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!

Soy Sauce Chicken Wings and Feet (for Chinese Confinement)

Dish Name: Soy Sauce Chicken Wings and Feet (for Chinese Confinement)

Traditional Chinese Name: 醬油雞腳 (jiàng yóu jī jiǎo)

Introduction:
This is a very common Canton (Chinese-styled) dish. The soy sauce base can be used with pork, chicken (various parts), duck (wings are best), pigeon and any other meats with bones as best. The trick to this dish is that it must be simmered for some time (or use a pressure cooker) to let both the sauce seep deep into the meat and enable the meet to be almost falling off the bone. Why this particular dish is called out for Chinese confinement is that the chicken feet provides a healthy amount of collagen – and adding warming ingredients such as ginger, star anise and cinnamon help keep the body warm and heated throughout this period. My mom actually used to keep the sauce after she made it in a glass jar in the fridge, to be used again the next time around. The more it’s used, the tastier it gets. You can simply skim off the accumulated fat once it’s cooled and add more soy sauce if it’s been reduced too far. A delicious, easy-to-make, easy-to-keep Chinese confinement dish for any postpartum mother.

 

What are the ingredients?

Good for 4-5 servings:

  • 20 fresh (or frozen) chicken feet, nails cut off
  • 10 fresh chicken wings
  • 3/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 4 cups of boiling (or hot) water
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 pieces of star anise
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced and peeled
  • 1 scallion, diced (optional)
  • White pepper (optional and recommended for Chinese Confinement)

 

How do I prepare it?

  1. Cut off the nails of the chicken feet
  2. In a pot of boiling water, blanch the chicken feet and chicken wings for 3 minutes (to flush out the oil in the chicken feet)
  3. In a fresh pot, add all the ingredients together and let simmer for 45 minutes (or longer if you want it softer)
  4. Top with fresh scallions as needed
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • This is an easy-to-make Chinese dish recipe with minimal ingredients
  • It’s a heaty dish suited for Chinese confinement (or the whole family) – adjust the amount of ginger depending on the consumer
  • Chicken feet is packed with collagen and perfect for women and Chinese confinement
  • You can easily keep frozen chicken wings and chicken feet in the freezer (for rainy days when you’re trapped at home)

Any precautions?

  • Be sure to wash your hands after handling raw chicken (or meat)
  • Take caution not to add too much soy sauce (as the meat absorbs the saltiness quite easily)
Green Papaya, Fish & Dried Octopus Soup

Green Papaya, Fish & Dried Octopus Soup

Soup Name: Green Papaya, Fish & Dried Octopus Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:  木瓜魚湯 (mù gua yú tāng)

Introduction:
A popular and very common soup for confinement, but not limited to this special group of ladies. For confinement, you must use GREEN papaya (ie: raw, raw, raw – smoking green). The dried octopus helps in milk production as well as adding some flavor to the soup. Use small fish where possible (to limit the exposure to mercury) and setting the soup overnight in a thermal pot really helps bring out the flavors. You can make a big pot and drink for about 2-3 days (while reheating it). This soup generates a very rich, milky broth that is super nutritious, delicious and suitable for the whole family. Another key ingredient for confinement is the ginger – don’t discount the power of ginger!

 

What Ingredients are required?

100 g of ginger, sliced thinly
2 fresh fish, halved (for this recipe, I used 2 fresh Bartail Flatheads)
2 large green papayas
1 dried octopus, quartered

1 tsp of oil (to fry the fish & ginger)
2 L of water
salt to taste


How do I prepare it?

  1. Cut and soak the octopus in a bowl of warm water
  2. Thoroughly wash and clean the fish
  3. In a shallow pan on medium heat, add oil and ginger and when the oil is hot, add fish
  4. Fry the fish with the ginger on both sides until golden brown
  5. Remove from stove to let cool
  6. Boil your soup water
  7. Wash and peel papaya skin, cut into large edible portions
  8. When the water boils, add in fish, fried ginger, octopus and papaya
  9. Boil on medium heat for 1.5 hours
  10. Put into a thermal pot to keep warm or for reboil later

Any benefits?

  • This soup is rich vitamin C, carotenes and antioxidants
  • It is said to aid in milk production for breastfeeding women (use green papayas in this case)

Any precautions?

  • Be sure to use smaller fish (not the tiny fish, but a foot in length is OK) as the larger the fish, the more mercury content
  • You can consider using a soup bag for the fish, although the little fish tend to stick together if you just halve it

Similar soups:

The soup is a very rich, milky broth
Wood Ear & Red Dates Tea

Wood Ear & Red Dates Tea

Soup Name: Wood Ear & Red Dates Tea

Traditional Chinese Name:  木耳红枣茶 (mu er hóng zǎo chá)

Introduction:
This tea is posted as a post natal/confinement tea and is drank only within the first 0-5 days of confinement to help eliminate the lochia (not going to go into detail what lochia is, but please google it if you’re not sure). It’s a simple tea with 3 ingredients (the meat is optional if you’re vegetarian) and very easy to make. It’s a sweet, slightly tart tea and must be drank hot/warm. It’s one of the better tasting teas I know available for confinement! You can boil a whole big batch for 5 days worth, refrigerate and then reheat when needed or boil fresh batches everyday. It is recommended to drink 1-2 glasses a day (depending if you’ve got other teas or soups already filling your tummy!). Do not add additives like sugar or salt. Keep it clean, light and natural.

 

What Ingredients are required?

This portion yields only 1 cup of the tea.

100 g of pork shank
50 g of pitted red dates
50 g of dried wood ear
3 cups of water


How do I prepare it?

  1. Soak your dates and wood ear for 10-15 minutes in cool water
  2. Boil your 3 glasses of water
  3. When the water boils, add all the ingredients together and boil on a medium boil (covered) for 1.5 hours
  4. Serve hot/warm directly as is

Any benefits?

  • This tea helps in discharging and eliminating the lochia
  • It helps the body regenerate and replace lost blood

Any precautions?

  • Be sure to pit the dates. The pits are said to be “CHO” – which is very heaty, but not in a good way
Boiled wood ear and red dates