Ginger Fish (lightly fried)

Final Product - Ginger Fish

After months of anticipation, my university leader came over to bestow on me some Chinese cooking secrets again! I still have the savory taste of black beans and ocean fish in my mouth while typing this post. Without further ado, let’s get down to the EASY steps of making this awesome dish.

PREP: Your fish should be gutted and cleaned off. Then, you’ll need to lightly salt them before frying. Just a couple pinches on each side should do the trick. Also, cut up scallions, coriander, or whatever small planty flavorings you have around. (prep some Chinese Black Beans for a savory addition) Don’t forget some slices of fresh ginger, which is used in a lot of the cooking recipes on Asian Living.

1~ In a wok or pan, let a small amount of oil simmer for a short time. Put your fish in when its hot.  Don’t move the fish around! You need to let them cook like this for a couple minutes.

Adding Ginger and Chinese Black Beans

2~ When its time to turn them over, you can slide them with a spatula. At this point, put the ginger slices between the fish and let cook. Don’t shift the fish around.

3~ Shortly after, you can put the scallions, coriander, black beans, and other planty flavorings into the oil beneath the fish. (See image left) At this point, you could add a couple splashes of soy sauce.

4~ As a final touch, my university leader suggested putting the serving dish on top of the whole thing for a few seconds. (See image below) This is a method that cleans your dish prior to putting food on it; A habit she developed many years ago…

That’s it! Serve this fish with an easy dish of greens and white rice. Enjoy!

Final step - Serving Dish

Pork Rib Chunks with Garlic & Black Bean Sauce

Garlic pork ribs
Ingredients for Garlic pork ribs

I’m finally letting this simple, but amazingly delicious recipe out of the bag! I would eat ribs everyday if I could because they are so freaking delicious. My favorite rib-dish is actually steamed and served more frequently at Zao Cha (早茶) or “morning tea,” which is most common in Southern China.  I have yet to find a more delicious way to cook pork ribs at home, but we will need to take a quick trip to the Asian Market first.

Start by preparing the following ingredients:
MEAT: Obviously, first comes the pork rib chunks. I buy them from a butcher’s market, which sells all cuts of meat in open air. The amount in the serving bowl to the right is about one full rib, which is about 8 inches long. You can get a 12 inch long rib chopped up for 2 people if this option is available. If you are not sure about portions, take a look at this article related to meat portion control.

Chilli powder, Corn starch, and Marinade
Chilli powder, Corn starch, and Marinade

SEASONINGS: We’ll simply take the chopped up pork ribs, rinse them through water, and do a simple 1 minute-marinade. I like 李锦记 (Lee Kum Kee) Brand’s prepared Black Bean and Garlic Sauce” marinade shown in the picture. (buy online) I also mix in some 玉米生粉 (Corn Starch), which is that bag with the ear of corn on it. Any corn starch will do. Notice that I don’t cake this onto the ribs; just put a shallow amount in your palm, with the marinade, and mix by hand a few minutes before cooking. I also put in Chilli powder according to taste. A spicy edge can enhance the flavor.

PLANTS: I’ve chosen to separate the shelved Seasonings from the fresh ones. As in the picture above, just cut a few slices of raw ginger, long segments of scallions, and loosely chopped up garlic. This should only take 1 minute.

1 ~ Warm up a frying pan/wok with corn oil (or whatever is available in the house). Throw in some of the garlic you chopped up with 1 or two slices of ginger. Shortly after you can throw in the scallions.

2 ~ Quickly throw in your marinaded pork ribs. Move them around in the pan to give them equal heat. If you find the frying pan is drying out, just add small amounts of water periodically. You’ll slowly develop a nice coating of sauce this way.

3 ~ Cover and let them cook for a few minutes, mixing them up with the sauce in the pan. Add water if needed. (The meat cooks rather quickly because it is not frozen and its rather thin on the bone. Cooking times may vary according to the thickness of your meat.)

4 ~ I usually pull them off after 4-5 minutes. If you want, choose a thick piece and pull it out. Slice it and check the middle.

Garlic Bean Pork Ribs
Garlic Bean Pork Ribs with Rice

I eat this dish with white rice, as you can see from the picture of the final product. Also, it goes well with stir-fried green beans.  Notice that the vegetables and the rice portions are about 50% of the meal. (Try your best to make a habit of this!)

Enjoy!

Full Meal with Green Beans
Full Meal with Green Beans