Sunday, November 3, 2013

Ginger Braised Pork Spare Ribs (serves 3-4 as part of a shared meal)

ginger braised pork spare ribs
Once in a great while my mother would make this rib dish for our family and it is always so delicious. Our family prefers to eat this with fresh herbs, fresh vegetables (such as cucumber, tomato, or lettuce) or steamed vegetables.  We like to dip the vegetables in the sauce to balance out the saltiness. You can have your butcher cut the ribs into 1-inch pieces. The Asian markets usually carry these already cut into strips in a package.  All you have to do is cut the long pieces between the bones to make this dish.  

Pork fat is very bad for your health--over time it can raise your bad cholesterol and clog your arteries, increasing your chance for many health problems and premature death. Be sure to trim off as much fat as you can before you use the ribs.  Once you have completed cooking, remove the ribs in a bowl. Carefully scoop the top clear layer and discard it in the trash--this is the fat.  If you have a fat or gravy separator you can use this to get rid of the fat layer.  Another great method is to keep the liquid or sauce in a refrigerator overnight and remove/discard the white condensed layer the next day. The latter method is something my mother used decades before everyone got excited and concerned about cholesterol.

Ginger Braised Pork Spare Ribs (serves 3-4 as part of a shared meal)

Ingredients:

2 lbs pork ribs (have the butcher cut into 1 inch pieces), washed and dried
1/2 C thinly julienned ginger (or cut a piece about 2-3 times thumb size)
1/2 C cold water
2 large garlic cloves, smashed and finely minced
3 Tbsp oyster sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sugar
Ground black pepper, garnish (optional)

Method:

1) In a small cast iron or pot heat oil over medium high heat.
2) Once the pot is hot add ginger and garlic, saute for about 4 minutes.
3) Add the ribs, saute for about 5 minutes.
4) Add 1/2 cup water and cover the pan.  May turn the heat down to medium low or low.  Cook for another 10 minutes, stir a few times.  At this stage you may cook longer depending on how soft you want your meat.
5) Add oyster sauce and sugar.  Stir and cook partially uncovered for another 5 minutes to reduce the sauce.

ginger braised pork spare ribs, steamed vegetables and rice

*You can add 1-2 whole hot chili peppers to the beginning of the cooking process if interested.
*Use as little or as much ginger as you prefer.  I like this dish with a lot of ginger.  You can make this dish without ginger.  
*If you already have high cholesterol you can make this dish using the leanest pork instead of ribs.
*Cast iron pots retain the heat well and you may have to lower the heat when cooking, especially when covering the pot.

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