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Wuxi Ribs Redone

Wuxi Ribs Redone

wuxi ribs recipe

Recently I spent a week in Spain, which was absolutely fabulous and I’ll be blogging pictures from this holiday here soon, but while on holiday I received two really negative comments for my Wuxi Ribs recipe. I genuinely forgot to type that one needs water in the recipe, even though I did actually use it, but of course we make mistakes and English isn’t my first language.

But anyway, while on holiday two people who live very close to each other in Plano, Texas, emailed me to say I was a “sad phony”, my recipe “can’t be real as the food in the end is completely different” and that my photos were “random ones taken from the internet”. This really angered both myself and my husband who took the photos. He works as a photographer and we have the meta data to prove that we take all of the photos.

So today, here is Wuxi Ribs redone. The setting is the same but I myself took the preparation photos and we even have a photo of Chris taking the final photo (albeit it’s a really noisy photo as the ISO setting on my camera was changed accidentally).

And to the two people (same person?) who made those comments, I’m sorry I made a mistake with the recipe and I wanted to reply to your emails but neither could be replied to. I hope the comments weren’t spam.

So, after my little rant, here is the recipe again with fresh photos and typed up with water included in the recipe.

wuxi ribs ingredients

 

Wuxi Ribs Redone

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

  • 1 kg pork ribs
  • 10 spring onions cut in half
  • 4 slices ginger
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce for marinade the ribs
  • 1 cup Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese dark vinegar
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 clove
  • 1/4 tsp pepper powder
  • 2 pinches five spice powder approximately
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp brown or rock sugar
  • water

Instructions

  1. Marinade ribs with 2 tablespoons soy sauce, heat up 2 cups of oil in the wok with full gas power.
  2. Cut the spring onion in half and slice the ginger finely.
  3. Fry the ribs in 180C Oil for 2 minutes and place it on a plate. This procedure is for colouring the ribs.
  4. Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil and stir-fry the onion and ginger until aromatic. Place the spring onion and ginger into a stock pot.
  5. Add all the spices, Shaoxhing rice wine, soy sauce, dark vinegar and water (enough water to cover the ribs) into the stock pot and use full gas power to boil everything at first. Once it has boiled reduce the temperature to the lowest gas heat and simmer for 1.5 hours.
  6. The water should just cover the ribs.
  7. Add the sugar and ketchup after the ribs have simmered for the 1.5 hours and keep simmering until the meat on the ribs is soft.

 

Wuxi Ribs

Wuxi Ribs

wuxi ribs

A long time ago I watched a Taiwanese cooking show which taught people how to cook Wuxi Ribs. This dish needs to simmer for a couple of hours to make the meat on the ribs really tender. For most people, I know spending a couple hours preparing a dish is a long time but this dish is so tasty that I ensure you it’s worth your time.

This dish has a really nice story behind it. During the Song Dynasty, a homeless monk travelled to Wuxi. He asked some people for food but no-one was willing to give him some food behind he was both dirty and smelly. Finally a restaurant owner came out and gave him some meat to eat.

The monk wolfed down the meat but still felt hungry so he asked the restaurant owner if he could have some more food. The owner gave him a little more meat which the monk again wolfed down but he was still hungry and asked for more. The owner got a little angry and shouted at the monk “What shall I sell the customers tomorrow if you eat all of my meat?” The old monk told him “you can sell the bones tomorrow”.

The monk then threw pieces of his hand fan into the pot and an amazing smell came out of the pot. Back in those days fans were often made of leaves and the smell of the meat could be smelt throughout the city. Everybody in Wuxi city wanted to buy the ribs from that restaurant and the restaurant owner then realized that the monk is not just an ordinary monk, but he is the Buddha Ji Gong. Ji Gong is a famous Buddhist character in Chinese folk stories.

Here is the recipe for Wuxi Ribs. Although we don’t have Ji Gong’s hand fan we can control the heat and seasoning appropriately.

Credit: All photos were taken by Chris at Chris Radley Photography

 

Wuxi Ribs

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

  • 1 kg pork ribs
  • 10 spring onions cut in half
  • 4 slices ginger
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce for marinading the ribs
  • 1 cup Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese dark vinegar
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 clove
  • 1/4 tsp pepper powder
  • 2 pinches five spice powder
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp brown or rock sugar
  • water

Instructions

  1. Marinade ribs with 2 tablespoons soy sauce, heat up 2 cups of oil in the wok with full gas power. Fry the ribs in 180C Oil for 2 minutes and place it on a plate. This procedure is for colouring the ribs.
  2. Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil and stir-fry the spring onion and, ginger until the fragrance comes out.
  3. Place the spring onion and ginger into a stock pot and place     ribs on top of the spring onion. Add all the spice, Shaoshing rice wine, soy sauce, dark vinegar and water (Water to slightly cover the ribs) into the stock pot and use full gas power to boil everything at first. Once it has boiled turn reduce the temperate to the lowest gas heat and simmer for 1.5 hours.
  4. Add sugar and ketchup after the ribs have simmered for 1.5 hours and keep simmering until the meat on the ribs is soft.

