Sea Breeze Ribs
I have long been thinking of using fermented shrimp paste with steamed ribs for a dim sum style appetizer and, when I was trying to decide on a suitable vegetable to include, it hit me that a seaweed of some sort might prove interesting. For this dish I have used a Filipino style Bagoong rather than Belacan/Terasi , or a Chinese style Shrimp Paste and, for the seaweed, I used a pre-cut dried Wakame. I really wasn’t sure whether the combination would end up being excellent or awful but, as it turned out, the curious ‘low-tide’ fragrance of the ribs (hence the name) was pretty darned good… [
- 1/2lb Pork Ribs in 1” sections;
- 1 Tbsp. Bagoong (or other fermented shrimp paste);
- 1 Tbsp. Sugar;
- 2 tbsp. Rice Wine;
- 2 Tbsp. dried (shredded) Wakame;
- 2 tsp. Cornstarch;
- 1 Tbsp. chopped Red Chili.
If you like, before doing anything else, you can quickly parboil the ribs in salted water for a couple of minutes. This is not critical but it can improve the appearance of the finished dish, especially if you have freshly cut larger ribs into small sections yourself. Parboiling helps prevent blood leaching from the cut sections of bone and leaving dark discolorations.
Mix together the Bagoong, sugar and rice wine in a large bowl to make a smooth paste, and then stir in the ribs until coated. Let this sit for at least an hour or so to marinate.
Soak the Wakame in water to cover for about 10 minutes until reconstituted and then drain and squeeze dry.
Toss the ribs with the cornstarch to coat them and then toss again with the seaweed and chili.
Finally, transfer the ribs to a suitable serving dish and steam over high heat for 30 minutes. Serve while piping hot.