Lotus root pork rib soup

Google: “Lotus root is the edible rhizome (the subterranean stem) of the lotus plant, a perennial aquatic plant that grows beautiful pink-hued or white flowers. … Almost every part of the lotus plant is edible. Lotus roots are cylindrical and brown. Fresh lotus root has a mild sweetness and a starchy, crunchy texture between jicama and celery, making it a popular addition to stir-fry dishes. The rhizome softens when cooked, and it retains a slight crunch and its signature mild flavour.”

Today, I am making it as soup with pork ribs. My grandma called it Leng Ngau theng. It’s a bit different to the way grandma cook. She would add dried red dates, goji, dried cuttlefish and many other ingredients. I opted for a few ingredients just for a change and to experiment the flavour.

With lockdown can’t go to Chinatown to get the red dates as well as goji. However, my mom have some cuttlefish, gave me one. The soup is clear not creamy but flavoured with chicken stock as well. It’s a delicious, comforting, hearty soup. Let’s cook!!!


900 g sliced lotus root
1 strip of pork ribs, about 650 g
1 cuttlefish
1 L chicken stock
1.5 L water
4 slices ginger
4 garlic cloves, skin remove and smash lightly
4 Tsp chicken stock powder
2 Tbs Shao Xing wine
water to blanch


Cut the pork ribs into short lengths, soak it in cold water for an hour. Then rinse thoroughly, drain, and set aside. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Once the water boils, add the pork ribs, and bring the water back to a boil.

Allow it to blanch for about 5-7 minutes. Wipe dried cuttlefish with a damp paper towel. Use thongs to remove pork ribs and rinse in cold water again. Discard water in pot and add ginger, garlic, cuttlefish, pork ribs back, and lotus root. Then fill with chicken stock and 1 .5 little of water with Shao Xing wine. Bring to a boil on high heat for about 10 minutes and skim foam that appears. Skimming prevents the solids from breaking up and preventing a clear stock.

Cover the pot and simmer for about 2-2.5 hours on low heat or until the rib meat is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with rice and a glass of white wine.

Note: My mother said to cover and let it simmer for at least 4 hours. The longer the better. Reheating it the next day will make it even more flavourful. Next time I will add dried dates and goji. Some of my friends said they would add peanuts and carrots to sweeten it. One of my friend told me her mother in-law add seaweed and red adjuzi beans. You can use lean pork ribs or neck.