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Spare Ribs with Black Beans & Chili
China - Hunan
  -   dou chi la jiao zheng pai gu
2 main  
1 hr  
A bit of a different take on spare ribs, and with enough sauce to be considered a main dish with rice rather than an appetizer. In hard working Hunan a half tablespoon of lard would be added to the topping but that's a bit excessive for our information processing culture.

Pork Spare Ribs (1)  
Ginger root
Soy Sauce
Rice Wine (2)
Black Beans (3)
Chili flake (4)
  1. Separate PORK RIBS and cut into lengths of 1-1/2 to 2 inches. A sharp Chinese cleaver knife driven by a soft faced mallet is perfect for this. Remove all excess fat.
  2. Bring plenty of Water to a high boil, add the ribs and let blanch for around 3 minutes. Rinse and drain well.
  3. Slice GINGER very thin crosswise and chop fine.
  4. Rinse the BLACK BEANS and very lightly crush them.
  5. Mix Ribs with Soy Sauce, Rice Wine and Ginger. Place in a shallow heatproof bowl that fits in your steamer (see photo page) and top with Black Beans and Chili Flakes. You should be fairly liberal with the chili flakes, particularly if using Korean.
  6. Arrange the bowl in your steamer. Bring to a boil uncovered (this cuts down the amount of water that will gather in the bowl). Cover the steamer and steam over fairly rapidly boiling water for about 45 minutes, making sure you don't run out of water.
  7. Mix up contents of the bowl well (it will have gathered a fair amount of water) and serve hot with rice.
  1. Spare Ribs:   Weight is after removing all excess fat, but with bone and cartilage in.
  2. Rice Wine:   Use a good, drinkable Chinese rice wine, not that horrid salted "cooking" version. If you don't have this, use a Dry Sherry. Sake is made from rice but is not considered a good substitute. For details see our Chinese Rice Wine page.
  3. Black Beans:   These are salty fermented black soybeans sold in plastic bags and cylindrical paper boxes in any market serving an East or Southeast Asian community. For details see our Fermented Black Beans page.
  4. Chili Flake:   Easily available Korean chili flake works well enough though a bit mild. Crushed dried red de Arbols or Thai chilis are good for hotter. For details see our Chili Page.
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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