Nyonya Stewed Pork Ribs

August 2nd, 2009Recipes36 Comments
Nyonya Stewed Pork Ribs
Nyonya Stewed Pork Ribs pictures (1 of 7)

Stewed pork ribs with taucheo (fermented bean paste) was one of my mother’s recipes, one that I am fortunate to learn. It brought back a lot of sweet memories as I was preparing it today. It was my father’s favorite dish–one that garnered special attention as my mother would spend hours slowly stewing the pork ribs until the meat falls off the bones. As humble as it looks, Nyonya stewed pork ribs is a very delicious dish, one that would certainly stimulate your appetite with its tangy and savory taste.

I made this very dish for my parents once. My mother instructed me in the kitchen and taught me the step-by-step, and my father gave me his thumbs up when I served it to him. He told me it was “ho chiak” (delicious)…

Nyonya loves pork and there are many dishes that are made of pork, and this stewed pork ribs dish is one of them. One of the very common ingredients used by Penang Nyonya is bean paste or taucheo; it’s an ingredient that I can’t do without.

In Penang hokkien dialect, we refer “stewing” as “khong,” so locally, stewed pork ribs is called “Khong Bak Kut” (Bak Kut means pork ribs). There are other flavorful and mouthwatering stew dishes such as tau eu bak (pork with soy sauce), khong assam, etc, which I plan to share with you over time.

This stewed pork ribs is best served with steamed rice and eat with sambal belacan. A Nyonya meal is incomplete without sambal belacan.

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36 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Vivian (Singapore) says:

    Thanks for launching Nyonya Food. I have been an avid reader of Rasa Malaysia since last year. I’ll definitely try this out. Happy cooking!

  2. joey says:

    Congratulations on the new website! Everything looks great and the food and recipes sounds absolutely delicious! Looking forward to discovering more about Nyonya cuisine :)

  3. Congrats on your new site! have a craving for nyonya food after watching a few eps of little nyonya. I cooked ayam sioh once and loved it! I have some tamarind concentrate left and I think I will give this a go. How much tamarind concentrate do you think I should use? Don’t think I can get tamarind pulp here.

    • Nyonya Food says:

      Hey Pigpigscorner – I am not sure how much tamarind concentrate you should use so I would start with 1 teaspoon and add more to it to taste. Good luck!

  4. This is delicious… also my mom’s specialty.. something that I haven’t had for a long long time!!

    • Nyonya Food says:

      Leemei – I think this is more of a Peranakan recipe than Nyonya recipe, but anyway, it’s so good! You should try to make it.

  5. I love the sound of this dish, I cook with tamarind but not nearly enough, as I love what it does to a dish. Thanks for reminding me.

  6. zenchef says:

    When i first saw the picture i thought it was Bak ku teh (wrong spelling). I’m sure i would love this. The pork rib broth looks so flavorful. Mmmmm.. I’m in nyonya heaven.

  7. Trissa says:

    I LOVE YOUR BLOG. I love the way you take pictures, the way you write and the way you celebrate your heritage. I am from the Philippines and one day I hope to be able to come up with something like this to celebrate Philippine cuisine.

    Thank you for inspiring!

  8. veron says:

    Nyonya…almost sounds like Narnia. Wish you have a picture of taucheo…I assume this is not tausi which is black beans since I don’t see anything black in there. Do you have picture of the ingeredient?
    It’s funny, we say ho chiak too in my Cantonese tongue for delicous!

  9. Robyn says:

    Congrats on the site Bee. I’m sure it will be as, if not more than, successful as Rasa Malaysia.

    But one note – bak kut really means ‘meat bone’. I’ve had this discussion (argument, possibly) with many Malaysians, over bak kut teh. Of course, for most Chinese, ‘meat’ pretty much equals ‘pork’. But if we’re talking a literal translation of the Chinese characters it’s ‘meat bone’.

    Looking forward to more recipes and insights into Nyonya cuisine and culture.

