Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pork Ribs & Fermented Black Bean

I hear: "finally no more Bento!" This is what blogging too much does to one, talking things and hearing things in my ears when in fact no one else is complaining, or at least not that I can hear of! But my picnic Bento days are not over yet, at least for the remaining of the sunny days and early Fall season of which I still want to do till the first snow of winter boxed me inside! And not mentioning my excitement of making Bento lunch for my daughter everyday starting tomorrow, and so much more for me to experiment with the cute little boxes.

I have been cooking this dish for as long as I know, in fact one of the dishes that taught me how easy it is to put together a few ingredients to create a side dish to complement my bowl of white rice.

Pork ribs or more known as spare ribs is a good piece of meat to cook in stew and the fat content keeps the meat moist throughout the long cooking process. Fermented black beans are soy beans, salted and dried. Chinese cooking uses this ingredient alot and usually as a sauce ingredient, with a pungent smell and adds saltiness to any dish.

The ribs were firstly marinated in dark soy sauce, sesame oil, chinese cooking wine, pepper, salt and corn flour for an hour. The ribs were then sauteed first with garlic, small red shallot and the black beans before being transferred to the steamer for a further steaming of 30 mins. I find that the addition of cornstarch gives the ribs a silky coating and succulent when bite into, rather than a tough piece of meat. It can be steamed straight without the pan frying but will produce more liquid in the cooking. The pan frying ensures that the juice in the meat is sealed in and all the ingredients are well mixed and coated.

Ingredients :
600g (about 1-1/2 lbs) pork ribs meat
2 tbsp fermented dried black beans
1 small Asian red shallot, sliced
3 large cloves of garlic, sliced
2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp Sesame seed oil
1-1/2 tbsp cornflour
scallion for garnish

1)Cut the ribs into chunks. Retain the bones part. Marinate all in the mixture of dark soy sauce, cooking wine, sesame seed oil, pepper, salt and cornflour. Let it marinate for 1 hour.
2)Prepare steamer.
3)Heat frying pan with 2 tbsp cooking oil. Fry the shallots and garlic for 1 min. Add in the black beans and mix.
4)Pour in the meat together with the marinate sauce and mix in with the black bean mixture evenly. Cover with lid and let it cook for 5 mins.
5)Transfer to a large deep dish and steam for 30 to 35 mins on medium heat.
6)Remove and garnish with scallion, serve with white rice.

Serves: 3 to 4 persons as a side dish

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