If You Like Bak Kut Teh, You Will Love This Pork Ribs Soup!

Pork Bone Soup

Inspired by Hokkien-style bak kut teh
Course Soup
Cuisine Asian Fusion
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Connie Veneracion


  • 1 kilo meaty pork ribs cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (you may need more)
  • 2 thumb-sized pieces ginger peeled and sliced
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
  • 2 bird's eye chilies thinly sliced
  • 1 small piece cinnamon
  • 1 onion peeled and halved
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 12 to 16 shiitake mushrooms (optional), stems cut off
  • 200 to 300 grams silken tofu (optional), cut into bite-size pieces
  • green leafy vegetables to garnish (see notes after the recipe)


  • Place the pork ribs in a pot. Cover with water. Boil, uncovered, for ten minutes.
  • Pour the ribs into a strainer. Throw out the boiling liquid.
  • Rinse each piece of pork well under the tap making sure to remove any scum attached to the meat and bones.
  • Wash the pot (or use another) and put the rinsed pork ribs in it. Pour in enough water to cover.
  • Place the pot on the stove and turn the heat to high.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients to the pork.
  • When the liquid boils, lower the heat, cover the bowl and simmer for an hour and a half to two hours or until the meat is very tender and easily separates from the bone. Taste the broth once in a while and add more seasonings, if needed. Tip: if the broth lacks saltiness, you may add salt rather than more soy sauce to prevent the broth from turning too dark.
  • If adding shiitake mushrooms, put them in the pot during the last half hour of cooking.
  • If adding tofu, drop them into the pot during the last ten minutes of cooking.
  • To serve, put a few pieces of pork ribs, mushrooms and tofu into bowls, ladle in the broth and arrange some greens on the side.


If using Chinese cabbage like bok choy or wombok, blanch before adding to the soup bowls.