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In this collaboration with Cosmic Cookware, I’m using the Cosmic Casserole pot to make a one-pot meal. Mummy suggested making the Chinese Braised Pork Ribs with Bitter Gourd, I think she was craving for it when she made the suggestions. So this recipe is my mummy’s recipe, tried-and-tested many times and my family all loves eating it with rice. It’s a timesaving dish, marinating the chopped pork ribs with seasonings and salted black beans for 30 minutes, using the same pot to cook over medium heat to bring it to boil and then simmer until the meat turns tender.
Bitter gourd is added as it really complements the salted black beans and it’s a very nutritious vegetable used commonly in Chinese cooking. The name bitter gourd is not without reason, it does have a bitter after taste, when cooked in a braised dish like this, the bitterness is completely downplayed. Adding it in the last 15 minutes of cooking the braised pork ribs makes the bitter gourd soft and tender in texture, and yet able to soak up enough of the braise sauce that makes it juicy.
Bitter gourd or literally translated into ‘bitter melon’ 苦瓜 is typically oblong in shape with ridges on the surface. It has a fresh green colour on the exterior while the flesh is a much paler beige. If you are eating it the first time, you’ll most likely not like it, just like many kids in Asian or Chinese families. I changed my mind about eating this melon because of its many healthy benefits. It’s low in calories, high in dietary fiber and contains vitamines and minerals. Bitter gourd is used usually in Chinese stews and stir fry dishes but it’s not uncommon to blend it into juices with other sweeter fruits.
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Chinese Braised Pork Ribs with Bitter Gourd 苦瓜焖排骨
- Wash the bitter gourd, cut bitter gourd into half, remove the middle soft portion and slice the bitter gourd into half-inches.
- Briefly rinse 30 g salted black beans, drain and set aside.30 g salted black beans
- Peel and slice 75g ginger. Peel and crush 5 cloves of garlic.75 g ginger, 5 cloves garlic
- Marinate 850g pork ribs with 1 tsp white pepper, 2 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tsp corn starch, 30 g salted black beans, garlic and ginger for 30 minutes in the casserole pot.850 g pork ribs, 1 tsp white pepper, 2 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tsp corn starch, 30 g salted black beans, 5 cloves garlic, 75 g ginger
- Start cooking pork ribs on medium heat in a pot and add 100ml water. Bring to boil, then simmer over reduced heat for 1.5-2 hours until tender. More moisture will be released from the meat but if it dries up, add more water.Note: always cover with a lid and stir every 15 minutes to ensure even cooking.100 ml water
- Add bitter gourd in the last 15 minutes and cook till softened.250 g bitter gourd
- Serve warm with rice.