Steamed Ribs at the Chinatown Restaurant on Halifax
Steamed Ribs are one of my favorite Dim Sum specialties, and I am very partial to those steamed with Chinese Salted Black Beans. I often make the dish at home but I like to order it in Dim Sum Restaurants whenever I can so that I can compare and contrast one version with others. The version served to me above at the Chinatown Restaurant in Halifax was done with a novel twist but fell short of excellence.
This particular Rib dish was steamed with Garlic, Red Chili and Salted Black Bean. The Ribs themselves were coated with a little starch to thicken the steaming juices, as is standard, and they were steamed very nicely. They were tender and succulent, but otherwise not especially remarkable.
What set these Steamed Ribs apart from other versions of the basic theme was that they were steamed over a bed of sliced Pumpkin (which, I am sorry to say, is not quite visible in the above picture). This was steamed until very soft, but still holding together, and the texture wasn’t too bad. Unfortunately, I have to confess to never having liked Pumpkin, either in dessert pies, or as a vegetable side dish, and I wasn’t won over here. Still, I can’t fault the restaurant for my personal taste and they deserve credit for the innovation.
My main quibble in this particular case was with the additional ingredients. The minced Garlic, for instance, was a commercial preparation from a jar. There is nothing horribly wrong with this really, but it just isn’t the same as freshly minced Garlic and the convenience it offers always rather diminishes the end result.
The Chili, a fresh, red variety, was sliced into thin rings. There wasn’t much of this, but, in truth, I didn’t mind that very much. What I didn’t care for was the fact that both the Chili and the Chinese Salted Black Beans were merely scattered over top of the Ribs rather than having been intermixed. The result of this was that their flavor really didn’t permeate the dish and left the Ribs a little more bland than they might otherwise have been.
Anyway, I thought the Steamed Ribs at Chinatown were generally decent, but the execution was a bit lacking and I prefer my own home-made ones overall.