Vietnamese Beet and Pork Spare Rib Soup
Beets are commonly distinguished by their lovely deep red-violet pigment but there are also different varieties that come in various shades. They also come in golden-orange, yellow, white, and even striped. Red Beets contain unique phytonutrients known as betalains which gives them their color. Other variety of beets contain a different type of pigment.
The betalian in red beets contain important health benefits such as detoxification support. It works by neutralizing toxins in the body and making them water-soluble for excretion. Beet are also a good source of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and potassium. They are high in antioxidants, have anti-inflammatory properties, and can help lower blood pressure.
Beets are one of the root vegetables that I enjoy incorporating into my meals because of their health boosting properties and also because of their wonderful sweet earthy flavor. Beets are delicious raw or cooked. Although, the concentration of betalians minimizes when they have been exposed to heat thus losing some of their nutritional value. The leaves of beets are also edible; similar to swiss chard and especially high in iron.
Beets are commonly enjoyed in salads but they’re also great for juicing, pickling, roasting, and in soups. One of the ways I enjoy beets is in this Vietnamese beet and pork spare rib soup. This dish is commonly made with carrots and potatoes but adding in the beets make it even more nutritious. It also changes the whole dynamic to the soup. It is a savory soup but the beets and carrots adds a subtle sweetness to the broth. The beets also gives it a beautiful deep color that’s makes it look even more visually appealing.
Soups are usually accompanied with various dishes in many Vietnamese households. A traditional meal usually consist of some sort of protein, a vegetable dish, and a bowl of rice to make a complete meal. Although you can certainly serve this soup by itself or with some sort of grain to make it more filling which I find myself doing quite often.
- 2 lb pork spare ribs (cut into 1 1/2-2 in pieces)
- 6-8 cups water
- 3 medium sized potatoes (cut into 1 1/2 in cubes)
- 2 large or 3 small carrots (sliced into 1/2 in on a bias)
- 3 medium sized beets (cut into 1/2 in wedges)
- 1 small onion (sliced)
- 3 slices of ginger (cut into coins)
- 6 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 scallions (sliced)
- 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
- 2 tbs fish sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- In a pot on medium high heat, sauté onions, ginger, and garlic for a few minutes.
- Add in ribs; cook for 5-8 minutes until they have a slight golden brown color.
- Add in water and salt; bring to a boil.
- Skim any foam that rises to the surface, turn heat down to low and cover; simmer for 15-25 minutes.
- Bring back to boil; add in beets and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add in carrots; cook for 5 minutes.
- Add in potatoes cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender.
- Season with fish sauce, salt, and pepper.
- Turn off heat, add in cilantro and scallions.