Short Pork Ribs Braised in Soy Sauce

Recently I have been more enthusiastic about pork ribs than before. 

Asian grocery stores in Houston area are very customer-friendly.  They sell pre-cut pork ribs in the shape of long thin strips so that you don’t have to go through all the trouble to cut them yourself.  They also help to custom cut the meat of your choice.  Such a life saver! O(∩_∩)O~

I always bring back a few rib strips from my trip to Asian grocery stores.  What I am cooking today is short pork ribs braised in soy sauce. Yum!

Ingredients:

2 strips of pork ribs (baby back /spare ribs cut into long thick strips.  Two weigh about 1lb.  )
1 small piece of ginger root, sliced
1/4 low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon crushed rock sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons rice cooking wine
2 to 3 star anises
3 to 4 cloves
2 bay leaves
boiling water
salt to taste

 

Directions:

star anises are really amazingly beautiful.

With a sharp kitchen knife, cut the ribs into one by one inch pieces.  Soak in cold water for 4 to 5 hours.  Change the water a few times in between.  

Heat a cast iron wok over medium heat.  Add ribs, with the fatty side down.  Flip over when they are golden brown. 

Add crushed rock sugar.  Sauté the sugar with ribs together.  The sugar will melt quickly and coat the ribs with amber color syrup.

Rock sugar is an essential ingredient in Asian cooking.  It is always available in Asian grocery store.  When unavailable, it can be substituted with regular cane sugar.

Add boiling water, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rice cooking wine, sliced ginger root, star anises, cloves and bay leaves. 

Cook over high heat until the broth boils.  Cover with lid and reduce the heat to simmer for about 40 minutes. 

Turn the heat back to high.  Add salt to taste. 

As the broth evaporates, the ribs are getting more and more beautifully golden brown.

Remove from the heat when there is no extra liquid in the wok. 

Serve hot immediately.

The ribs have been simmered and braised for almost an hour.  So they are tender and juicy; sweet and savory all at the same time.  It is full of comfort food flavors. 

Smoked Sausage with Pork, Beef and Cheese

中文菜谱: 奶酪熏肠

After smoking ducks, chickens, ribs and beef briskets, I finally move on to sausages!  The electric smoker is truly a great addition to my kitchen O(∩_∩)O~

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Ingredients:

2 pounds pork belly
1 pound beef chuckeye
2 tablespoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon of your favorite grill seasoning ( I use McCormick Montreal steak seasoning
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly grinded black pepper
1 to 2 teablespoons brown sugar
1/3 to 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
1 to 2 teaspoons corn starch
salt to taste
chicken stock/ water(about 1cup)
sausage casing

Directions:

Dice up pork belly and beef chuckeye.  Finely grind them together with a meat grinder

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Add paprika, ground ginger, onion powder, garlic powder, grill seasoning, black pepper, brown sugar, parmesan cheese, corn starch and salt.

With a pair of chopsticks or wooden spoon, whisk clockwise until the meat mixture becomes sticky and elastic.  Add chicken stock / water in between little by little.  Make sure all the liquid is absorbed before adding more stock. 

Switch meat grinder attachment to sausage stuffing attachment.

Prepare sausage casing

Start stuffing sausage

Use a thin bamboo stick to aerate the sausage.  By doing so, we can get rid of extra air bubbles inside the sausage to make sure even cooking and they will not explore during cooking process.

Preheat the smoker to 225F/107C

Add sausage.

3 to 4 hours later.  Aren’t they pretty?

The sausages are golden brown, smoky, a bit crunchy and crispy on the outside, but very tender and juicy on the inside.  All the spices in there and parmesan cheese are the reason how the sausages get so flavorful. O(∩_∩)O~

Spicy Ground Beef with Diced Dried Tofu

中文菜谱:

香辣牛肉豆干酱

The spicy ground beef here is more like spicy meat sauce.  It is not served as an independent entrée or appetizer in our house.  Instead it is used as a condiment or topping in rice and noodles. 

In China, there is a long time tradition to make meat sauce with heavy dose of salt and oil, in some areas chili peppers too.   The original purpose in doing so is to preserve meat and other food ingredients when food was scarce.  However, as time goes by, people get attached to this type of food.  Pick any Asian grocery store you like.  Go in there.  You will see so many different varieties of chili oil sauces, meat pepper sauces and pickles on the shelves.

Sometimes I buy meaty sauce from my favorite Asian grocery stores.  Other times I like spending time in kitchen whipping up my own special spicy meat oil sauce. 

I usually add spicy ground beef to the freshly homemade noodles as a topping.  The flavor is enhanced and the noodles are so much more appetizing  O(∩_∩)O~

Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef (95% or 100% lean)
2 gloves of garlic, peeled and finely diced
1 small piece of ginger root, fine chopped
2 tablespoons rice cooking wine
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
1/4  to 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup Pixian chili paste
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns
1/3 to 1/2 cup crushed red chili pepper/ cayenne pepper
salt to taste
1/2 cup of cooking oil
1 package of dried seasoned tofu (weighs around 200g.  Usually sold in fridge section in Asian grocery stores)

Directions:

Dice the dried tofu.

Heat a light weight cast iron wok over high heat.  Add oil, and then ground beef, along with chopped ginger and garlic. 

Stir fry the beef until it turns slightly golden brown. 

