I was supposed to cook fish for lunch and I had already found the perfect recipe for the two pieces of talakitok (trevally) but Alex was coming home and the two pieces of fish wouldn’t have been enough for Speedy, me and her.
Change of menu. Instead of the fish, I cooked a small rack of pork ribs. But I cooked it following the fish recipe that I originally planned to make. Well, I modified the recipe somewhat but I retained the combination of spices.
I browned the rack of ribs in a little oil, added the spices, broth and soy sauce and braised the meat until tender. The cooking liquid was re-seasoned and thickened with a little starch and poured over the ribs. Alex and Speedy had to wait for the better part of an hour after they got home because the pork wasn’t quite done. But the wait was worth it, I suppose, because nothing was left of the pork ribs with chili sauce by the time we were done with lunch.
- 1 rack pork ribs baby back or spare ribs, so long as they’re meaty, about 800 g.
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 4 to 6 bird’s eye chilis chopped
- 6 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 one-inch knob ginger chopped
- 1 and 1/2 cups bone broth (you may need more)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili paste
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon tapioca starch (or corn or potato starch) dispersed in 2 tbsps. of water
Rinse the meat and pat dry. Rub all over with salt and pepper.
Heat the cooking oil in a thick bottomed pan and swirl to coat the bottom entirely.
Lay the rack of ribs in the hot oil, the more fatty side down and cook over high heat until well browned. If your ribs are meaty on BOTH sides, you may want to flip the meat over and brown the opposite side too. Mine was meaty on one side only so I dispensed with the flipping.
Add the chilis, garlic and ginger. Pour in the broth and soy sauce. Bring to the boil, cover tightly and simmer for an hour to an hour and a half or until the meat is very tender.
Transfer the meat to a cutting board, tent loosely with foil and allow to cool slightly while preparing the sauce.
Pour the cooking liquid, and all the spices, into the blender. You’ll need about half a cup; if you have less, add more broth. Pulse a few times to cut the spices into small (but not indiscernible) pieces.
Pour the cooking liquid back into the pan. Stir in the chili paste and hoisin sauce and heat until simmering. Slowly pour in the starch solution and cook for three to four minutes until the sauce is clear and thickened.
Cut the meat between the bones and arrange on a platter. Pour the sauce over and around it. Sprinkle with your choice of greens (scallions, cilantro or parsley) and serve hot.