Let’s Cook! Black Bean Spare Ribs with Green Onion
February 8, 2011
With Chinese New Year recently rolling around again (darn thing seems to show up almost each year!) I thought I’d share a Chinese recipe I tried fairly recently… and no, even thought this is the “Year of the Rabbit”, we’re not cooking that critter… at least this time (I got nothing against munching on Thumper…).
So, some background…
During the 2010 Food & Wine Festival I was fortunate to attend a cooking demonstration by Chef Andrew Zimmern of “Bizarre Foods” fame (see Rubbing Elbows for a few choice pics…).
Now this is not the dish he showed us that day, but one from another event he presided over the prior day (and from his website it appears one that he demos fairly frequently).
So without further ado, let’s cook!
Black Bean Spare Ribs with Green Onion
Serves ? – the recipe doesn’t specify, but if used as part of a larger multi-item Chinese meal it could easily serve 8-10, if the “primary” main course with rice and some veggies probably 6 or more… I halved the recipe below and it still made a gracious plenty… okay enough of this rambling…
5 Lb Pork Spare Ribs, cut into into 3 inch pieces by the butcher (So if made to the recipe, have your butcher cut across the ribs to get you 2 or 3 pieces from each rib, then separate into individual pieces. I found “NY Style” ribs at my Asian market which were nice small pieces of rib maybe an inch long or just a bit more – I think this is ideal for this recipe so you can just pop the whole thing in your mouth and just spit out the nub of bone… you may also see something similar in your normal market labeled “Riblets”…)
4 Tbl Peanut Oil (or Canola will work fine)
7 Tbl Chinese Salted Black Beans (Small whole beans, these will usually be in a plastic bag and look/be sorta dry, it’s not the jarred Black Bean Sauce. You’ll find these easily in your Asian market, but not likely in your regular grocery.)
4 Tbl Hoisin Sauce
4 Tbl Oyster Sauce
15 Garlic Cloves, smashed and peeled (I chopped mine roughly)
4 Tbl Soy Sauce
8 Tbl Sugar
1 Cup Hot Water
1/2 Cup Rice Wine (or Sake)
8 Dried Chiles (again, you’ll find these easily in your Asian market, or you should also be able to find small dried chilies in your normal grocery – sometimes in the produce section, the spice aisle, or check the Hispanic foods area)
1/2 Cup Minced Scallions (aka Green Onions)
Mix together the black beans, garlic, soy, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce and water.
Heat a large cast iron pot or heavy enameled casserole over high heat. A big-ass wok would also work.
When hot, add the oil and swirl around the pot. Add the scallions and chilies and stir for a few seconds…
then add the ribs. Stir and toss for 4-5 minutes being careful not to burn.
Stir the seasoning mix and add to the ribs. Bring to a boil and stir. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about an hour, stirring now and then.
Remove from the heat and degrease the sauce.
Return the pot to the heat and simmer uncovered until the sauce is thick and rich and yummy…
This turns out a nice, earthy rich dish with big flavor. I’d serve with a sticky rice, and one or two fairly simple veggies (stir-fried baby bok choy or snap peas, wilted spinach, or just simple crisp-steamed broccoli).
If you’d like when serving you could add a bit more raw sliced scallions on top and/or a drizzle of spicy sesame oil or even a bit of chopped cilantro… or if you must some fresh chopped hot pepper (I won’t blame you if you want to amp up the heat…)
Back to the kitchen… Mardi Gras is coming up, right?
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