Monday, August 24, 2009

Bak Sioh (Nyonya Pork Ribs)

authentic-se-asianThis is another Nyonya/Peranakan recipe I found in the book “Authentic Tastes of Southeast Asia” by Celine Carnegie. Again, I’ve never heard of this dish (nor have I eaten, i think) until I saw it in the book. And again, I don’t know what “Sioh” means. I guess I’m just not too familiar with Nyonya dishes!

I Googled to find out more on this recipe and found that most of the recipes for this dish uses soybean paste and chicken instead of pork. I do see a couple recipes (like this one HERE) on the net that doesn’t use soybean paste. This easy-to-make dish has 2 distinct flavors; tamarind and coriander.




  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • 1-1/2 Lb Pork Spare Ribs, Cut Into 2 Inches
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 2 Tbsp Tamarind Liquid **
  • 2 Tbsp Ground Coriander
  • 1/4 Cup White Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Shallot (or Regular Onions), Roughly Chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Palm Sugar (or Brown/White Sugar)
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt

**To make tamarind liquid, soak 3 teaspoons tamarind pulp/paste in 2-1/2 tbsp hot water. Stir and strain mixture when cool.


Toast coriander in a dry pan over low heat until aromatic. Place coriander, tamarind liquid, white vinegar, shallot, palm sugar and salt into blender and process until you get a smooth paste.

Heat pan/wok over medium heat and add oil. Fry paste for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add ribs and stir well to coat with paste. Add water, bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Uncovered simmer for another 30 minutes until pork is tender, stirring occasionally as the sauce has dried up. Transfer onto serving platter, garnish if desired and serve immediately with warm rice.

June’s Notes: I end up adding 2 tbsp of palm sugar and 1/2 tsp of salt to achieve the sweetness and saltiness I like! =)  This recipe is quite versatile, you could use chicken, beef and even duck in this recipe!

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