Chinese Coconut Pork Soup

A sweet, nutty and hearty pork soup loaded with tender ribs and vegetables. Not only is the soup delicious, it also nourishes your body, boosts your immune system, and re-energizes you after a long trip! {Gluten Free}

Chinese Pork Soup with Coconut Milk | herbal soup | recipes | ribs | easy | healthy | gluten-free | vegetables

Last week I had just come back to the States from a two-week trip in Indonesia. After a 30-hour flight, I was tired and dehydrated. Not to mention, adjusting to a 12-hour time difference is quite brutal. I was desperately craving some hearty soup. Luckily, my husband Thomas was home and knew I needed this herbal pork soup. Just like he usually does, to welcome me home after a long trip, he made a big pot of hot soup for me.

Sensing the nutty sweet aroma once I opened the door of our apartment, I couldn’t wait to unpack my luggage and rushed to the kitchen to serve myself a big bowl of soup. The hot fragrant broth, tender pork ribs, and tender yam lifted my spirit immediately. Even the jet lag did not feel as bad anymore. Although later on Thomas mentioned that he couldn’t help but devour a few bowls before I got home, because the soup was too good! In any case, I was happy that he had saved enough for me 🙂

This herbal pork soup is made with the Ginseng and Sea Coconut Soup Mix from my friend Cindy’s store – Root and Spring. The soup mix contains a key ingredient sea coconut, along with many goodies such as goji berries, ginseng, and Chinese almonds.

Chinese Pork Soup with Coconut Milk | herbal soup | recipes | ribs | easy | healthy | gluten-free | vegetables

Sea coconut, also sometimes referred to as coco de mer, first originated in the Seychelles (East Africa) before drifting over to southern China. Chinese people found that the sea coconut has natural properties that help with poor digestion and weak immune systems. It was then frequently used in traditional Chinese medicine and in foods, typically as a healthy ingredient and a flavor enhancer because of its mild sweetness. Similar to how coconut water is now wildly popular in America, coconut has also become a mainstay in Chinese cooking and is an easy addition to add nuttiness, sweetness, and tons of health benefits to any dish.

Chinese Pork Soup with Coconut Milk | herbal soup | recipes | ribs | easy | healthy | gluten-free | vegetables

I learned from Cindy that ginseng and sea coconut are a classic combination in Chinese soup. Because ginseng has natural cooling properties, while coconut helps with dehydration, both ingredients work well together to strengthen the immune system and re-energize the body. I consider this soup a perfect choice after a long trip.

What I love about using the Root and Spring soup mix is, it is super fresh, easy to work with, and guarantees the best results, just like the herbal soups I’ve had in China. That’s why my husband was able to make an authentic tasting Chinese herbal soup for me, effortlessly.

To make the pork soup, you just need to simmer the pork bones, herbal mix, and water for a couple hours, then add veggies at the end. You will have a big pot of hearty soup that is not only delicious and extra fragrant, it is also packed with health benefits that nourish your body.

Chinese Pork Soup with Coconut Milk | herbal soup | recipes | ribs | easy | healthy | gluten-free | vegetables

On the other hand, if you don’t want to purchase the herbal soup mix, I’ve still got you covered! I’ve included an alternative method in the recipe below, so you can use a can of coconut milk instead of the herbal mix to make the dish.

I hope you enjoy!

More hearty soup recipes

Chinese Pork Soup with Coconut Milk | herbal soup | recipes | ribs | easy | healthy | gluten-free | vegetables

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

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Chinese Pork Soup with Coconut Milk | herbal soup | recipes | ribs | easy | healthy | gluten-free | vegetables

Chinese Coconut Pork Soup


  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hrs
  • Total Time: -25226892.5667 minute
  • Yield: 4 to 6
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Description

A sweet, nutty and hearty pork soup loaded with tender ribs and vegetables. Not only is the soup delicious, it also nourishes your body, boosts your immune system, and re-energizes you after a long trip!


Ingredients

  • 2 pounds (1 kilograms) pork ribs (about half rack of ribs), chopped crosswise and then separated to bite size (*Footnote 1)
  • 2 pounds (1 kilograms) pork neck bones
  • Option 1: 1 pack American Ginseng and Sea Coconut Herbal Mix (*Footnote 2)
  • Option 2: 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 thumb ginger, sliced
  • 4 green onions, halved lengthwise
  • 1 small taro root (or yam), cubed (yield about 1 cup)
  • 1 small sweet potato, cubed (yield about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 Daikon radish, cubed (yield about 1 cup)
  • 1 small head broccoli, cut to bite size
  • (Optional) 1/2 cup green peas
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Add pork ribs, pork neck bones, and cold water just to cover the pork in a big pot.  
  2. (Option 1) Rinse the herbal mix, and transfer to a large spice bag, or wrap in cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine. Add into the pot.
  3. Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat, then turn to medium heat. Skim the brown foam from the top of the soup and discard. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes, or until there is no brown foam coming up.
  4. Transfer the pork and spice bag into a big bowl and discard the water. Rinse the pot. Add the pork ribs and spice bag back and add 10 cups cold water. Bring into a boil again over high heat, then turn to medium low heat immediately. Simmer until the pork turns tender but not yet fall-off-the-bone by touch, about 2 hours (Footnote 3).
  5. Add the taro root, sweet potato, and daikon radish. Cook for 15 minutes. Add the broccoli and green peas. Simmer for another 3 to 5 minutes, until all the vegetables turn tender. Add salt to taste and mix well.
  6. (Option 2) If you did not use the herbal soup mix, add the coconut milk now and stir to mix well.

Serve hot as a main dish. You can also make some dumpling dipping sauce to serve with the pork.

Notes

  1. Ask the butcher to chop the pork ribs for you when you’re making the purchase. Although you don’t have to do this step, it makes the pork easier to serve.
  2. Chinese herbal mix will add a superior fragrance to the soup, plus it gives the soup more nutritional value. The herbal mix contains: 2 tablespoons goji berries, 3 honey dates, 2 slices Asian pear, 14 dried lotus seeds, 3 tablespoons Chinese almonds, 1 heaping tablespoon ginseng, and 1/3 cup dried sea coconut. You can get the ingredients separately at an Asian market, or purchase them together at Root and Spring.

3. You can complete this step using an Instant Pot (pressure cooker). If using an Instant Pot, choose manual, and set the timer to 30 minutes. If using a stovetop pressure cooker, cook over medium high heat until high pressure is reached. Turn to medium low heat. Continue to cook 30 minutes.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 of the 4 servings
  • Calories: 148cal
  • Sugar: 4.7g
  • Sodium: 1008mg
  • Fat: 2.9g
  • Carbohydrates: 13g
  • Fiber: 2.3g
  • Protein: 17.3g
  • Cholesterol: 41mg
Chinese Pork Soup with Coconut Milk | herbal soup | recipes | ribs | easy | healthy | gluten-free | vegetables

Disclosure

Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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Meet Maggie

Hi I’m Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking – including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my Austin, Texas kitchen.

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