Author Notes: It was the first time visiting Jess and Fang’s new home, in Beijing. This whole time the beautiful Jess has been rambling about Fang’s love of cooking, which made me very excited when we were invited over for lunch. I always love a good story, and as he was serving these pork ribs, he was taking me back to the moment when he had his first taste of this dish in Yunnan and was so inspired that he recreated this at home. Obviously, I too got inspired; the moment I got back here, the first thing was going to Chinatown to get me a jar of Chinese fermented bean curd.
I love the slow-cooking method and the simplicity of ingredients, bringing out the most important flavours in this dish: the meat, fermented bean curd, and the aromatic sesame oil. Fang demonstrated by taking the ribs out of the soup and dipping it in the sauce. I’m lazy, instead I pour the sauce into the cooked pork-ribs.
What do you do with the rest of the stock? Add a bit of salt and you have a beautiful soup to accompany the meal. Also, I love adding some fried tofu to the dish to soak in the sauce. —FrancesRenHuang
Serves 2 as a side dish
- 2 pounds pork ribs
- 3 cups water
- 3 slices of fresh ginger
- 1 anise
- 1 tablespoon chinese cooking wine
- 1 daikon, peeled and sliced 1 inch thickness
- 1 sprig of green onion
- 2/3 cup stock
- 2 cubes of Chinese fermented bean curd
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon raw cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon good quality sesame oil
- cilantro for garnish
- Wash pork ribs, and blanch in boiling water to remove scum; refill the pot with ribs, water, ginger, anise, green onion, wine and simmer in low heat for 1 hour (continue to spoon the scums to keep stock clear); throw in daikon in the next hour and cook until daikon is cooked, or pork is almost falling out the bone. Strain the ribs (a few daikons) onto a serving plate
- In a separate bowl, mix in the stock, fermented bean curd, salt, sugar, and sesame oil; taste and adjust to your sweetness or saltness, pour it onto the ribs, and toss it gently in the sauce.
- Let the dish sit in room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice.