Vietnamese Pork Spare Rib Soup

This simple, light yet flavorful, and hearty soup is a soup I enjoy making whether it’s in the cold of winter or warmer days of summer. I usually add some kind of pasta noodle like fusili pasta to make it a meal, but since I’m watching my carb intake I only added it for my daughter and my husband’s bowl this time.

The great thing about this soup is as long as you have potatoes, carrots, and onions you’re good on the veggies. But it’s also very customizable to your preference. Sometimes I add corn, cabbage, or cauliflower depending on what I have in the fridge and what I feel like eating.

For a cleaner flavor, I prefer using water to make the broth, but if you wanted to use chicken broth or some other broth you can definitely do that. For this soup, I used pork (hence the name 😛) but I’ve done this with bone-in chicken and it always turns out great as well!

Vietnamese Pork Spare Rib Soup (Serves 4-6)
2 Lbs. Pork Spare Ribs (cut into 1-2 riblets)
2 cups of cubed potatoes
2 cups of sliced carrots
1/2 onion
3 Tbs of fish sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cups cooked pasta
For broth
2 celery stalks (optional)
1/2 cup carrots (i usually keep the ends of carrots I’ve grated in the freezer to make broth later)
1/4 cup sliced onions
8 cups water

To cleaned pork spare ribs well:
1. Soak in cold salted water for about 30 minutes and rinse.
2. Parboil the ribs.
3. Bring enough water to cover the pork to boil.
4. Add pork and let cook in boiling for about 2 minutes.
5. Remove and rinse pork and set aside.
6. Drain water and rinse pot.
Make the broth:
7. Add 8 cups of fresh water to pot, add pork, celery stalks, 1/2 cup of carrots, 1/4 cup of sliced onions.
8. Bring to boil then reduce to simmer.
9. Simmer for 1 hr to extract the most flavor as possible from the meat and vegetables.
10. Use a strainer to strain out carrots, celery and onions.
Make the soup:
11. Add in potatoes, carrots, and rest of onions.
12. Season with 2 Tbs fish sauce (add the last Tbs at the end of cooking if needed), 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper.
13. Bring back to boil then simmer until potatoes are tender.
14. Adjust seasonings to preference.
15. Add some pasta to a bowl and ladle soup on top.
16. Garnish with green onions.

Enjoy and have nice weekend!

It’s Good to Be Home and Opo Squash Soup with Shrimp

 

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Moving back home has a been so nice. Being near my parents has made a huge difference in our daily lives. A major benefit of being near my family has been the abundance of family support and company they have offered us the minute we got back. From cooking to unpacking, they’ve added so much more enjoyment and warmth to our day.

Aside from the company of our family, the abundance of vegetables and herbs from my dad’s garden has been so enjoyable.  I know we’re adults with our own daughter, but it feels nice to have our parents nearby and feeding our bellies every so often. Opo Squash and Kabocha Squash are two abundant vegetables in my dad’s garden and I’ve been happily accepting them when I’m offered. One of the easiest ways to use it is in soups.

The method is very easy and a trick I learned from my mom is to not add too much water  when making soups because a lot of vegetables release their own liquid so it will make your soup that much sweeter if you don’t dilute it by adding too much water. So for about 4 cups of chopped up Opo Squash or Kabocha Squash I’ll add about 2.5 cups of water.

I usually use water because I prefer the milder flavor for this soup compared to using chicken broth but you can definitely use chicken broth if you prefer! You can use any protein you want to add to this soup, pork ribs are very common addition, but I like using shrimp.

Ooo Squash Soup with Shrimp (Canh Bau)

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup -1/2 cup of onion, minced
4 cup of opo squash, peeled and chopped in 1/2 inch to 1/3 inch pieces
1 cup of peeled shrimp, chopped and season with a pinch of salt and pepper
1 Tbs fish sauce (You can always start with 1/2 Tbs and add more later, but I like more salty flavor)
2.5 cups of water (If using chicken broth use less fish sauce to start)
salt and pepper
cilantro for garnish
2 tsp vegetable oil

In a medium size pot add oil over medium heat sauté onion and garlic untill onions are translucent. About 2-3 minutes
Add shrimp and sautee untill shrimp turns pink.
Add water cover and bring to boil.
Once boiling add the squash and slight cover with lid.
Once water comes back to boil, add fish sauce, pinch of salt, and pepper and lower to medium low.
Cook for about 15-20 minutes until squash is soft.
Taste and adjust season as necessary.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.

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Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup and I’m a Year Older 🤷🏻‍♀️

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I wanted to make butternut squash soup this Sunday. Usually I would use milk to make it more creamy but I remembered I had some coconut milk in the fridge. Hmm…intriguing I thought. Honestly, I was hesitant to use it because to me coconut milk doesn’t seem like a natural partner to butternut squash. But something inside me was whispering that it just might work. I did a quick search on the internet and came across this recipe. It looked similar to what I had in mind so I gave it a try.

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Yay for trying new recipes and it actually being delicious!

So, it’s squash time and if you guys are wanting to try a new soup recipe…try this one on NYT Cooking!

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Simple ingredients for a quick and delicious soup,

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If you don’t have an immersion blender, but you love making soups-get one! It’ll change your life.

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Enjoy with a glass of white wine (optional of course)😉

By the way my birthday was last week and my dad sent me this really nice basket.
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I mentioned to him a while back I wanted a shallow basket to harvest herbs in my patio. He sent me this beauty for my birthday. It’s a little too big for harvesting herbs, but I think it’s perfect for my garlic and onions! 👍 Thanks Dad!
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