600g pork ribs
2 teaspoons white peppercorns
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
½ stick cinnamon
1 star anise
1 head garlic, unpeeled
1.2 litres water
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
Salt, sugar, ground white pepper, to season
First, toast the spices. Place the black and white peppercorns, the star anise, the cinnamon, and cloves into a dry frying pan over medium heat.
Toast the spices for around a minute, swirling to stop them from burning. When the aromas are released and they have a slight hint of golden brown colour, pour the spices out into a bowl to set aside.
When the spices have cooled slightly, pound the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar gently, to crack them open. The finer the pepper, the more peppery the soup will be.
Next, blanch the pork ribs. Place them in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil.
Allow the water to boil vigorously for around 5 minutes, then pour away the water and rinse the pork ribs under the tap to remove any excess scum or blood. Set aside. Wash the pot out if you’re using it again.
Slice the top off the head of garlic to expose the cloves inside.
In the pot, combine the head of garlic, the spices, the cracked pepper, rinsed pork ribs, light soy sauce and water.
Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Taste, then season as needed with salt, sugar and extra ground white pepper, if you like.