Reduce the heat to medium low.  Add rice cooking wine, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, Pixian chili paste, oyster sauce, ground Sichuan peppercorns, crushed red chili pepper/ cayenne pepper.

Sauté the mixture over medium low heat for 8 to 10 minutes

Add diced tofu.  Season with salt.

And then continue to sauté for another 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove from heat

The spicy ground beef can be stored in Ball Mason jars in the fridge for up to a week.

It goes really great with noodle soup and steamed white rice.

I posted how to make noodles at home before: Homemade Noodles in Thick Pork Broth  

Cook the noodles in boiling water for 45 seconds to one minute.  Add to a bowl, along with soy sauce, sesame oil, Sichuan peppercorn oil, chili oil sauce, spicy ground beef with dice tofu, finely shredded cucumber, chopped cilantro, green onion, and of course, crunchy soybeans.

Crunchy soybeans was posted recently: Crunchy Soybeans

Use pair of chopsticks to toss everything together.

Bon appetite! O(∩_∩)O~

Fire Grilled Pork Belly and Beef Short Ribs

Fire grilled is food is one of my biggest additions O(∩_∩)O~   It is also my guilty pleasure as well as comfort food.

On the top of my grilling list are beef short ribs, steaks and pork belly.  They all have something in common.  They are high in fat and loaded with rich meaty flavors.  When grilled with as simple seasonings as sea salt and black pepper, you still get that amazing meaty and a bit of smoky flavors.

For grilled beef short ribs:

1 package of sliced beef short ribs (weighs about 1 and 1/2 lbs)
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt to taste
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1/4 teaspoon sugar

 

For grilled pork belly:

1 package of thick cut pork belly (weighs about 1 lb)
1 to 2 tablespoons rice cooking wine
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt to taste

Directions:

Rinse the short ribs and pork belly under running water.  Pat dry with kitchen paper towel.

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Thick cut pork belly with ribs is usually available in Asian grocery stores.

Add beef short ribs and seasonings to a medium bowl.  Mix with hand or a wooden spoon.

Cut pork belly into smaller pieces and mix them with seasonings too.

Preheat the grill to 425F/218C

Add beef short ribs and pork belly

Pork belly is very high in fat and there will be a lot of greasy drippings.  So don’t go away when you are grilling pork belly.  It gets burnt pretty quickly if you don’t keep a close eye on the grill.

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Pork belly pieces are sizzling on the grill and color turns gold brown.

Meanwhile, beef short ribs are looking good too

Grab a cold beer, pull up a chair and let’s eat! O(∩_∩)O~

Roasted Pork Shank Braised in Soy Sauce

Pork shank is a tasty part that has been overlooked by most people.  Just like lamb shank, pork shank is consisted of tough tissues and muscles.  It takes a long braising & simmering time to finally break them down.

There is not much meat on pork shank and hock compared to other parts from pigs.  But once cooked properly, pork shank become soft and tender with a slight gelatinous texture.  I take it further by roasting pork hock after it is done braising in soy sauce for a couple hours. 

Roasting under high temperature tightens the pork skin and meat under.  Pork shank and hock get more gelatinous and a bit chewy, in a good way of course.  That great meaty flavor is intensified.  Wow, I just like it so much!

I posted how to braise pork hock before.  It is one of the most traditional ways to cook pork hocks in China. 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 small pork shank  (weighs about 3 pounds)
1/3 cup of soy sauce
2 to 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 to 3 tablespoon rock sugar
1/4 cup rice cooking wine
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 piece of ginger root, smashed
1 spice & herb bag, recipe followed
water for cooking and simmering
salt to taste
cayenne pepper powder
ground cumin
roasted white sesame seeds
chopped green onion



Ingredients for spice & herb bag:

3 to 4 star anises
1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper corns
1 black cardamom pod, smashed
4 to 5 cloves
3 to 4 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried ginger
a handful of dried red chili peppers, cut into pieces
1 small piece of cinnamon bark
1 clove of garlic

 

Directions:

Add star anises, Sichuan peppercorns, cardamom, dried ginger, cloves, bay leaves, chili peppers to a piece of coffee filter paper.  Wrap and tie it up to be a spice bag.

I always buy pork shank/ hock from Asian grocery stores.  There is a bigger selection there.  And you can even get extra help from meat department to make custom cuts. 

Rinse the pork shank under running water.  Cook in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Discard the water and fill the pot with fresh clean water and add the shank along with spice bag, rice cooking wine, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rock sugar, oyster sauce and ginger. 

Cook over high heat until water boils.

Cover with lid.  Reduce the heat to simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  And cooking time may be adjusted according to pork shank’s size and personal preferences.

This Le Creuset 4 3/4 quarts soup pot is perfect for brasing.  More importantly it is a beautiful pot too. O(∩_∩)O~

Season with salt and continue to cook over high heat until there is no extra liquid in the pot. Stir with wooden spoon from time to time.

Preheat a toaster oven to 425F/218C.  Transfer pork shank to a cast iron pan lined with parchment paper

Roast for about 20 minutes.  The golden brown color darkens a bit.  The meaty flavor is more intense. 

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Continue roasting for another 10 to 20 minutes.

Carefully take the whole pan out of oven.

Sprinkle with cayenne powder, ground cumin, roasted sesame seeds and chopped onion.

And now go grab yourself a cold beer and then dig in! O(∩_∩)O~