My best friend’s late mother, whom I dearly called Auntie Wong, used to make this herbs and spices infused soup for me. The wonderful aroma filled their small inner city apartment and floated down the narrow common corridor as I walked out the lift. I instantly felt at home, safe, warm and loved.
Besides being a fantastic cook, Auntie Wong was an amazing woman with many talents. Once a circus acrobat in Malaysia, she was retrained as a dentist. ‘It was so difficult at the beginning,’ she said, ‘there was this old lady with no teeth, and I could not figure out how to attach the denture.’ She grinned, ‘lucky that I was young and good looking at the time. I had lots of helps.’
Here is my simple meat and bone soup, with fond memories of Auntie Wong. Somehow my soup never tasted as good as Auntie Wong’s. She had added a lot more love to the soup.
- 1 pack of bak kut teh spices (available in good Asian stores)
- 1 kg pork spare rib, cut into chunky size
- 12 Chinese mushrooms, washed
- 12 cloves of garlic, lightly grilled for a few minutes (under a hot grill)
- 10 pieces of dried logan fruit (to add sweetness, optional)
- a dash of soy sauce
- salt and white pepper to taste
- I used a pressure cooker. Simply add all ingredients (except for soy sauce, salt and pepper) to the pressure cooker, top with approximately 2 liters of water, and cook for 30 minutes.
- Season with a dash of soy sauce, salt and white pepper to taste.