The best comfort food for your breakfast, dinner and sick day: macaroni soup with pork ribs (sup nui suon heo). With its basic ingredients and easy process, this should be your first pick for any comfort food recipes out there. Not to mention the secret ingredients that help to bring this comfort food soup flavor to the next level.
As a child and up until now, I've been finding my way back to this amazing comfort food macaroni soup whenever I'm feeling not well. That being said I make sure I have some packs of macaroni in my pantry all the time. This comfort soup has come and rescued me so many times up to this point of my adulthood.
What's kind of macaroni used in the soup?
Traditionally, in Vietnam, we're using rice macaroni in our soup. After I come to the US, it was hard to find them in super market so I settled with traditional American macaroni. But hey, time has passed, you now can easily find the Asian version of macaroni in any Asian market. I even found one available on Amazon. However, it is not a requirement. Regardless of what kind of macaroni you're using, this comfort food soup is still the best pick, I promise.
How to make this comfort food macaroni soup?
- First, you need pork ribs or pork bones if ribs are not available. You can also throw into a soup pot your favorite cut of pork: tenderloin or pork belly. The key to make this comfort food delicious not only by taste but also by eyes is a clear soup.
- Second, you need to blanch your pork ribs before put them in your soup pot. So in order to achieve such desired clear soup, you need to begin with clean ingredients. Unless, you can see there is no or not much blood and impurities left on the ribs, then you can skip this part. After this blanching process which takes only 5-10 minutes, then comes the soup making process.
- Third, make sure the water is boiling hot and the bones/ribs or meat are cold before adding them to the soup pot. This is the primary key to make your soup stay clear.
- Fourth, bring the soup pot with ribs included to boil and immediately turn down the heat to simmer. Then continue to cook for at least 1 hour, cooking time will depend on the amount of water and pork ribs/bones added into the pot.
- Fifth, I know it's very tempted but do not stir the pot under any circumstances. However, you're allowed to skim any impurity that is floating on the surface.
After certain hours of simmering, then vegetables are added into the soup pot. Ideally, you should cut vegetables bigger than regular bites size. The reason is because you will need to simmer for another 15 to 30 minutes to thoroughly cook vegetables. On top of that, you won't finish this soup pot in one meal so you'll need your vegetables keep its form after multiple times reheated, won't you?
What are the secret ingredients?
In order to enhance the flavor of this comfort food macaroni soup, at the end of the cooking process, add a little amount of fried garlic and/or shallot into the soup pot. The flavor and fragrance from fried garlic and shallot together will make such amazing aroma for your macaroni soup. This final step is the key step that differentiate one soup pot is better than another. Let use these secret ingredients to amaze your friends and family.
Others related soup recipes
When it comes to Vietnamese cuisine, soup is the most mentioned food in our culture. You can not deny the famous of Pho, nor the amazing Bun Rieu on our authentic food map. Furthermore, if you can challenge the smell from fermented fish, this Bun Mam recipe is the one you absolutely should tackle.
Macaroni Soup with Pork Ribs
- 2 stock pots
- 1 big bowl for ice water bath
- 1 sachet
- 1 pack macaroni
- 8 qt water for cooking soup
- 4 qt water for blanching
- 1 big white onion
- 2 lb pork ribs washed, pat dry
- 3 medium carrot cut into big pieces
- 3 medium daikon cut into big pieces
- 2 tbsp fried garlic
- 2 tbsp fried shallot
- 10 quail eggs boiled, peeled, as needed, optional
- 1 tbsp whole black pepper corn
- 5 sprig cilantro stem
- ½ c fish sauce
- 2 tbsp chicken bouillon
- Kosher salt for adjust taste
Garnish & sides
- green onion chopped
- Thai chilies chopped
- fish sauce as needed
- lime wedges
- In the first stock pot, bring 4qt of water to boil. Have your ice water ready on the side.
- Submerge pork ribs completely in boiling water and hard boil for 5-10 minutes to get rid of all blood and impurities.
- Take pork ribs out of boiling water and immediately submerge in ice water bath. Let the ribs cool down in ice water bath for 10-15 minutes.
For making soup stock
- In the second stock pot, bring 8 wt of water to boil. Add whole white onion, sachet, and pork bones (already cool down to at least room temperature). Bring the whole pot to boil then lower the heat to simmer.
- Simmer the whole pot for 1.5 hours. Do not stir the pot. Gradually skim any impurities floating on the surface (if any).
- After 1.5 hours, discard whole white onion and sachet. Add cut pieces of carrot in the pot and simmer for another 15 minutes. Then add daikon, fried garlic, fried shallot and continue to cook on the same heat level for another 15 minutes.
- Add seasoning. Use Kosher salt to adjust the taste according to your references (if needed). Continue to skim impurities if any. Lower the heat below simmer level, just enough to keep the soup pot hot but not boiling.
- Proceed according to instructions on its package
Assemble & serve
- In a medium bowl, add enough cooked macaroni, ladle the soup and add few pork ribs in the bowl. Add quail eggs, garnish with chopped green onion, extra fried garlic. And serve on the side a small plate includes fish sauce and chopped Thai chili.