Uncle Tan who is a chef and an old family friend made these braised pork ribs for a party. The brother and the father raved about the ribs. For days all they talked about was how juicy and tender the ribs were. Anyway, Uncle Tan very generously passed us the recipe. He even bought the pork ribs and the necessary spices. We are just so lucky to have friends like him. A good deed begets another. Thus with Uncle Tan's blessings, here is the recipe to share with everyone. You will need to get your own ingredients though : )
Uncle Tan's Braised Pork Ribs
1kg pork ribs or soft bone (cut into 5cm pieces with fats trimmed off)
2 tbsp oil
40g galangal (smashed with the back of a knife)
40g ginger (smashed with the back of a knife)
1 tsp coriander powder
2 sticks cinnamon (each stick about 5cm)
2 star anise
1tbsp bean paste
12 cloves garlic (leave skin intact)
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
water or stock
Place pork ribs in a colander, pour boiling water over it and drain well. The purpose here is to clean the pork ribs and gets rid of any gaminess.
Heat up oil in a sturdy pot, ideally a clay pot. Add the galangal, ginger, coriander powder, cinnamon, star anise and bean paste. Fry the aromatics over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Bring up the heat, add the pork ribs to the pot and continue frying for 5 more minutes. If it gets too dry and the spices are starting to blacken, sprinkle some water in the pot.
Add garlic, dark soy sauce and sugar to the pot and mix well. Pour in enough water or stock to just cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to very low, cover and cook for about 2 hours until the meat is tender and falling off the bone. What I do is to transfer the pot from the gas stove to an electric hot plate for the simmering. Lift the lid once or twice to skim off scum and oil. Otherwise resist all temptations to open the lid.
Remove the spices and garlic by running the sauce through a strainer. Skim off oil. Bring the gravy to a boil and add more dark soy sauce and/or sugar according to taste. Something I do which is optional is to add a little corn or potato starch to thicken and add a sheen to the sauce.
Pour the sauce back onto the ribs and serve with rice or noodles.