Braised Pork Ribs and Bitter Gourd in Black Bean Sauce
Braised Pork Ribs and Bitter Gourd in Black Bean Sauce like the name suggest is a dish made with bitter gourd and tender soft bone pork ribs slowly braised in a sauce made with fermented salted black beans and spiced with dried chillies. This so far is the best bitter gourd recipe I tried and tasted to date, the bitterness of the vegetable complements well the salty and savoury tender pork, you won’t even notice you are eating bitter gourd at all.
The first time I tried this was in Hong Kong which was served on restaurants like Cafe de Coral or Fairwood usually served with rice but I also saw versions of this served over congee. I know this flavour profile is not for all but it’s easy to like it, I remember when I was young I would not try dishes like this but as I grew older as I experiment more on flavour I started to like vegetables like this. I guess for those who don’t eat Bitter Gourd this is the best recipe to start with, so go for it, give it a try and let us know.
- 1 kg pork ribs (soft bones), cut into small sections
- 4 pcs bitter gourd, sliced
- 6 pcs dried red chillies, chopped seeds removed
- 3 tbsp salted black beans
- 2 tbsp fermented bean paste
- 6 cloves garlic
- ½ thumb sized ginger, minced
- sesame oil
- peanut oil
- In a plate spread bitter gourd and sprinkle it with salt generously. Set it aside for 30 minutes.
- Place bitter gourd in a colander then rinse off the salt with running cold water, drain well.
- Mix all sauce ingredients, set aside
- Heat up a large wok, add peanut oil let it smoke then brown pork ribs in batches. Set is aside.
- Sauté garlic, ginger and dried red chillies, add the fermented bean paste and salted black beans, slightly mash the black beans as you stir fry.
- Add the pork ribs back together with the sauce, bring to a boil, cover the wok then simmer for 1½ hours in low heat.
- Add the bitter gourd, add water if necessary then continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Season with salt if necessary then drizzle some sesame oil on top before serving.