    • Nyonya Food says:

      Robyn – thanks for the sweet note! You are right about bak kut, in Chinese’s mind, bak = pork. For some other meat, we will specifically call out it’s cow meat (beef) or chicken meat. I have never thought about it the way you did, it’s interesting! :)

  10. Alla Pang says:

    My grandma used to make a similar dish to this. It’s a dish consisting of braised pig’s trotters with dried chillis, fresh red and green chillis and assam. But sadly, my grandma has passed away recently before she can teach me the recipe. Have you tried this assam ju kiok dish before? If so, can u feature this on your website? I wonder if it’s a nonya recipe too cos my grandma came from Malacca.

    • Nyonya Food says:

      Alla – yes, I know the dish you talked about. It’s basically the variation of this recipe, but with pig’s trotters. It’s also more sour than this dish, and yes, it uses dried chilies, too. I will get to it one day, but for now, you can try this recipe, and I am sure you will love it. :)

  11. Su Yee says:

    Fuuuyyoooh……~!!!… Sedap!… I miss Nyonya food so much…. miss the smell of the kitchen and eating.. Will definitely need to try this recipe! I love your blog entries and recipes, both here and at RM. Thank you for keeping this Penang tradition alive.. I wished I had more time to learn cooking from my grandma and older folks in the family back in Penang, but at least now I have your blog to go to.. Thank you very much! I just made stir-fry cincaluk with pork.. It’s heavenly!

  12. noobcook says:

    Looks fantastic! The sight of it is enough to make me go weak coz I love taucheo too. If I have this dish in front of me now, I think I will gobble it all up, lol!

  13. rachel says:

    congratulation for your new website!! so lucky we have another good website to view :) very nice pic( good menu) i can try tmrow. quick questions, do we need to pre-cook the spare ribs? do we need to heat up the oil and cook the ingredience then add hot water later… ? what do u think? thank you!!

  14. Anita says:

    I am australian / philipino……but love all types of asian cuisine. This website is YUMMO!!!! I am now going to attempt malaysian cooking now, yuor recipes are simple and look delicious!!!!

  15. Julie says:

    This dish looks delicious and it also reminds me of ‘steam chinchalok with pork’
    Great pictures and recipes
    Do you have the recipe of ‘Udang masak Nanas’? I miss my dad’s cooking, thank you.

  16. Rey says:

    Hi I am of filipino descent been in u.s. for 45 years.i visited singapore back in 1967when i was in the u.s. navy.had the chance to eat at one of those street carts foods and the one i remembered the most is the oyster omelet.i don’t see any recipe for that.hoping someday your print the the way there is no malaysian restaurant in San diego,ca.

  17. KY says:

    I cooked this dish tonight but will only serve it tomorrow to let the taste develop overnight. It’s sour, sweet and spicy, not salty enough. Will have to try your preferred brand of taucheo next time. There was a lot of liquid left, do we serve it with all the liquid or just some like in your photo?

    • Nyonya Food says:

      Yes, different brands of taucheo tastes different, so you have to modify the recipe. If it’s too liquidy, it means you haven’t simmered it enough. The liquid should reduce to a thicker consistency.

  18. Jayne says:

    Think this can be made in a slow cooker?

  19. danielli says:

    wow, just tried this with some gizzards and chicken hearts I had in the fidge…added some chinese broccoli at the end. Used red onion for the shallot, sauteed in a bit of peanut oil with chopped garlic.Used dried chilis though. Cooked in pressure cooker for 30 mins. Just tasting it now, incredible flavors! I will try with pork.

  20. danielli says:

    I made it pretty close to the recipe this time, and it was heavenly! The combination of bean curd and tamarind is a winner! I’ve served by itself, rice, noodles, it’s always great.

  21. Angie says:

    This dish is simply delicious and so easy to prepare. I’m cooking this tonite for dinner tomorrow. My family loves home-cooked meals. Thanks to you I can now have a whole new menu!


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