Cooking Pork Ribs in London (A note to my daughters)

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

By now, you know that you can cook comforting and homey Singaporean/Malaysian dishes in London. 

You should of course use the freshest meats and produce that one can find. I mean, just buy UK. You don't need to go to a shop in Chinatown for this. Sainsbury, M&S etc will work fine. These days, they do carry a good variety of ingredients that you can use to recreate some of the dishes you grew up with.  

I love buying pork in London. It taste great and it is half the price of that sold in Singapore. So, let's start with pork ribs.

Pork ribs is muscle meat. Coupled with being attach to the bone, which is a poor heat conductor, longer braising is necessary to tenderise the meat. For a kg of pork ribs, I will say about 45 to 60 mins will suffice  for braising in a pot. 

The idea is simple. First you assemble your sauce in a bowl. Mix in the ingredients till you are happy with the taste. You will cook the pork ribs in this sauce, plus another bowl of water. 

What sauce do you like? Think of savoury (salty), sweet or spicy. Add some acidity if you like, i.e. black vinegar. Add some wine. 

For this starter recipe, I will suggest some ingredients which are already in your larder. 

Start with 1 kg of pork ribs (can be 700-800 gm too). Try to cut them into about 2 inch in size if possible. Unless you have a butcher helping you, most times, you will have to cook with larger pieces. 

For the Sauce:

2 tsp of hoisin sauce (sweet and savory)
1 tsp of plum sauce (sweet and tangy)
2 tsp of light soy sauce
1 tsp of dark sauce
1 bowl of water

Some cloves of garlic with skin on
2 tablespoon of oil
2 inch ginger, blend

Garnish: Diced Spring onion and/or coriander leafs

  1. Heat up the oil in the pot
  2. Add the ginger and garlic. Stir. 
  3. Add the sauce ingredients. Stir.
  4. Then add the pork ribs. Stir and mix. About 2 minutes or so. 
  5. Add the water. When boxing, turn down the heat to a low simmer. 
  6. Simmer for 45 minutes or more till pork is tender enough for a fork to go through easily. Watch the water level and you may have to add some to avoid burning the meat.
Serve warm. Enjoy it with rice. Garnish before serving. 

This is just the basic idea. You can vary the sauces you use. You can cook it with greens like green pepper, sliced of onions, jalapeño chillies, leek or broccoli. Depending on the cooking time for the veg, you can add them halfway. The long shallots from Sainsbury is cheap and good and I will cut some chunks and add to the dish. Dried chillies can also spice up the dish. I love the UK garlic too. 

I have not talked about caramelisation towards the end but there are ways to level up the dish if you wish too. Maybe another post. You can certainly make Char Siew Pork Ribs. Nai Nai do have a recipe on that and I will share that soon. 

I will use a pic of the Buah Keluak Pork Ribs which I cooked recently in your apartment. Forget about Buah Keluak though as I don't think you can get them in London. But you do have many other lovely ingredients you can use. 

Below are some photos from the Nonya party we threw in London. I will talk about cooking Nasi Ulam and Sambal Udang at another time. 

Happy cooking...and eating. 


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