How to go wrong with pork ribs? This is my adjusted, tweaked, simplified recipe that all can try at home.
All the ingredients are pictured here. Note that I only used half of the belacan in that white paper box. Oops, you can't see the candlenuts (buah keras).
I don't really like to measure much, mostly agak-agak and taste along the way. Generally, for about 1.5kg of pork ribs:
- 3-4 big sized potatoes (get the ones from Indonesia, softer and nicer)
- 2 stalks lemon grass
- 6 to 7 candlenuts
- small piece of belacan
- A1 rempah for meat (3-4 tbs)
- 12 pieces of shallots
- 6 pieces of garlic cloves
- 5 to 6 dried chilli (cut up finely)
- curry leaves
- tumeric poweder (1 tbs)
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
First, put the cut up ribs in a plastic bag, throw in 1tsp sea salt and 1 tbs white pepper and make sure they get a good rubbing down. Put in 3 tbs corn flour, close the bag and shake liberally. Check to make sure all are covered with flour. Put in fridge for at least 2 hours, the longer the better.
Here comes the muscle part, into your pestle and mortar, gradually add shallots, garlic, candlenuts, dried chillies, tumeric powder ... at the same time ....
Lightly grill some belacan till dry and fragrant both sides, drop in belacan int mix and pound. Trick is not to pound the whole thing into a paste, when its about 3/4 done, thats fine, it gives out better texture and aromas.
Fry the pork ribs in oil till brown. Set aside.
Use about 5 tbs oil, its ok, you can scoop up excess oil later. You need oil to fry the ingredients. Throw in the pounded paste, fry for 2 minutes, throw in curry leaves and lemon grass (bruised), fry for another 2 minutes. Then put in the A1 rempah. Fry for another 2 minutes.
Put in the pork ribs and mix gently, can add one to two glasses of water so that the sauce covers the ribs. Slow fire for 45 minutes, turning every minute or so in order for the thing not to be burnt. See the diced potatoes on the side, fry that in medium heat in another wok till brown, set aside.
You are almost there, pour in half cup coconut milk. Add the potatoes. Last trick, put in two tbs of sugar to round off the taste, and 1tbs of soy sauce. Taste and adjust to your liking. Simmer another two minutes and you are done.
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