Sunday, October 28, 2012

sparing a moment

by Lisa

Reading this blog inspired me to post more regularly.*

That's what I said the last time, and while there's no promise that I really mean it this time, I can always try. Was it Luther who said that all of life is repentance? Turning around, getting up again and going?

Well, here goes.

I've been really grateful that lately I've been exploring more Asian food. I think that cooking for the kids has made me focus more on comfort foods, things that go well with rice. I realize that I really don't know anything about cooking Chinese food, so when I do make something good (even just a stir-fried broccoli) I'm ridiculously proud of myself. So, today I bring you dim sum style spare ribs. So unphotogenic. But so delicious!

Super easy to make, too. If you don't have a steamer (bamboo or metal), you can always buy the steamer racks (less than $1) you put at the bottom of a wok or dutch oven or big pot. And if you are a cheap student who doesn't even have that, you can - under such dire circumstances - prop up your dish with some chopsticks, or a corelle bowl or ramekin turned upside down. There are ways to get around this. Don't let anything stop you from steaming these delicious ribs.

Cantonese Style Spare-ribs
from Steamy Kitchen

1.5 lbs** pork spare ribs, cut into 1-1 1/2 inch pieces
2 T black bean sauce (or ground bean paste)
1 T Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry or vermouth) 
2-3 slices ginger, grated (microplane is the best!)

2 cloves garlic, minced (or grated, while you're at it)
1 t each, sesame and regular vegetable oil
1 t sugar
1 t salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 t cornstarch

Mix all ingredients besides the ribs together in the bottom of a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the ribs and coat with the marinade. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. (Or an hour if you want to squeeze in an episode of Psych, like I did.) Fill up your steamer with plenty of water and bring to a boil. Transfer the ribs to a 9" glass pie pan (or something similar) and place in steamer. Bring temperature down to medium or medium high, so that it's getting good steam but isn't overdone. Let steam for 20-30 minutes, until ribs are no longer pink. (Or an hour if you want to squeeze in another hour of Psych, like I did.) Remove from steamer and serve with a piping hot, fluffly Jasmine rice - the kind you want to lay your head down in like a pillow.

In closing randomness, something to make my mother-in-law proud:

baby's breath in a gravy boat!

* I told David I thought we should try to blog EVERY night, and post together. But I'm not sure we can follow-through with that, so we'll try blogging together - but in our separate places - and if we can commit, we'll go for it! I guess you guys can encourage us with your comments. :)

**Or 4+ lbs, like I had, and eyeball the math for multiplying all the rest of the ingredients proportionately. You know I always cook for 20.


Molly said...

A blog post from my favorite Seattle-ite (word?)! What a lovely thing to read while enjoying my morning coffee! I'm excited to hear more from you!

Stephanie said...

YAY. Also, I want those spareribs. This makes me miss you...kind of so much it hurts