May 12, 2024

Radish Corn and Pork Ribs Soup 蘿蔔玉米排骨湯

Usually I'll get canned corn kernels or the entire corn on the cob for my recipes. Once a while I'll use baby corn too, but never a big fan of it mainly due to the texture. However, for this Asian soup recipe, I need the corn in shorter sections. Ideally one whole corn being cut into three sections. And that, requires either professionals or some muscles at home.

Radish corn and pork ribs soup 蘿蔔玉米排骨湯 - 

Radish corn and pork ribs soup


  • 3 whole corn on the cob
  • 1 medium large radish/daikon
  • 8 to 10 pork ribs
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 stalk skinny celery (or some cilantro)
  • 2 pieces ginger
  • Some salt
  • 12 cups water


If I get the corn on the cob at the local market, like farmer's market, usually I'll ask the vendor to break the corn to sections for me. It's such an easy task to them. However, if you have to do it yourself at home, be prepared to work on your arms.

I actually had to do it myself this time. What I did was run the end of the knife, not the tip, but the part closer to the handle all the way around the corn. It'll be right on the spot where I want the corn to cut-off. 

Then try to force some part of the knife in and wiggle it. Do that for few spots along that cutting line. Lastly, knife away and I used all my force to break the corn with my hands. Sounds primitive, but it works. However, in the end, if you can get help from the vendor, it'll save so much work and no bits of corn splashing around the kitchen.

So once the corn is settled, peel and slice the radish/daikon to medium chunks. Slice the ginger to about 1mm thickness pieces. Peel and halve the onion. Wrap the onion in cheesecloth or something similar, tie it up so the onion will be able to cook in the soup without falling apart everywhere.

Prepare a pot and fill with water. Turn to medium heat and toss in pork ribs. Keep the water hot but not like full-on boiling. A bit bubbling is fine. Such temperature can help drawing out more foamy grayish bits.

Prepping pork ribs and drawing out foamy bits

Once successfully drawing out some foamy bits, drain and rinse the pork ribs.

Pork ribs preparation for Asian soup recipe

Prepare a big pot and add in prepped pork ribs. Also add in the corn, radish, onion in bag, ginger, and 12 cups of water. Use medium to medium high heat until the soup is boiling. Then lower the heat to keep it at a light bubbling stage. Continue to cook for 30 minutes.

Making radish corn and pork ribs soup

Remember to skim-off any foamy bits floating on top during the process. There should be some more during the first 10 minutes, after that just check once or twice should be good.

Towards the end, remove the onion bag and ginger slices. Flavor the soup with enough salt. I used 2 tablespoons here.

Radish corn and pork ribs soup

Chop some skinny celery or cilantro. Scoop the soup and some ingredients to serving bowls then garnish with chopped celery or cilantro.

Radish corn and pork ribs soup noodles

If using celery, instead of garnishing the soup in the end, you can also just toss them into the pot for a slight boost of aroma. Celery can be left in the soup and its texture and flavor won't change as much even after days.

Radish corn and pork ribs soup noodles

Enjoy the soup as it is. I also cooked up some noodles and turn it into soup noodles too. With additional help from homemade cilantro flavored chili sauce. The meal might look light at first, but don't underestimate the power of Asian chili sauce.

Other Asian soup recipes:

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