Double-boiled Sweet Corn Rib Soup玉米排骨汤

cover.JPGThe soup is clear yet the flavor is so intense. The double-boiling method is a unique cooking technique which has been popular in China for thousands of years. The ribs are not submerged in the large quantity of water but rather slowly steam in its own juices. We love the soup also for its natural sweetness and beautiful colors!

Double boiling or dun (炖) is a much slower and more gentle process, characterized by submerging a ceramic pot within an outer pot of boiling water – similar in concept to the double layered metal pots the French refer to as a bain marie. This technique is said to achieve the maximum extraction of flavor with little compromise to the flavor or texture of the ingredients used. It is therefore the method of choice for preparing nourishing tonics. Full flavor extraction can take up to 4 hours.

Serve 2

  • 300g                spare ribs or pork bone (expensive cut is not necessary)
  • 2 teaspoons   high-quality Chinese cooking wine (click here for homemade Chinese cooking wine)
  • 1 small carrot
  • ½                    sweet corn, cut into small bite pieces
  • 4                      Chinese dry dates红枣
  • 1 small thin slice ginger
  • 1/3 teaspoon   saltIMG_7136.JPG


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the ribs and blanch it for about 3 minutes to cleanse it. Remove and rinse the ribs.IMG_7180.JPG
  2. Use 2 small heatproof bowls that will fit into a very large stockpot. Add into the ribs, dates, ginger, sweet corn, carrots, cooking wine and fill into 3-4 cups of water for each bowl. IMG_7181
  3. Cover the bowl and seal it with aluminium foil. Now place the bowl in the stockpot. Add water int the stockpot – the water should come up around the sides of the bowl, but not spill into it or out of the pot. If you don’t have a large enough stockpot, substitute a wide cooking vessel, such as a wok with a lid. Then cover the stockpot, let the ribs steam in its own juices over medium-high heat for about 2 hours. Replenish the water in the stockpot as needed, so it surrounds the bowl at all times.IMG_7182.JPG
  4. The soup is best consumed right away. Salt is added right before serving.


  1. It is important the inner pot (bowl) must not be uncovered until the end of the cooking time, ensuring that there is no liquid evaporation, and therefore no loss of nutrients or flavor. This allows the soup to retain its essences – taste, nutrient value, moisture – offering maximum benefits to the drinker.


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