Ever since my mum returned to the kitchen after a break of several years, we have been spoiled by her sumptuous cooking. This pig stomach soup (猪肚汤) was cooked entirely by her. We had not tasted this home-made soup for years; and everyone rushed home to drink it even though it was a work day. My family used to cook this soup all year round, but during the Chinese New Year (CNY) season, this soup takes special spotlight as leftover luxurious CNY steamboat ingredients such as fish maw, pacific clams, abalone, fresh scallops and thinly sliced “shabu shabu” meat are added to this soup, making it even more wholesome than the usual bowl.
One distinctive feature of this Hokkein dish is that it is deliciously peppery, due to the addition of white peppercorns. Most families will crush the peppercorns gently in a mortar and pestle before roasting them in the dry pan until fragrant. My mum insisted that we do not crush the peppercorns as she said the soup will have tiny bits of rough pepper. Instead, she roast the peppercorns intact/whole for at least a full five minutes, or until one can smell the aroma of the peppercorns. Well, she made me do it, and my arms were really aching as I needed to stir the peppercorns the whole time so that they will not burn. The result was worth it though. My mum also used the slow cooker for this dish, but feel free to cook it on the stove top.
This recipe uses the slow cooker, but feel free to adapt the recipe to cook it on the stove top.
Prep Time:30 mins
Cook Time:4 hours
250 grams pig stomach
250 grams pork ribs blanched in a bowl of boiling water and rinsed to clear the scum bits
2 tbsp white peppercorns to taste; roast in a dry pan until you can smell the peppery aroma
2 tbsp dried scallops
1.5 litres of boiling water top up with more water whenever needed
50 grams fish maw soaked in a bowl of hot water until softened; drained & cut to bite-sized pieces
coriander and spring onions for garnishing; optional
(A) Cleaning the pig stomach
(B) Suggested additions
thinly sliced pork shabu shabu cut
To clean the pig stomach, turn it inside out and use a knife to scrap the impurities. Rinse. Rub the inner lining with corn flour, lime juice and salt. Rinse. Repeat again by rubbing with salt and cornflour. Rinse. Do so until there is no more smell. Scald the pig stomach with boiling water, drain and set aside.
In the slow cooker pot, add cleaned pig stomach, water, blanched pork ribs, roasted peppercorns, dried scallops and boiling water. Set slow cooker to High.
After 2 hours, use a chopstick to poke the pig stomach. If it feels soft, it is cooked. Take the pig stomach out of the slow cooker. When cooled, use a pair of scissors to cut to bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
Add fish maw to the slow cooker and continue to cook for an hour or so, or until the fish maw is tender.
Top up with water if needed. Ladle soup to serving bowls and top with pig stomach pieces. Garnish with coriander and spring onions.
If you are cooking other ingredients in (B), transfer the contents to a regular pot on the stove top. Bring the soup to a boil and cook the ingredients (B) briefly.