Video: How to make pork rib sour soup

Hamish Te, from Cambodia, shows how to make pork rib sour soup.

Hain Seng Te. Photos by Gregor Richardson.
Hain Seng Te. Photos by Gregor Richardson.
Hain Seng Te and his family came to New Zealand in 1979 to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of Cambodia.

Seng Te, who is known as Hamish Te, and his wife had two daughters and a son, with three more boys born in New Zealand.

They started a Khmer Satay caravan in 1988 in the Octagon and later opened a chain of 22 restaurants, which he has since sold to family and friends because he wanted to start again, he said.

He now runs the Khmer Satay Noodle House in Northeast Valley and makes peanut satay sauce and marinades that are sold in supermarkets.

Pork ribs sour soup is a family dish, a meal in a pot, and often eaten with rice.

It's also quick to make, taking about 20 minutes.


Pork ribs sour soup


500g pork ribs
4 cups water
2 Tbsp pineapple pieces (from a can)
2 tomatoes
½ red capsicum
1 courgette
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1½ tsp sugar
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 Tbsp tamarind powder

For garnish

2 spring onions
a small bunch Vietnamese mint (rau ram)
4-5 large cloves garlic
2-3 Tbsp oil
1 red chilli



Put four cups of water on to boil. Slice the ribs apart and with a heavy knife chop them into 2cm lengths. When the water comes to the boil, put in the ribs, stir, bring the water back to the boil, then drain and rinse the ribs. Put four cups of fresh water in the pan and bring to the boil again.

Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes into 8 wedges each, removing any hard core.

Cut the courgettes into 3cm lengths then quarter each piece lengthwise.

Core and seed the capsicum and cut into strips about the same size as the other vegetables.

When the water boils, put the meat in, add the pineapple chunks, courgette, tamarind powder, salt and sugar. Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Prepare the garnish: chop the spring onion finely; rinse the Vietnamese mint and chop; slice the chilli finely, seeds and all.

Peel and chop the garlic cloves, but not too finely. Heat 2-3 Tbsp oil in a small pan and fry the garlic until golden brown and crunchy, but do not allow it to burn.

Add the tomato and capsicum to the soup, stir to heat through until it comes back to the boil, then turn it off. Taste to check seasoning, you may want more sugar or salt.

Serve the soup in a bowl with the spring onion, Vietnamese mint, chilli and fried garlic sprinkled generously on top.





• Hamish recommends using the lower part of the ribs as they are tender and easy to cook.

• Par-cooking and rinsing the pork is done to eliminate any smells, but good fresh pork shouldn't need it.

• To peel a garlic clove easily, cut off the root end and the tip, squash slightly with the flat of a knife blade, and lift off the papery skin.

• Tamarind powder is also known as tamarind soup base and can be found in the international section of good supermarkets and in Asian stores.


Thanks to Afife Harris and Centre City New World.


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