Chinese Salted Pork Bones


My mother just handed me many pounds of salted pork bones she’d cooked, which reminded me of this old-school recipe for salted pork bones in soup I used to make. We decided to provide the recipe for the soup we made later that day since it was so impressive that we knew we had to do so.

Even though she’s now 81, my mother still cooks salted pork bones. It’s not complicated at all! Meaty pig neck bones are salted and refrigerated for 24 to 48 hours.


Why bother salting pork bones when we’ve already used them in soups, stocks, and congees?

It turns out that salting them is a great way to enhance their flavor. The meat has a little cured flavor but is not overly hammy. Even after only one day of salting, the flavor might drastically alter.

My mother’s pig bones were full of flavor. What you’re looking for is what you’ll need for this recipe. Remember that the ones we bought on the day we posted this weren’t as substantial.


  • 2 lb. of pork neck bones(the meatier, the better; cut into 2-inch/5cm thick pieces)
  • 1 tbsp. of salt
  • 1 tsp. of Sichuan peppercorns (optional)


  1. For up to two hours, soak pig bones in water. Before salting, this helps to remove the blood and other contaminants. Rinse them several times in fresh water until the water is clear. Shake up any remaining water.
  2. Over medium-high heat, cook salt and Sichuan peppercorns until the salt turns a light golden color (about 5 minutes). Remove the food from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. Without Sichuan peppercorns, you can simply add the salt to the pig bones without boiling them first.
  3. Pork bones should be rubbed with salt in a big bowl (and the Sichuan peppercorns, if used). Refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours after covering and marinating.
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