Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Braised Short Ribs with Ginger Soy Glaze and Fried Egg with Preserved Turnip

So with 3lbs of short ribs left in the freezer, I was determined *once again* to make the Short Ribs in Red Wine from Sass and Veracity (I bought 6lbs of it last weekend and made half of them as Bar-B-Q Short Ribs because I didn't have red wine). Heading to LCBO after lunch on a Sunday afternoon, there was no way it can be closed now right? Oooh sooo wrong, it is Easter Sunday. Two Sundays in a row now this has happened to me. Maybe it's a sign? A sign indirectly warning me that if I do make this dish, it will turn out disastrous. Sigh. Well whether or not this is a blessing in disguise or my lack of preparation, I knew I had to Google my way out of this again, but at least this time I didn't go grocery shopping yet.


Ingredients
  • 3 lb Beef short ribs
  • 5 Star anise -- whole
  • 1/4 c Shao xing
  • 1 oz Ginger, fresh -- sliced thin
  • 6 Garlic clove, med -- peeled
  • 3 tb Soy sauce
  • 1/2 oz Rock sugar
  • Salt
  • 2 Scallion, med -- sliced crosswise


    Instructions
    1. Bring 1-1/2 quarts water to boil in a saucepan. 
    2. Add ribs, anise, shao xing, ginger, and garlic; cover and simmer 1-1/2 hours. 
    3. Add soy sauce, sugar and 1/2 tablespoon salt; partially cover and simmer until the meat is tender, about one hour longer. 
    4. Remove meat; cover and keep warm. Simmer sauce until it reduces to a thin syrup, about five minutes. 
    5. Return ribs to the saucepan; toss to coat. Garnish individual portions with scallions and serve.
    Along with the short ribs, I also wanted to make this Fried Eggs with Preserved Turnip dish I found in one of my Mom's recipe books.



    Ingredients
    • 4 eggs
    • 2 Tbsp chopped preserve turnips (finely chopped)
    • 120g minced pork
    • some chopped green onions
    • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil
    Marinade
    • 1 tsp, each of light soy sauce, sesame oil and corn starch
    • 1 Tbsp water
    Instructions
    1. Mix pork with marinade and fry in a little oil until cooked.
    2. Beat eggs and add cooked pork, preserved turnips and spring onions.
    3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and pour in egg mixture. Allow to set slightly before stir frying quickly until the eggs set properly.
    Star anise, shaoxing, preserved turnips all point me to the direction of a Chinese supermarket (well really no other alternatives since I'm sure Longos and No Frills are all closed as well....ahhh good ol' Chinese businesses stay open 365 days a year). Went to Foody Mart, and I swear, I've never seen so many Chinese people in a super market. The place was HUGE too (like T&T). I was getting pretty frustrated being there with the crowd, going through aisle after aisle trying to find my star anise and preserved turnips. I told my boyfriend from now on, I'm going to try to avoid this place on weekends, if at all possible.
    Star anise - these things have a pretty distinct and strong aroma. My boyfriend does not care for the smell. Have to admit though they are quite pretty :)



    Preserved turnips


    Shaoxing wine


    I simmered the short ribs in shaoxing, water (about 5-6 cups of water), anise, and ginger for 1 hour (instead of 1.5 hrs), then added the soy sauce, sugar, and salt. However, it seemed like there wasn't enough sauce for my pot of short ribs (there was still quite a bit of water in there too), so I added more of the soy sauce/sugar/salt mixture. About half an hour later, a lot of the water has evaporated and it didn't seem like there was enough to last another half an hour before drying out. So I added more water into the pot. As of that moment, I had no idea how these ribs would turn out due to all these alterations. 


    I tasted the sauce and it was a bit on the salty side. So I added more rock sugar to compensate. After two hours, the meat was definitely tender. I totally skipped the part about simmering the sauce until it reduces to thin syrup because there was not much sauce left, and a lot of it was starting to stick to the bottom of the pot. I skipped the garnishing too.


    On to my fried egg and turnip dish. The whole process went smoothly. One change that I did make was I added an extra egg (so 5 eggs in total instead of 4) because after combining the pork into the egg mixture, it seemed like there was just too much pork, turnip, and green onion relative to egg.  Also, I added around 1 Tbsp of oil into the mixture before frying. 


    The ribs turned out to be a bit on the salty side. The flavor was nothing special because at the end of the day, it was only the soy sauce and sugar providing flavour, although, I was able to taste the star anise in it. Blah... I will not make this dish again. The Bar-B-Q Short Ribs from last weekend were a lot better.

    As for the fried eggs dish, it was bland because the preserved turnips were supposed to be the "salted" kind (which I actually saw at Foody Mart) but the recipe only asked for "preserved turnips", so I bought the normal kind. After taking the first bite, I realized that it should be the "salted preserved turnips" since the whole dish had no salt. Also, my eggs are too dry and not fluffy and voluminous enough. I need to add more oil as I'm frying. But most important, my Mom told me, I need to get a WOK because it would make this whole egg frying business a lot easier. Given all this new knowledge, I will want to try making this dish again.

    As for the Short Ribs in Red Wine I had intended to make for the last two weekends? Forget it. I'm done with short ribs for now. Maybe in a few months I will look into it again... if I'm really bored :D

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