribs and salt in a large saucepan over medium heat with 2 litres water or enough water to cover the ribs. Bring to the boil, skimming off any impurities that rise to the surface. Reduce the heat to low, add the paste and cook for 1–1 1⁄2 hours or until the meat is very tender – it should pull away from the bone without any resistance.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the tamarind pulp with the boiling water in a bowl and stand for 20 minutes. Strain the mixture through a sieve, using your fingers to press down on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids.
  4. Stir the tamarind liquid into the soup along with the yellow soy bean sauce, then add the mustard greens and onion. Simmer for 15–20 minutes or until the onion has softened and the greens are very tender. Stir in the fish sauce, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve scattered with the fried shallots, if using, and the extra dried red chillies.
Tags:
east
Leanne
Kitchen
Antony
Suvalko
asian
south
east
southeast
south-east
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