Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Slow Cooker Hakka Style Chinese Ribs with Red Bean Curd

As I mentioned in previous postings, I grew up in the Caribbean in a multicultural setting. My best childhood friend was of Hakka Chinese ancestry. I became accustomed to this style of Chinese cooking, with its myriad flavors and multidimensional sauces. This is why other styles of Chinese cooking, especially Northern style cooking appears very bland to my palate. The unique flavor of this dish comes from the fermented Red Bean Curd.

Instead of cooking this in a wok, I did it in a slow cooker. That way I just set it, and forget it! Step 6 is very important as the sauce is too delicious to be wasted.


2 1/2 lbs pork ribs, cut into bite-sized pieces (I use Pork Loin Back Rib Tips or Oriental cut ribs)

5 Tbsp oil

1 whole bulb of garlic
6 shallots
2x2inch piece of dried orange peel, soaked in water until soft

1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder

3 Tablespoon mashed fermented red bean curd (about 3-4 cubes) plus 1 tablespoon of the fermenting liquid

4 teaspoons Dark Brown Sugar or Piloncillo

2 Tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce

1 Tablespoon rice wine
1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 small can of chicken broth

1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 -1 teaspoon salt 


1. Put pork ribs into a large bowl and sprinkle the light soy sauce over them. Mix well and set aside for 30 minutes.
2. Heat oil in a wok until very hot, then add pork ribs and fry until lightly browned.
3. Remove the browned rib pieces and put in a 2-3 quart slow cooker.
4.  Put the shallots, peeled garlic cloves, rehydrated orange peel and ginger in a small chopper. Chop finely.
5. Discard the oil in which the ribs were browned, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the wok. Lower the heat to medium and add the chopped garlic, five spice powder, shallots, orange peel, and ginger and stir-fry for a few seconds.

3. Add the mashed red bean curd and stir-fry for 1 minute, then add in sugar, dark soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, and mix. 

4. Pour in the can of broth and bring to a boil.

5. Pour this mixture over the browned ribs in the slow cooker and cook on high for about 4 hours or until the ribs are fully cooked. 

6. Remove cooked ribs from the slow cooker using a slotted spoon, and place them in a bowl. Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a pot or wok and heat on high heat until the volume is reduced by one third. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes so that the sauce and oil separate. Drain the oil off the top and pour the thickened sauce over the ribs.

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