Pig’s organ soup or “zhu zha tang 猪什汤” has always been one of the dishes in my ultimate go-to list of Singapore comfort food — it brings back fond memories of when my cousins and I were kids, fighting over who gets more pig innards and slurping the last drop of grandma’s peppery sweet broth. Kids fight over the weirdest things, like intestines.
Zhu zha tang is popular in both Singapore and Malaysia, which originated from the Teochew province but has evolved into its own identity in Singapore. What makes a good broth is the harmonious blend of sweetness and saltiness from the hours of boiling together pork bones and pickled mustard vegetables. The offal should be fresh, clean and void of any pungent odor, and the chilli should be spicy and tangy to add an extra oomph to each bite.
I squeal in delight putting together this list for you to pig out to. This might not be for you if you’re put off by offal.
1. Ri Tao Fu Teochew Pig’s Organ Soup
A faint sweet aroma from the broth instantly hit my nose as I walked towards to the stall, the uncle wasted no time in chopping up the offal to fill up my bowl with goodness.
To get to the food centre, you’ll have to climb up a flight of stairs from the bus stop. You can easily spot the Teochew Pig’s Organ Soup stall, which is nestled in the middle of the hawker centre.
Pig’s organ soup ($3/$4/$5) & Rice ($0.50).
The soup had a slightly darker shade of brown as compared to others that were clear, and it had a very light aftertaste. If you’re a fan of a stronger tasting broth, then you’d probably want to skip this stall.
The uncle was generous with the pig stomach and they were clean throughly, I enjoyed the collagen-filled pig’s skin, which had a very soft jelly-like texture that disintegrates quickly in the mouth.
Ri Tao Fu Teochew Pig’s Organ Soup:1 Jalan Kukoh, #01-11 Jalan Kukoh Market and Hawker Centre, Singapore 161001 | Monday – Saturday: 1015am – 9pm, closed on Sunday and Public Holidays
2. Jin Ding Xiang Pig Organ Soup
Jin Ding Xiang is located in Kovan Hougang Market and Food Centre, along the first row of stalls as you enter into the food centre from Kovan MRT station.
Pig’s organ soup ($3.80).
The broth was rich and had a defined sweetness from the pork bones, which was accompanied with a light peppery taste. One sip and you could tell that the soup was boiled over a long period of time.
It was filled to the brim with the basic ingredients like pig’s liver, intestines, stomach, tender pieces of pork meat, a thin slice of three layer pork belly, meatball and tofu cubes.
To my delight, the intestines were stuffed, I verified by doing a quick check with the hawker, in which she nodded her head with a tiny smile of approval to my intestinal knowledge.
It is a method familiar to me as I’ve seen my mother preparing it at home on a few occasions. To stuff the intestine into multiple layers, you would have to flip it to clean from the inside out, then stuff one end into the other side, and layer it to your preference.
That’s a lot of effort put into a bowl of hawker food, I’d say.
Jin Ding Xiang Pig’s Organ Soup: 209 Hougang Street 21, #01-08 Kovan Hougang Market and Food Centre, Singapore 530209 | Open daily 11am – 11pm
3. Ah Keat Pig’s Organ Soup and Kway Chup
Just a stone’s throw away from Woodlands Checkpoint, Ah Keat Pig’s Organ Soup is popular among the residents, factory workers and even school kids of that area.
Almost everyone at that coffeeshop were seen eating either the stall’s pig’s organ soup or kway chap, its other highly recommended dish that also uses similar ingredients.
Pig’s organ soup ($3), additional pig’s kidney ($1).
Apart from the generous bowl of basic ingredients, the stall added in a super thick three layer pork belly, which I quickly savoured. I also added a portion of kidney, which was nicely cooked with a little pink tint.
Its chilli had a garlicky note, liken to those you eat with chicken rice. It is refreshing and resets your tastebuds with every dip.
Ah Keat Pig’s Organ Soup: 221 Marsiling Crescent, Lucky Star Eating House, Singapore 730211 | Opens daily 7am – 9pm, closed on every fortnight on Wednesday
4. Pig’s Organ Soup. Bak Kut Teh. Kway Chap
With no specific name or signboard to this stall, I walked around the estate twice to look for it. Look out “Huang Restaurant”, the store is at the corner of this little coffeeshop.
Pig’s organ soup ($3.50).
Besides using pork bones and salted vegetable, the soup was also boiled with celery slices, which made the broth clear and slightly sweeter. It tasted like a comforting bowl of homemade soup.
Though not as much ingredients as other stalls, the pig stomach were chewy and fresh, slices of pork belly accompanied the lean meats, the meatballs were soft, and the salted mustard vegetable still retained it saltiness and crunchiness despite being boiled together with the soup.
Pig’s Organ Soup. Bak Kut Teh. Kway Chap: Block 848 Yishun street 81, Huang’s Restaurant, Singapore 760848 | Tuesday to Sunday 930am – 9pm, close on Monday
5. Cheng Mun Chee Kee Pig Organ Soup
If you were to ask anyone which stalls sell the best zhu za tang in Singapore, Cheng Mun Chee Kee never fails to appear on the list of recommendations. It is always packed with diners, and a popular hang out amongst supper kakis.
