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Posts Tagged ‘pork spare ribs’

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

Tangy Curry Pork Ribs

Tangy Curry Pork Ribs (serves 6-8 people)

Ingredients:
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
10 shallots
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

Method:

  1. 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.
  2. While the pork is boiling, blend spice paste in a blender, adding just enough water to facilitate blending.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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This soup is not appealing in the picture, but it’s a very comforting and homey Cantonese soup for me. Watercress sold in Chinatown or Chinese grocery stores used to have big stems and big leaves, and was quite cheap. But in recent years the price has go up and they are getting tiny– which is good for making salad, but not for making this soup. So, whenever I see the right type of watercress selling, I always tempt to make this soup.

Watercress & Pork Rib Soup 西洋菜湯

Watercress & Pork Rib Soup 西洋菜湯

Watercress & Pork Rib Soup 西洋菜湯 Recipe (serves 4-6 people)

Ingredients:
1.5 lbs pork spare ribs– cut into pieces
2-3 bunches watercress– see note below
4 dried red dates
1 1/2 gallon water
salt to taste

Method:

  1. Add red dates and water to a deep pot, cover and let it boil for 5 minutes on high heat.
  2. In a separate pot, blanch spare ribs in boiling water to remove any impurities. Remove and rinse ribs. Discard the water.
  3. Add blanched ribs to the deep pot, cover and boil on high heat for 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium low, cover and continue cooking for another 1.5 hours. The soup will look “cloudy” if cooked for a long time.
  4. While the soup is cooking, wash and rinse watercress several times. Since watercress grow in water, there are tiny slug sometimes hiding in between the leaves.
  5. Add watercress to the soup and give it a couple of stir to mix in. Add more water if necessary. Cover and continue cooking until the watercress turns yellowish and soft, about 30 minutes. Add salt to taste. If you want some crunchy texture of watercress, reserve some and cook in the soup briefly before serving.

Regina’s Note:

  • How to pick watercress for this soup: According to my mom, use watercress that has no reddish stem/leaves or the soup will taste bitter. Also, use watercress that has bigger stems and leaves. The young tender ones are good for salad but not for this soup.

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