I don’t think I have ever put a proper Chinese dish on this blog. As I was born and bred in Hong Kong, I was brought up with Cantonese dishes. This could be very embarrassing for me, but I will have a go at explaining what are Cantonese dishes. I believe Canton is a historical term to describe a large region of South China which includes Hong Kong and Guangzhou. Local residents normally speak Cantonese and their dishes are called Canton dishes. Canton dishes are one of the eight traditions of Chinese cuisine, which includes Hakka dishes and Szechwan dishes. Most of the dishes in UK Chinese takeaway stores are usually based on Cantonese dishes.
However, home cooked Canton dishes are somewhat different from what you get in takeaway stores. As Canton is a very big region, some people move from a different region to Canton (or Hong Kong) many years ago. They improvised Canton dishes with their home town cuisine and therefore each household has a distinctive taste of Canton dishes. My best friend’s mom’s home town is Chiucho. I love going to her house for dinner as the dishes and tastes are completely different from my mom’s cooking (her home town is Hakka).
The following recipe is a well-known Canton dish. No matter which home town you are originally from, most people in the Canton region will know this dish and it will probably be one of the staple dishes at their home.
Steamed Pork Ribs in Garlic and Black Beans （蒜蓉豆鼓蒸排骨）
- 400g Pork Ribs (cubed, best ask the butcher to chop it for you as the rib bones are quite hard)
- 1/2tsp of Black Beans*
- 1tbsp of Oyster Sauce
- 1tbsp of Shaoxing Rice Wine
- 1/2tsp of Salt
- 1tbsp of Corn Flour
- 3 to 4 clove of Garlic (chopped)
- Small amount of Ginger (sliced)
- 1 to 2 chopped Chillies (optional)
- 1 Spring Onion for decoration
- Oil Stir Fry (I used tradition Chinese Peanut Oil)
- Marinate the ribs with Oyster Sauce, Rice Wine, Salt, Corn Flour and Ginger for 15 minutes (or longer if possible).
- Boil water in a pan.
- Heat small amount of oil in a pan and stir fry the Garlic and Black Beans for a couple of minutes (when you can smell the aroma, that’s the right time to turn off the heat).
- Pour the mixture (step 2) on to the Ribs and transfer the dish into the pan with boiling water, make sure the boiling water cannot get into the dish (see below picture as reference).
- Steam the dish for 10-15 minutes, turn the content every now and then to make sure all ribs are cooked thoroughly. You can add chopped Chillies now if you would like it to be a bit spicy.
*You can get Black Bean Sauce in most Supermarkets, but I think the ready made sauce is not as good as the sauce made from dried black beans. You can get dried black beans from most Chinese Supermarkets. I will quickly wash them before pan frying them.