Let's make this classic Chinese lotus root and peanuts soup at home with my recipe. This soup is so easy and yet so tasty you'll make it again and again.
Growing up, my Mom made us plenty of this Chinese lotus root and peanuts with pork ribs soup. She has this big planner to map out all the food she will be cooking for us every day. It’s pretty simple, basically one soup, one vegetable dish, and one meat dish per day. And this particular soup usually appears once every month. ♥
Ingredients to prepare Chinese lotus root and peanuts soup
You will only need a handful of ingredients to prepare this soup:
- 1 section of fresh lotus root, usually around 400-500 grams.
- 500 grams of pork spare ribs, or any cut that is suitable for soup. You can even use bone-in chicken if you prefer.
- 200 gram dried peanuts, you will need to soak the peanuts for at least 2 hours prior to cooking the soup.
- 2 tomatoes, cut into 4 wedges per tomato.
- 1 dried squid/cuttlefish, this one is optional since it can be harder to find, but your Asian market should have it in their frozen section along with dried shrimps and dried salted fish. If you can get this, definitely add it to the soup since even just one tiny squid can add so much umami level to the soup.
How to prepare fresh lotus root
Fresh lotus roots look like tubes linked together like giant sausages. If you buy more than one section and they are still linked together, don’t separate the links until you need to cook them to preserve freshness. Here’s what you need to do to prepare your lotus root for cooking:
- Peel the skin with a vegetable peeler.
- Use a sharp knife, or a mandolin (if you have), and cut into thin slices. For making soup, I usually aim for 1 cm (about 1/2 inch) thick.
- Optional: if you do step 1 and 2 far in advance before you plan to cook the soup, you may want to soak the slices in some acidulated water bath (water + a little bit of acid such as lemon juice, lime juice, or vinegar) to prevent the root from browning.
What I love about lotus roots is that they look so plain and unassuming from the outside, but once you slice them up, they reveal their glorious beautiful pattern. So pretty, and so tasty too.
How to cook Chinese lotus root and peanuts soup
Please follow these steps to prepare the soup. You should get a broth that is flavorful and free of debris/scum!
- Boil a pot of water, then blanch the pork spare ribs for about 2 minutes. Drain the pork and discard the water. You may want to clean the pot a little to ensure the pot is free of scums.
- Return blanched pork to the clean pot, along with lotus root slices, peanuts, dried squid/cuttlefish (if using), salt, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot with a lid, and simmer until both the lotus root and peanuts are tender, but still retain their crispiness. This usually takes about 1 hour.
- Add tomato wedges to the soup and cook for another 15 minutes.
And we are done! Very easy, right? Now you too can prepare this classic Chinese soup in your own home.
Lotus Root and Peanuts with Pork Ribs Soup
- 500 gram (~ 1.1 lb.) pork spare ribs, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 section (about 400-500 gram / 1 lb.) fresh lotus root, peeled and cut into 1 cm (~ 1/2 inch) thick pieces
- 200 gram (~ 7 oz.) dried peanut, soaked for at least 2 hours, washed and drained
- 1 dried squid/cuttlefish, soaked for at least 30 minutes, washed and drained (Optional)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 liter (8 cups) water
- 2 tomatoes, cut each into quarters
- Boil a pot of water in a soup pot. Blanch pork for about 2 minutes. Drain the pork and discard the water.
- Return blanched pork to the soup pot, along with lotus root slices, peanuts, dried squid/cuttlefish (if using), salt, sugar, and water.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot with a lid, and simmer for 1 hour, or until the pork is fully cooked and the lotus root and peanut are tender but still crunchy.
- Add tomatoes and cook for another 15 minutes.