Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pai Gwat (Chinese Spareribs)

During my mother in law’s most recent visit, I took a major stab at cataloguing some of our favorite recipes. This is definitely a keeper! These ribs are tender, salty and completely yummy.

MaMa’s Pai Gwat (Spareribs)


1 lb pork spareribs

1/4 cup Soy Sauce

1 tbsp. Sugar

2 tbsp. Cornstarch

4 cloves Garlic, minced

2 tbsp. Oyster Sauce

2 Tbsp. oil


1. A few hours before (or, even better, the evening before!), prepare your marinade. Combine soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, garlic, and oyster sauce in a large plastic zip-top bag or bowl (with a lid). Adjust seasonings to taste. Add your spareribs and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to cook.


2. When it is time to cook your spareribs, prepare a dutch oven with 2 Tbsp. of oil, over medium heat. Add your marinated spareribs, stir around a bit so they don’t stick. Cover and cook until tender, about 45 minutes.


3. Remove the lid, spoon off the collected oil from the bottom of the pan and replace it with water. (Just eyeball it. Spoon the oil into a bowl, then add that much water back into the pot.) Cook a few more minutes to heat and combine. Serve over rice.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Miso Ginger Dressing

One of my favorite parts of a meal in a sushi joint is the ubiquitous salad that comes while I'm waiting for the main event. My go-to sushi place has an amazing miso dressing that is totally crave-able. This comes pretty close! Best part? Because it's Mark Bittman, the dressing comes together in about 5 minutes, thanks to my food processor. 

Miso Ginger Dressing
Adapted from Mark Bittman's recipe here, in the NYT. 

1/4 cup olive oil (the original recipe called for peanut, grapeseed or rapeseed)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
scant 1/4 cup miso paste (or less, as your taste dictates. Start with a few Tbsp. and work up.)
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
1 inchlong piece fresh ginger, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

Pop all the ingredients, except for the salt and pepper, into the bowl of your food processor. Blend until well combined and the carrots are in little bits. Season with salt and pepper, and you're done! 

I keep mine stored in the refrigerator, in a mason jar. Be sure to put a layer of plastic wrap under the lid so that the vinegar doesn't react with your metal ring. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Boot Jai Go

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Boot Jai Go (Little Pudding Bowls)

(Adapted from this recipe here.)


1 cup hot water

4 Tbsp. sugar

1/2 cup cold water

3/4 cup rice flour

1 Tbsp. tapioca starch

1/4 tsp. almond (The original recipe called for 1 tsp., but I found this to be way too strong.)


1. Prepare a way to steam your puddings. Ideally you will steam them in mini muffin cups, so find a way to make that work. Otherwise, use very small bowls. Spray your cups, muffin tin or ramekins with cooking spray.


2. In a medium bowl, mix together your hot water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add your cold water, rice flour and tapioca starch whisk until completely combined. Add your extract and mix for another 30 seconds. (As I mentioned above, I used 1 tsp. of almond extract, and it was way too much. I would cut this down to 1/4 tsp. next time. These should be fairly flavorless puddings – the fun is in the texture. Like an edible, soft eraser. Heh.)


3. Pour your pudding mixture into your prepared tins/bowls/etc., filling them only 80%. You may top with red beans if you like. (My ramekins were way too large for this project, even at just 4 oz. These steamed for nearly an hour. Oops.) If using mini muffin tins, steam for 10 minutes. The puddings will rise slightly, and the edges will become slightly translucent.


4. Cool for a few minutes, then carefully remove the puddings from their cups. Run a knife around the edge, then gently *pop* them out with a spoon. Serve warm, or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Raspberry-Rhubarb Thumbprint Cookies


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(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, “Jam Thumbprints”)


Aunt LoLo’s Thumbprint Cookies

Makes 30 cookies


2 eggs, separated

2/3 cup shortening

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup white sugar (extra, for rolling. Colored sugar would be fun here, too.)

1/2 cup Raspberry-Rhubarb preserves, or your favorite jam or preserves


1. In the large bowl of your mixer, beat your shortening on medium for 30 seconds, so it’s light and fluffy.  Add your egg yolks and vanilla and beat until combined. Lower the speed and mix in your flour. Gather your dough into a disk, ball or baton (whatever floats your boat), wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

2. Preheat your oven to 375, and prepare a large baking sheet with a silicone mat, parchment paper or Pam. Roll your dough out into 1” balls, roll in sugar, and place on your cookie sheet, 1” apart. By off-setting the rows, I could fit 30 cookies onto one sheet. Carefully put a thumbprint into each ball, smashing it into a cratered disc. (You’ll need that crater after baking, for filling with jam!)

3. Bake the cookies for 10-15 minutes, or until the bottom edges just barely start to brown. (If your craters have puffed out while you were baking the cookies, carefully use your thumb or the back of a spoon to push them back down before the cookies cool.) Pull them out, let them cool for a few minutes, and remove them to a rack to cool. When they are completely cool, spoon about 1/2 tsp. jam into each crater.


Enjoy! These are a very rich little cookie, but not so smothering as a normal thumbprint cookie. The shortening makes the difference.