Pig Organ Soup ($4/$6).
The plus point to eating here is having your soup refilled until you are fully satisfied with your meal. The protein-filled regular bowl ($4) contains innards, lean meat, meatballs, tofu, salted vegetable, pork belly, stomach and liver. While the large bowl ($6) has small intestine and kidney on top of the mentioned ingredients.
The downside is you won’t stop at ordering only one bowl of pig’s organ soup, other specialty side dishes will entice you, like the black vinegar pig trotters ($6), steam minced meat with chestnut ($2), and many more. Pull along a friend or two so that you can try more food on their menu.
Cheng Mun Chee Kee: 24 Foch road, Singapore 209263 | Tuesday – Saturday: 9am – 5am, Sunday: 9am – 12am, closed on Monday | Tel: 6297 5068
6.Yu Ji Pig’s Organ Soup Herbal Mutton Soup
Whampoa Makan Place is a food heaven and I reckon Yu Ji’s pig’s organ soup has a part to play in it.
Yu Ji Pig’s Organ soup is my personal favourite. Apart from having a balanced sweet and salty soup stock, the peppery flavour adds body to the taste.
The pig intestine and stomach had a nice chewy texture, pig liver has a natural sweetness to it and was powdery; meatballs, pig skin, tofu, slice pork meat, salted vegetable and pork belly were added to the soup. The chilli reminded me of the sour, watery type usually eaten with ban mian.
However, the serving is slightly small, so go on and add more dishes to complete your meal.
Yu Ji Pig’s Organ Soup Herbal Mutton Soup:Whampoa Makan Place, 90 Whampoa Drive #01-81 Singapore 320090 | Opens daily: 1030am – 11pm
7. Aik Kee Haslet Soup
Tucked away in Geylang East Centre Market and Food Corner, the stall serves up generous bowls of peppery soup with thick liver slices, lean pork meat, meat balls and large intestines.
A special shout out to its tasty homemade ngoh hiong, which costs only $1.50 for a more robust spread.
Aik Kee Haslet Soup: Geylang East Centre Market and Food Corner, Block 117 Aljunied Ave 2 Market and food centre, #01-56, Singapore 380117 | Daily 930am – 8.30pm, close ad hoc
8. Koh Brother Pig’s Organ Soup
Established in 1955 by Koh Kee Teo, Koh Brother Pig’s Organ Soup is kept buzzing alive by his son and grandson.
The soup is freshly brewed daily with pork bones and mustard vegetable, it has a rich pork sweetness and the broth is clear. It is served with the usual ingredients like liver, stomach, lean meat and pork meatball.
A side dish that is highly raved about is its large intestine stuffed with glutinous rice, chestnut and pork belly ($3.50). A traditional snack that is rarely seen and prepared these days.
Koh Brother Pig’s Organ Soup: Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre, 30 Seng Poh Road #02-29 Singapore 168898 |Tuesday – Saturday: 8:30am – 3:30pm, 6pm – 8:30pm, Sunday: 8:30am – 3:30pm | Tel: 8113 7218 | Facebook page
9. Soon Huat Pig’s Organ Soup
Pig’s organ soup ($3.50/$4.50/$5.50).
If you are not in the mood for Chomp Chomp, Serangoon Garden Market is just steps away. Soon Huat Pig’s Organ Soup is quite hard to miss – it is often lined with a queue of hungry goers at its stall front.
I was surprised to see slices of tomatoes in the soup, which adds a tangy taste to the salted vegetable flavour. It is served with liver, large intestines, stomach, sliced pork belly and lean meat.
Soon Huat Pig’s Organ Soup: 49A Serangoon Garden Way, #01-42 Serangoon Garden Market, Singapore 555945 | Tuesday – Sunday: 930am – 4pm
10. Say Seng Cooked Food
Say Seng Cooked Food is located in Albert Market & Food Centre. At 6pm the queue had already formed up to two tables away.
Pig’s organ soup ($4), rice ($0.50), braised wild boar belly ($5).
I quickly dig in to find out what it tastes like—the peppery flavour masks a slightly pungent pork smell from the broth. It was cloudy due to the continuous boiling of the soup stock. While the serving was huge, the pork slices, liver, stomach and other ingredients were slightly tough and overcooked.
Tempted by the people ahead of me, I had to get my hands on the juicy braised wild boar belly, which is served from 4pm onwards. Lucky me to have gotten a plate of it, as it is said to be sold out very quickly. The braised belly lived up to its fame and had adequately infused in the gravy, which is causing me to salivate at this very moment while typing.
Say Seng Cooked Food: 270 Queen St #01-92, Albert Market & Food Centre, Singapore 180270 (Opp Fu Lou Shou) | Closed on Monday and Friday, opening hours: 12noon – 8pm
Feel free to share with us your favourite go-to zhu za tang stall that is not listed in this article.
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