[cooking] Slow cook pork ribs with soft cartilage with Dashi and soy sauce

Dashi is a kind of Japanese soup stock made with dried bonito flakes, konbu, dried mushrooms and dried anchovies.  I would say this is a must-have at your kitchen if you are planning to make various Japanese dishes like udon soup, miso soup or even to slow cook meat.

You can certainly make your own dashi or there are various kinds of dashi in concentrated liquid form and in dried dashi bags that you can purchase at Asian supermarket.

In this recipe, I’m using the dried dashi bags that I bought from Japan, but I think it is no difference than the concentrated liquid ones nor the powder form, well in terms of taste.  But if you’re wondering about the amount used, dashi is actually a very friendly cooking ingredient, you can just simply add less or more to adjust your own personal taste without having any risks to ruin your whole pot of meat.

Pork ribs with soft cartilage is a very popular meat dish in Hong Kong, soft cartilage are soft bones that can be chew and swallow, together with the meat it offers a soft and hard sensation in your mouth.  To cook pork ribs with soft cartilage requires quite a few hours, some people like to shorten the cooking time by using pressure cookers or Anova Precision Cooker but I often prefer to use my Le Creuset cast iron pot.

My method of slow cooking pork ribs with soft cartilage is a collaboration of Chinese and Japanese way of making.  Here I used dashi in dry pouches to slow cook, and added some herbs like anise and sweet soy sauce that are widely use in Chinese cooking to make this.

Take this and make your own pork ribs with soft cartilage udon soup too!

What you need:

1 bag of dry dashi (with something similar to this)
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp sweet soy sauce
3 tbsp Japanese sake
1 cup water
1 sliced onion (about 300g)
5 sliced shallots
5 cloves of garlic
1 anise
1 kg pork ribs with soft cartilage
100g rock sugar

What you do:

1. Blanch the pork rib with soft cartilage and rinse with cold water, set aside
2. Sweat shallots, onions, garlic in medium high heat and add all the soy sauce and sake
3. Add pork ribs with soft cartilage, water, rock sugar, dashi bag and anise
4. When it boils, turn down to low medium heat and braise for about 2.5 hours
5. Check to see if the pork is tender, if not braise for a little bit more.  Keeping at low medium heat is important because slow cooking will help onions to release moisture and creates more juice and sauce for your pork.

p.s. If you are planning to freeze or keep any left overs, remove dashi bag.  To julienne onions and shallots takes less time for the vegetable to release moisture.

|鰹魚濃湯慢煮豬軟骨|

鰹魚湯是日式住家料理必備的材料,無論做湯麵、麵豉湯或者燜煮都需要用到。在任何亞洲超市都可以買得到各式各樣的鰹魚湯,包括需要稀釋的濃鰹魚湯、鰹魚湯粉又或者我從日本購買的鰹魚湯包。

各種鰹魚湯料大致一樣,至少我認為味道上差別不大,只是可能使用份量或許有別。一般來說,份量還是因應個人喜好而定,最好在燜煮期間試試味,如果認為鰹魚味道不夠的話可以再加。鰹魚湯料清香,可以為湯底和燜汁添上魚香同時不會蓋過肉味。

現在為求方便很多人燜煮任何肉類都會使用壓力煲或者慢煮棒,不過我還是喜歡使用我的Le Creuset鑄鐵鍋慢慢熬製。

還可以利用這個做個濃湯豬軟骨烏冬啊!

材料:
1 包鰹魚湯包 (我所使用的類似這個
3湯匙老抽
3湯匙甜醬油
3湯匙日本米酒
1杯水
1個切絲洋蔥(約300g)
5個切絲紅蔥頭
5粒蒜
1粒八角
1kg豬軟骨
100g冰糖

做法:
1. 先將豬軟骨出水,然後用冷水沖,備用
2. 用中火爆香洋蔥、紅蔥頭、蒜,然後加入醬油和日本米酒
3. 加入豬軟骨、水、冰糖、鰹魚湯包和八角然後蓋上
4. 待湯汁滾起時轉中慢火然後燜煮大約2.5小時
5. 時間差不多的時候可以查看豬軟骨是否腍身,否則可以再燜多些少時間。最重要就是保持中慢火慢煮,這樣就可以讓洋蔥和紅蔥頭絲煮出更多原汁,讓豬軟骨味道更濃。

p.s. 如果打算將煮好的豬軟骨放人冰櫃儲存就將湯汁的鰹魚湯包扔掉。將洋蔥和紅蔥頭切成絲比起切短有助煮出更多原汁。

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