 

Deep Fried Prawn Rolls

Deep Fried Prawn Rolls

I went to a ceramic workshop call Doodles last week with Chris and where we both painted two items each. Doodles is a ceramics workshop where you can walk in, choose a pot, whether it’s a plate, bowl or whatever, and you paint it whatever colour(s) you want. I choose a cereal bowl and a small square plate and he choose a photo frame and a rectangle plate.

doodles marchmont

We both had a lot of fun and spent three hours in the workshop. Tomorrow is the day that we can bring our ceramic works back. We both can’t wait to see how’s our work turns out.

doodles marchmont
doodles marchmont

My job has been super tiring since the Fringe and Tattoo festivals started. We’re serving a much larger number of covers and everyone has been really stressed out. So, I decided to make this simple, quick but cheerful snack for one of our dinner dish tonight.

deep fried prawn rolls

This deep fried prawn/shrimp rolls dish is one of the famous street foods in Danshui. Danshui is a very popular tourism spot for Taiwanese people and foreigners so it’s always full of people. Danshui was the place that the Spanish arrived in Taiwan and they also built a castle called Santo Domingo in Danshui. The Spanish were however expelled from Taiwan by the Dutch in 1641 and the Dutch built a new fort on the same site as San Domingo, which is known today as Hongmao Cheng.

But the funny thing is when I told my Dutch and Spanish colleague about this part of history and they don’t know anything about it. And I’m the one who gave them a history lesson for them.  So here is this tasty and super easy Taiwanese deep fried prawn roll recipe for you.

Credit: Most of these photos were taken by Chris at: Chris Radley Photography

 

Deep Fried Prawn Rolls

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 24 prawn rolls

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 100 g pork loin including the fat, cut into dices
  • 12 raw prawns
  • 12 cooked prawns cut into small dice (I added the cooked prawns for a different texture)
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 thin slices ginger chop finely
  • 1 spring onion chop finely
  • 1 tbsp potato starch
  • 24 sheets spring roll pastry

Seasonings

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

Instructions

  1. 1. Use a food processor to process raw prawn and pork loin until the texture turns quite finely without any big chunks.
  2. 2. Add all the ingredients and seasonings but not the cooked prawn into step 1 and use a spatula to mix it evenly.
  3. 3. Put half a tablespoon of prawn filling on the spring roll pastry and follow the procedure photos to roll it.
    how to make deep fried prawn rolls
  4. 4. Roll the pastry towards the opposite direction
    how to make deep fried prawn rolls
  5. 5. Use a little bit of egg wash to close the edge tightly
    how to make deep fried prawn rolls
  6. 6. Heat up some oil to deep fry the prawn. Oil temperature should be 160C. It’s ready to serve when the prawn roll turns into a pretty golden colour.

 

Dragon Phoenix Leg

Dragon Phoenix Leg

dragon phoenix leg

My mother asked me yesterday “What are you going to cook for your blog this time?” I answered her “Dragon Phoenix Leg”. She immediately told me with a surprised voice “Ohh….That’s a great snack that I ate from childhood.

Dragon phoenix leg is a very important and unforgettable night market food for a lot of Taiwanese people.  It originates from those small fishing village around north coast of Taiwan. A long time ago, Taiwan was a very poor country but while one chicken only has two legs most families had more than two children, it’s never enough for children to eat. So, parents used a little bit of fish and pork with some vegetable to make this dragon phoenix leg snack for children. This dish looks a bit like a drumstick and so we entitled it Dragon Phoenix Leg.

The other story about dragon phoenix leg is back in the old times when Taiwanese parents tried to make their children eat carrot and cabbage they would entice them with chicken by making this dish.

No matter what’s the real story for this dragon phoenix leg. We can find out this dish is full of the love from parents who make or created this dish.

I changed the recipe a little so there’s no cabbage as Chris absolutely loathes cabbage so I used spring green in the filling. Spring green is also a kind of cabbage but tastes lest cabbage than normal cabbage of course.

