Sunday, May 27, 2012

Steamed Pork Ribs with Salted Plums & Bean Paste Sauce

Steamed pork ribs with salted plums and bean paste sauce is a dish I really like. I love the sweet tenderness and juiciness of the pork ribs coupled with the slightly sour taste of the sauce. Today I love it but I remember the first time I tasted it I found the sour and sweet flavour quite peculiar.
I like to add fresh chilli as well as a spicy type of bean paste to give it a fiery taste.

Steamed pork ribs with salted plums and bean paste sauce

This is a very popular recipe and I guess almost every family in Hong Kong knows how to make it. As you will see this is very easy to prepare:

  • 300g (~1/2 catty) pork ribs
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 Tablespoon of sugar
  • 3 salted plums (pitted and smashed)
  • 2 Tablespoons of fermented bean paste 
  1. Cut the pork ribs into bite-size pieces.
  2. Prepare marinade: mix well all ingredients.
  3. Add pork pieces in the marinade and stir well.
  4. Set aside for ½ hour.
  5. Place pork ribs with marinade in heat-proof dish.
  6. Steam the pork ribs for ~ 15-30 minutes or until done.
  7. Serve with chopped red chilli on top.
Enjoy this dish piping hot served with a bowl of steamed white rice.

You can prepare your own sauce (like in the above recipe) by mixing salted plums (sold separately in small bags or in glass jars) and fermented bean paste (mihn-sih- 麺豉) together. Alternatively you can buy a pre-packaged sauce.
I like to make the sauce myself and replace mihn-sih with dauh-báan-jeung 豆瓣醬 which is another type of bean paste. As I already mentioned I particularly like the spicy (laaht -) kind (with chilli) called laaht-dauh-báan-jeung 辣豆瓣醬.

The sauce is so delicious that I can’t stop spooning more of it all over my bowl of steamed rice!  I know this is quite a rich (= fat) sauce ;) but you can either eat less (my choice) or remove the fat from the ribs.

Salted plums咸水梅 hàahm-séui-muìh
Pack of fermented bean paste - mihn-sih in Cantonese {麺豉} (HK$2)

Mihn-sih (beans are not completely mashed)

Fermented bean paste - dauh-báan-jeung 豆瓣酱
The above (see photo) fermented bean paste is called dauh-báan-jeung - 豆瓣酱 in Cantonese. It literally means: bean - segments [as the beans are not completely mashed] - sauce.  There is a spicy and a non-spicy type.

Stall selling condiments and sauces at the wet market

Those little plastic bags - you can see on the above photo - hung from hooks with individual orange name & price tags are prepared sauces and condiments. The quantity is just enough for one dish which is very convenient: 1) if you don’t want to store too many things at home and 2) if you are not planning to use very often this produce.

Pre-mixed mashed salted plums and bean paste (mihn-sih- 麺豉)

Pre-packaged sauce: salted plums with bean paste

I hope you will try this dish and most of all like it. If you do, let me know. ;) Enjoy! 

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