Monday, January 24, 2011

Jing Du Ribs

Jing Du ribs

As the person who cooks and plans the meals, my family's diet and eating habits are in my hands.  I can pander to their tastes and cook all the unhealthy food they want, or I can stand firm and make teach them to eat healthy food. I admit that as an indulgent mom, I am guilty of feeding what must amount by now to 50 pork bellies to my son Wey. He was a skinny scrawny kid who was so thin he had dark circles under his eyes. Then one day, he discovered pork belly and samgyubsal and that was all he ate. Every dinner. I didn't mind because samgyubsal is so easy to prepare. I learnt a long time ago as a young mother that if a kid is a picky eater and likes a certain food, let him have it until he tires of it. If you control him, he'll fight you and the food/diet fight can last until he leaves the house. It worked with every new food the kids liked but Wey's love for pork belly looks like an eternal one.

I am thankful that years ago, my boys both gave up all fizzy drinks. I didn't make them. They just decided one day that they didn't like the taste of sweetened canned and bottled drinks and quit drinking them. I often told them that fizzy drinks are bad but didn't stop them from drinking them. If I did, maybe they would've been defiant. The only time they find fizzy drinks in my house is when I have a dinner party. Years ago Hub stopped me from serving fizzy drinks to friends because "if they are bad for us, they are bad for anyone" so I served juice instead. Now that juice is considered the new bad drink (gives you tooth decay and extra calories--you'd drink an equivalent of 5 to 6 oranges in one tall glass, so 10 to 12 oranges in two glasses, but would you eat that many oranges in one go? Juices also deprives you of fibre), I boldly serve water only.  Maybe kids think that I am one stingy aunty but I know I'm doing them a favor.

For health and responsibility to the environment, we've been eating mostly veggies the last three weeks and enjoying the lighter and healthier meals. I decided a few days ago that we have paid our dues and can afford to have some meat in our bodies.

Jing du pork ribs is a classic ribs dish in China and I've always wanted to cook it.The recipe is from a fantastic Chinese cookbook, Nostalgia Chinese Cuisine. The ribs were very good and the only negative comment was from Hub ("Strong herbal flavor and too sweet"), but the rest of the family gave their thumbs up. Frankly, this dish requires too much work. Better to eat it at restaurants.

Jing Du Ribs

1 kg pork spare ribs, cut into 10 cm/4" lengths

1. Marinade ribs with 1 T light soy sauce and 1/2 t dark soy sauce.
2. Deep-fry ribs in hot oil until golden in color.
3. Put ribs into a steaming plate and mix in the following:

1 stalk spring onion, tied into a bundle
50g ginger, smashed lightly
3 (4 original recipe) star anises
1 cinnamon stick
5 cloves
1/2 T (1 T original recipe) cumin
2 (3 originally) slices licorice (gan chao)
1 t sugar
1 T dark soy sauce
1 T light soy sauce
1 cup water

4. Steam ribs 45 minutes under high heat until meat is tender. Lift out the ribs, keep the stock.
5. Deep-fry ribs in hot oil for 5 minutes, remove. (I skipped this step because of the extra oil and work but re-frying the ribs after steaming will give extra flavor and the ribs will look better)
6. Mix the following in a pot or wok:

200 ml of the retained stock
1 T concentrated orange juice (or use 1/2 T plum sauce)
2 T tomato sauce
1 T chili sauce (I omitted this)
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T HP sauce
2 T sugar (reduced from 3 T)
1 T shaoxing hua tioa wine

7. Boil the sauce under high heat until it is thick. Add the ribs and continue to boil, tossing well, until all the sauce is evaporated. Serve hot.


dinewithleny said...

Woah this looks so yummy...i must try this but maybe skip the frying part, too scared of the popping oil. I love pork ribs and pork belly. But being aware that it's unhealthy i only cook them 1-2 times a month and on special occasions like CNY...must have mui choy kau yoke for CNY as a hakka...=)....If only it's fat free...ahhaha...I'm drooling over all your recipes...keep them coming please....

Jess @ Bakericious said...

looks so yummy!

Sabrina Dai Shan said...

I LOVE JING DU RIBS. I'm really lucky I have a mum who makes them as well. Ming is one lucky kid! THere's another taiwanese rib recipe. Fried and tossed in garlicky sweet sauce. =D

terri@adailyobsession said...

leny: tt's strange bc you're not the forst one to tell me tt hakka koe yuk is with muyi choi. i always thought mu choi koe yuk is a cantonese dish bc my parents are the only ones who cook mui choi koe yuk for CNy while all my friends, esp the hakkas, eat taro koe yuk during CNY. then i met my in-laws n they too cook mui choi koe yuk so it think it's a chinese dish, no matter where:)

jess: it's not bad. just too sweet i think

sabrina: wow, sweet garlicy sauce sounds yum. any recipe?
ming's been gaining too much weight...

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