These photos were taken by Chris at Chris Radley Photography

pig's caul

 

Dragon Phoenix Leg

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 50 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 10 dragon phoenix legs

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 220 g cod fillet or any kind of white meat fish
  • 25 g potato starch or corn flour
  • 70 g ice water
  • 1 tsp ginger chop finely
  • 60 g spring onion chop finely
  • 150 g pork belly mince it
  • 150 g pork loin mince it
  • 1/2 tsp garlic chop finely
  • 100 g carrots grate
  • 60 g spring greens shred finely
  • 1/2 onion chop finely
  • Some flour
  • Some pig's caul

Seasonings

  • 1.5 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Chinese five spice powder

Seasonings for Vegetables

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Cut the cod fillet into small dices and use a food processor to process the fish until you can’t see any lumps in the fish.
  2. Add ice water, caster sugar and potato starch to a small bowl and mix them evenly with no lump. Mix it with fish from step 1.
  3. Wash your hands first and start to throw the fish mixture into a bowl around 20-30 times until the fish mixture gains some viscidity.
  4. Marinade vegetable with seasonings for vegetable for 30 minutes. After, use your hand to squeeze the water out of vegetable.
  5. Mix all the ingredients and seasonings together evenly.
  6. Use pig’s caul to wrap the mixture and place on a stick. Make the shape look like a drum stick.
  7. Coat the dragon phoenix leg with flour. Heat up 3 cups of oil with full gas power to deep fry it. Once you put 2 or 3 dragon phoenix legs into the oil turn off the gas immediately. Turn the gas back on to lowest temperature after 1 minute. (This ensures the inside of this dish is cooked but the outside remains a pretty colour.) Keep deep frying it at the lowest gas power for 3~5 minutes until it is cooked from inside to out.

 

Taiwanese fried chicken and sweet potato chips

Taiwanese fried chicken and sweet potato chips

taiwanese fried chicken and sweet potato chips

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to update my blog for over a week due to a few things. First of all I’ve been working on a cook book, about favourite authentic recipes from my home country of Taiwan but also favourites that I have eaten in China and favourites as cooked by my grandparents who originate from China.

The other reason I haven’t updated my blog is I suffered a really bad burn on my arm at work which was fine for around a week, but several days ago I was opening scallop shells at work and got water from the shells in my burn. This resulted in my arm turning red and blowing up quite dramatically. I had to go to hospital and I was instructed to do absolutely nothing for 24 hours.

Most people think if you cut yourself or burn yourself you must let the wound breath and don’t cover it. Even my local pharmacist told me this but the doctor/nurse immediately dismissed this. 24 hours after taking penicillin tablets and wearing a gel patch with a dressing the swelling has come down.

dumpling pastry

The other thing that I want to reply to is Jenny who asked me a couple day ago about which dumpling pastry I used for my dumplings. Here is the photo of the pastry I used but I have to say I’m not entirely happy with this pastry. It’s a little bit thin so you must be carefully when you cook your dumplings. But otherwise it tastes better than other brands I’ve found in the UK. I hope my blog today help you a bit.

I think Taiwanese deep fried chicken (Sien shu gi) and sweet potato chips to Taiwanese people is just like “fish and chips” in UK to British people.

Taiwanese people love this deep fried chicken and sweet potato chips but this snack isn’t only confined to the night markets, it’s a snack that can be eaten anywhere, just like fish and chips in the UK. The chicken is crispy and crunchy with a strong fragrance.

Some businessmen will add some chopped garlic with the chicken to give it different flavour but here is my favourite recipe for this particular dish. I hope you will like it.

Credit: These photos were taken by Chris at Chris Radley Photography

 

Taiwanese fried chicken and sweet potato chips

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 3 whole chicken breasts
  • 1 spring onion chopped finely
  • 2 thin slices ginger chopped finely
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes

Seasonings

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • 1 cup sweet potato starch

Instructions

  1. Cut the chicken breasts into 2.5 cm cubes.
  2. Marinade the chicken with all of the seasonings, ginger and spring onion but not the sweet potato powder for 1 hour.
  3. Peel the sweet potato and cut into 8 cm long strips. Add a couple tablespoons of sweet potato powder into a big bowl with a little bit of water and mix evenly. Add the sweet potato chips into the bowl and coated with the mixture.
  4. Heat up 3 cups of oil to 180c then fry the chicken until the chicken turns to a golden colour and add some basil to fry it with chicken when the chicken has nearly cooked. (Please be careful in this step. Because the basil can make the oil splash really badly.)  Fry the chips in the same way as well.