Abarabone No Shiru (Spare Rib Soup)
A very simple and clear soup, that is very comforting. I have seen versions of this soup with just the meat, kombu and broth. I like to serve it as a meal, adding vegetables and thin long rice noodles.
1 1/2 lbs spare ribs, 1 ½-inch pieces water as needed 1 (1 oz.) pkg. nishime kombu, soaked 4 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked, stems removed, quartered 1 ½ -2 lbs. long squash, peeled, ¼-inch slices 2 pc. star anise 2 (14.5 oz.) cans chicken broth 1 c. water 1 ½ -2 tsp. salt, as needed 1-2 TB Aloha shoyu, as needed ½ lb. mustard cabbage, 1 ½-inch pieces 2 oz. long rice, soaked, 4-inch lengths, optional
Soak kombu until soft enough to work with. Tie into knots, cutting between knots about 3-4 inches in length. Set aside. In a large saucepot over medium high heat; cover spareribs with water. Bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10-15 minutes. Drain and rinse spare ribs well. Return to pot. Add ginger, garlic, star anise, chicken broth and water. Bring to a rapid boil; remove any skum from top of pot. Reduce heat; simmer 1 hour. Add kombu, mushrooms, squash, salt and soy sauce. Continue simmering 20 minutes; taste for seasoning adding additional salt and soy sauce. Add mustard cabbage and long rice; heat through.
For service: remove star anise. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6.