We went for a short holiday to China, and one of the places we visited was Wuxi, literally meaning 'No tin', in the Jiangzu province. It's an arts and cultural centre famous for its clay figures, Yixing pots and the many mountains and lakes and one of them is the beautiful 'Tai Hu'.
An item on the itinerary was a visit to a movie world, where they film the Chinese epics, and there were Chinese junkboats and palaces of some dynasties. What impressed us most was the live show of a battle field, with Mongolian herdsmen on horseback, fighting with spears and it was a show performed by stuntsmen who acted in movies. It was there that we saw a lot of vacuum packed Wuxi Pork ribs on sale. Well, some of our tour members bought them after a long haggling over the exorbitant opening prices. Upon venturing into the city, later on our own, at leisure, we discovered that Wuxi Pork ribs is their speciality, a sort of signature dish, and of course the prices were much cheaper than those on sale at the movie world.
I have senior citizens in my humble abode, who do not possess strong biting power, so I must cook them real soft and tender, otherwise ........ and also try to strain off the excess oil from the gravy
I'm going to serve this dish with Mantou, Chinese steamed bun, which is a staple food in the Northern parts of China, where wheat, rather than rice is grown. It's made with wheat flour, water, leavening agents and they can be steamed or fried, just as how it's eaten as bread in the West.
Served with steamed Mantou ...... Dip the Mantou into the gravy ............... Yummy
Recipe for Wuxi Pork Ribs
- 750 gm Pork Ribs - cut into 3 inches slices
- 30 gm Spring Onions
- 10 gm Fresh Ginger - sliced
- 3 Star Anise
- 3 inches Cinnamon stick
- 1/2 Teasp freshly ground Black Pepper
- 20 gm Rock Sugar
- 1/3 cup Shaoxing wine
- 1 Tablespoon Light soya sauce
- 1/2 Tablespoon Dark soya sauce
- 5 cups water
- Salt to taste
- 1 Teasp Cornflour
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 Teasp Sesame Oil
- Fill half the wok with water, add in the spring onions (whole). Once the water starts to boil, remove the spring onions and tie them into a knot, set aside.
- Add in the washed pork ribs, blanch for a while, and remove to drain on a colander.
- Discard the water.
- Then in the wok, add pork ribs, wine, light and dark soya sauces, ginger slices, star anise, cinnamon stick, rock sugar, ground black pepper, knotted spring onions, salt and 5 cups of water.
- Cover the wok and cook under medium heat for about an hour or so, until the meat is soft and tender.
- Thicken the gravy with the cornflour and water. Add in the sesame oil.
- Serve immediately with hot steaming Mantou and some greens.