I love heirloom recipes — they become your baseline when you develop your skills in the kitchen. They serve as a good barometer for the dishes you will create on your own, not to mention, the inspiration that can be drawn from them. Lucky are those who have been exposed early on to wonderful home cooked meals.
Heirloom recipes are generally passed on from one generation to the next and I think more than the technical skills needed in cooking, it is the stories that make the dishes even more significant and memorable.
One of my favorite heirloom recipes that my mom taught me is Spare Ribs In Tausi Sauce. I love it. The sauce is a meal on its own. My mom would prepare this frequently enough to etch a mark in my memory.
I guess that is the other thing in cooking: consistency. When one makes a particular dish consistently, it is bound to create memories later on. Hence, it is always good to keep on trying new dishes and recipes, to play around the extent of their palate so you’ll see which one your family will like.
In my case, this recipe has always been a favorite — an homage to my Asian roots and the affinity to anything savory and saucy.
Enjoy this recipe and have fun discovering your own family heirloom recipes.
1.5kg spare ribs (special cut)
5 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp rice wine
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp chili garlic sauce
100g black beans in tausi sauce (fermented black beans)
green/spring onions or coriander/cilantro/wansuy
1. Sauté garlic in oil.
2. Add the spare ribs and sear until the juices come out. Simmer on low fire.
3. Add the seasonings: sesame oil, rice wine, soy sauce and chili garlic sauce.
4. Wash and drain the fermented black beans on running water to remove the saltiness. Add to spare ribs.
5. Prepare your slurry. Add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to your 2 tablespoons of water. You want the sauce to be thick but not gravy thick. Adjust water to the slurry as needed.
6. Once tender, garnish with either spring onions or cilantro. Serve hot
– Get the special cut of spare ribs from your butcher for an optimal food experience.
– Garnish with either spring onions or cilantro.
– You can adjust the spice level as desired, play around with your chili garlic sauce.
– To veganize this dish, replace the spare ribs with fried tofu.
Yield: About 6 to 8 servings
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