(Fu Zhu Pai Gu Tang)
In China, mildly flavored soups like this one are served in small bowls to be sipped along with meals in lieu of tea or water.
- 1 lb. pork spareribs cut into 1 1⁄2"–2" pieces
- 1 dried chile, such as árbol
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 whole dried tofu stick, rinsed
- 4 Chinese chives or scallions, trimmed, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- Salt, to taste
Put ribs and 8 cups water into a large pot; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, skimming off and discarding any foam that rises to surface. Add chile, and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, skimming occasionally, until ribs are tender, about 2 1⁄2 hours.
Add tofu stick, broken into 2" pieces, and simmer, covered, until soft, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in chives or scallions, and season with salt to taste.