Sweet and Sour Pork with Ginger (for Confinement)

Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and Sour Pork

 

This is another one of those great recipes that are handed down through generations. I got this from an Auntie who is an amazing cook and simplified this recipe so that it’s so simple and yet, tastes so good! You can use a variety of rib cuts – I’ve made it with the traditional Chinese spare ribs cut (pictured here), but also made it using baby back ribs, too.  When I make this, I use the measurements as a base, but adjust it as it cooks. I know some people prefer it sweeter or more sour or more salty, so definitely sample your cooking as you go!

Dish Name: Sweet and Sour Pork with Ginger (for Chinese Confinement)

Traditional Chinese Name: 糖醋排骨 (Táng cù páigǔ)

Scroll down for the full printable recipe.
For this recipe, I will use a fatter cut of meat. This is because it stews for quite some time and you don’t want the pork to dry out and shrivel up into dried pork. Over time, the fat will come out and you can simply scoop it out before consumption.
Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and Sour Pork (fresh spare ribs)

I will also rinse the pork in warm water when I get them from the vendor (just in case). Then throw it into a stainless steel pot and follow this simple base for recipe. It’s basically 1-2-3 (tablespoons).

1 tablespoon of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of sugar (any type)
3 tablespoons of white vinegar

And then you proportion it out appropriately. So for the amount picture above, which is around 1 pound of spare ribs, I multiplied by 3, so I got 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 6 tablespoons of sugar, and 9 tablespoons of white vinegar. If you want, you can add a quarter cup of water for good measure.  For confinement, my recommendation is to load up on ginger. This can be ginger slices, ginger cubes, the whole ginger, grated ginger, ginger juice – however spicy you can take it, do it. Optional ingredients also include whole garlic, black or white pepper and even star anise.

 

Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and Sour Pork

I know it may sound like a flaky recipe, but I do believe in that cooking is an art (and baking the science). That’s why you have to taste it as you go along (when it’s more cooked). Start with this though, trust me. It has never failed me as a base.  After about an hour on a very low simmer, you’ll notice that the liquid evaporates to leave a thick, sticky and delicious beautifully dark sweet and sour pork ribs. Scoop off the top layers of oil and serve!

Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and Sour Pork – The Final Product

 

Sweet and Sour Pork with Ginger (for Confinement)
Recipe Type: Appetizer or Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese Food
Author: LadyTong
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 dish
Ingredients
  • 1 pound of fresh spare ribs or pork ribs
  • 1 x 3 = 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 x 3 = 6 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3 x 3 = 9 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 1-inch root of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/ginger-fresh/”]fresh ginger[/url]
  • 1/4 cup of water
Instructions
  1. Rinse your spare ribs or pork ribs in warm water (to clean)
  2. Put all the ingredients into a stainless steel pot (or clay pot)
  3. Boil on high heat for 10 minutes
  4. Reduce to a low simmer for another hour, checking every 10 minutes on taste and whether it is drying out too much. If so, add another quarter cup of water.
  5. Remove oil and serve!

Ginger and Egg Fried Rice (for Chinese Confinement)

Ginger and Egg Fried Rice (for Chinese Confinement)

This is a simple recipe part of our Confinement Series for new mothers. Designed to be heaty, healing and part of a balanced diet – actually anyone can eat this! My version uses ginger juice (as I personally find the ginger shreds too spicy for my mild taste buds), but it is recommended to use the grated ginger flesh if you’re in confinement. Load on the ginger and black or white pepper! Other variations of this include adding chicken or pork, garlic and some neutral, diced veggies like choy sum.

 

Dish Name: Ginger and Egg Fried Rice (for Chinese Confinement)

Traditional Chinese Name:  雞蛋姜炒飯 (jī dàn jiāng chǎo fàn)

 

Ginger and Egg Fried Rice (for Chinese Confinement)
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Author: LadyTong
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp cooking oil
  • 1 bowl of rice (leftover rice best for fried rice)
  • 25g of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/ginger-fresh/”]fresh ginger[/url], grated (produced 1 tablespoon of ginger juice)
  • 1 sprig of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/green-onions/”]fresh green onions[/url], diced
  • 1 egg
  • black or white pepper to taste
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. In a frying pan on medium heat, add oil and start frying the rice (re-heating it for 2 minutes)
  2. Add in fresh ginger juice or grated ginger
  3. Add in fresh green onions
  4. Fry together for 2 minutes
  5. In the middle of the pan, open a hole and crack the egg directly into it, stirring and mixing the egg until relatively cooked
  6. Stir it altogether and add pepper and salt to taste
  7. Serve and enjoy!
Notes
[b]Any benefits?[/b][br][br]This recipe contains all the greats needed to get you through confinement (Sesame oil, ginger, black or white pepper ).[br]Ginger is excellent for warming the body and expelling wind (both important things to achieve during Chinese confinement).[br]It is a nutritious and delicious course.[br]This recipe is super easy to make. I would recommend making a bowl / jar of pre-grated ginger so you can whip this up in less than 10 minutes.[br][br][b]Any precautions?[/b][br][br]This is a heaty dish and not recommended for people who can’t too heaty foods or are currently overheated.

 

Fresh grated ginger, green onions and an egg – easy!

Red Dates

Red Dates

Red Dates

Ingredient Name:

Red Dates (also known as jujubes, or Chinese dates)

Traditional Chinese Name:

红枣 (hóng zǎo)

 

This is a MUST HAVE in your Chinese soup (or cooking) pantry!  These little round, shriveled bright red fruit can come in a variety of sizes, cuts, shapes, and with or without seeds.  The fresh fruit itself is seeded in its mature state produced by the Ziziphus zizyphus trees, which are commonly found in Asia and some parts of Europe and India.  In Chinese cuisine, it’s actually one of our staple ingredients and I keep some in my kitchen pantry all year round.  They are found in Chinese soups, desserts, stews, and dishes, as well as eaten as dried snacks and in teas.

How do I prepare it?

    The only preparation needed for dried red dates is to rinse with warm water and to pit the seeds if needed.  To remove the seeds from the fruit, I use a pair of clean scissors and just snip them away (see video of the Red Dates and Longan Chinese Herbal Tea for preparation of the red dates).  You can buy them pitted or unpitted at your local Chinese supermarket or wet market.
    It’s quite interesting to observe the varying firmness and hardness of these dried fruits.  You’ll find red dates that are softer and squishier, so much easier to cut.  

Where can I buy it and cost?

      • You can purchase red dates from most Asian supermarkets prepackaged
      • You can also purchase this in bulk from specialty stores (online herbal shops)
      • The one thing I did notice is that the Chinese prepared ones are different from Western prepared red dates.  So just check to be sure they look like the above photos.  

What is the cost?

      • A package costs around $3-5 CAD

      • However, if you buy direct from the Chinese dried food stores, the prices will also range depending on the quality of the dried red dates and whether they are pitted or not, with pitted being more expensive.

Any benefits?

      • Red dates are known to assist in maintaining healthy blood pressure and assist the stomach and spleen in poor appetites
      • It is also commonly used to address stress in drinks and teas
      • Due to its sweetness, it is soothing to the throat and used to treat sore throats
      • Red dates are an excellent source of Vitamin C
      • A common ingredient found for Chinese confinement

Any precautions?

      • Be sure you are buying red dates from a reputable source as some red dates do carry diseases

      • For soups, use pitted dates. The seeds are known to create “fire” in the body and not usually ideal

Looking to build your basic Chinese Soup Pantry?

The dried red dates is one of them!  Check it out in my video to learn more!

 

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