Friday, 26 April 2019

Chinese Steamed Spareribs

These are based on the recipe for the little steamed ribs served as part of Dim Sum menus, but I find it hard to get such tiny ribs. Normally they would be steamed on top of the stove and they would cook quite quickly. With full size back ribs, though, I would recommend cooking them slowly in the oven. If you have an Instant Pot, that's the way I cooked these and I have to say I love how fast it its. I'm looking forward to using it in the summer, too, when I will really welcome the fact that it doesn't leave the kitchen "roasting" hot.

Nobody around here complains about having them made with the readily-available larger back ribs, and treated as a main dish. The Cayenne is also not traditional, but we enjoyed the bit of a bite it added. A little ground black pepper will do instead if you don't want it. We had ours with stir-fried cabbage and mushrooms and steamed rice.

I guess this is the first recipe of the new gardening year, in that I garnished it with shallot greens from the garden. If you can't get green onions though, that'll be sad but the ribs are still pretty good without them.

3 to 4 servings
1 hour 15 minutes - to marinate
45 minutes to cook in an Instant Pot
3 hours to cook in the oven

Chinese Steamed Spareribs

Make the Marinade:
3 tablespoons peeled and grated garlic
3 tablespoons peeled and grated ginger
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fermented black bean sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon (more or less) ground Cayenne

Peel and grate the garlic on the finest grater - to a paste, basically. Peel and grate the ginger the same way. Mix them in a large non-reactive bowl with the soy sauce, fermented black bean sauce, sesame oil, and Cayenne. 

Marinate & Cook the Ribs:
1.5 kilos (3 pounds)
1 cup water
3 or 4 green onions

Cut the ribs into pieces with one or two rib-bones each. Mix them into the marinade. Cover and return to the fridge for about 1 hour.

To cook in an Instant-Pot: Put the water in the cooking vessel and put in the rack insert. Place the ribs, along with the marinade, onto it. Close the pot, check the valve is in position, and cook for 20 minutes at high pressure. Allow the pressure to come down naturally; about another 20 minutes before opening the pot.

To cook in the oven: Arrange the ribs in a shallow baking dish on a rack, if possible. Pour the water around them and cover with a lid, if the dish has one, or aluminium foil if it does not. Cook at 250°F for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until very tender.

Wash, trim, and finely chop the green onions and scatter them over the ribs as a garnish when you serve them.

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