While I went back to Malaysia and Singapore this summer, I got the chance to stay at my aunt’s house and tasted all the delicious food her maid Lis made (she is a wonderful cook!). One of the food I had over there is curry pork ribs. This dish really changed my mind about pork and curry combination, as I never have the combination before. I asked Lis for the recipe, and here’s my version. The ribs are tender, packed with flavors– it’s not quite curry and not quite rendang, but somewhere between.
Tangy Curry Pork Ribs (serves 6-8 people)
3 lbs pork spare ribs– cut into pieces
5 slices ginger
water to boil the ribs (water must cover the ribs in the pot)
Spice paste(blend well with enough water):
5 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
2 inch galangal
1 tsp turmeric powder (optional)
2 buah keras
2 tsp balancan
3 tbsp sambal chili
3 lemon grass– use only the whitish part, crush with a knife handle
2 kiffir lime leaves
7 oz. coconut milk
4-5 cups of pork stock from boiling pork ribs
3-4 tbsp tamarind water (1 tbsp tamarind paste+5 tbsp hot water, mix well)
salt and sugar to taste
- Boil water in a deep pot. Add ginger slices and spare ribs (water must cover the ribs), cover and boil on high heat for 10 minutes. Reduce to medium heat, continue cooking for another 30-40 minutes. Remove the meat and discard any impurities. Keep the stock.
- While the pork is boiling, blend spice paste in a blender, adding just enough water to facilitate blending.
- Heat a frying pan and add 2 tbsp oil. Fry lemon grass until aromatic, pour in spice paste. Keep stirring until some liquid evaporates and the paste is aromatic.
- Add in sambal chili, kiffir lime leaves and coconut milk. Turn heat down to medium and keep stirring, until the sauce thickens and red oil starts to form from the bubbly holes.
- Add in the ribs, pork stock and tamarind water, stir to mix well. Cover with a lid, cook until the sauce reduces and the ribs absorb the flavor. Stir every few minutes to prevent burn at the bottom. Add in more pork stock if the sauce dries too fast. Add salt to taste.