Pork Ribs and Winter Melon Soup

排骨冬瓜汤pái gǔ dōng guā tāng


1 lb (cross-cut if possible) pork spareribs

2 cups winter melon or potato

1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine

3 green onions

4 slices ginger

3 star anise

1 tsp Sichuan peppercorn

Prep Ingredients

  1. In case you aren't able to get cross-cut pork spareribs, you'll need to first cut each rib into quarters. If you are able to get cross-cut pork spareribs, cut between the bones to get ~1-inch pieces.

  2. If you are adding winter melon, peel a piece of winter melon using a knife.

  3. Cut 2 cups of winter melon pieces, or if you're using potato, cut up the potato into similarly sized pieces.

  4. Cut 2 of the green onions in half and chop up the third green onion into small pieces.

  5. Slice ginger.

Boil Spareribs

  1. Add the spareribs to a pot with 6 cups of water.

  2. Heat the pot over high (do not cover the pot).

  3. Once the water starts boiling, spoon out the gray foam that bubbles up.

  4. Add 1/2 cup cold water when the pot is rolling boiling

  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there is no more gray foam and the soup is quite clear.

  6. Add the Chinese cooking wine, ginger, star anise, Sichuan peppercorn, the green onions you cut in half, and a sprinkle of salt.

  7. Once the water boils, turn the heat to medium and cover with a lid.

  8. Let simmer for 1 hour, checking occasionally to make sure it's not boiling over.

  9. Pick out the green onion and the spices.

  10. Add salt to taste.

Add Winter Melon or Potato (optional)

  1. 20-30 minutes before serving, add the winter melon (or potato).

  2. Turn the stove to medium-high heat and let the soup boil for 20 minutes.

  3. Once the winter melon has become transparent (or the potato is soft), turn the heat off.

  4. Spoon out some soup into a bowl and sprinkle some of the chopped green onion on top - then serve!