Big arrowroot soup with spare ribs

There are two types of arrowroot. One is the small, whitish bulbs like a small, yellow onion which is very popular during Chinese New Year because this small arrowroot makes good chips, very much like potato chips. You can find my recipe for making arrowroot chips for Chinese New Year over here.

However, there is another huge root vegetable, very much like a big sweet potato which is also call the arrowroot. I bought one today because I am curious what it tastes like. Like all root vegetables, it is best slow boiled with pork ribs, red dates, dried shitake mushroom and garlic to make a nice soup.

arrowroot and spare ribs
(I like to parboil the spare ribs before I cook them in the soup. This is to avoid murky soup.)

Ingredients used in arrowroot soup

Arrowroot – About 500 grams, remove skin and cut into cubes
1 dried shitake mushroom – soak (use more if you like)
6 red dates – de-seeded
Few pips of garlic
Pork ribs – About 300-400 grams (parboil, wash clean)
Water – About 1.5 litre
Salt and pepper to taste


Bring water to boil and put in all the ingredients. Let the ingredients boil for about five minutes. Turn down fire. Let simmer on low fire, in covered pot for about 1 hour. Season to taste.

Here are what I used. The arrowroot has very thick skin. After removing the skin, I cut them into cubes. It has very strong smell of the earth and smell ‘green’ too. Luckily, after cooking, it gives off a pleasant fragrance, very much like lotus root. In fact, the soup tastes exactly like lotus root soup, earthy without the ‘green’ smell.

arrowroot and spare ribs

The root vegetable has very coarse fibres and I don’t think I like eating it. It is hard even after being cooked in my pressure cooker. However, the hearty soup is tasty.

arrowroot soup

Do give this root vegetable a try the next time you find it in the market.

Post Author: lilian

Used to be PenangFaces, now known as Food Haven, for all oink-oink foods

2 thoughts on “Big arrowroot soup with spare ribs


    (December 29, 2008 - 5:06 pm)



    (December 29, 2008 - 8:33 pm)

    Kaz – No, this is oblong. In Hokkien, we call it alulut. Hahaha. But there is arrowroot in powder form too.

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