The steamed pork meat with rice flour is a popular dish in the south China. The most famous version is with pork belly or the ribs. After long time cooking on the steam, the grease inside the fat would flow out. However, the meat would be anything but dry, because the rice flour coated outside the meat should have fully absorbed the vapor. At the same time the rice flour adds a scent of grain to the meat, making this dish incomparable.
Growing up in the north China, this dish was not part of our regional diet. But thanks to my grandma, who was from Hunan province, I got to meet this dish few times in my childhood. Although the memories of eating it was vague now, I did have the impression that the meat cooked on steam was juicy and flavorful.
SELECTION OF THE MEAT
It is recommended to use meat with some fat. The traditional version is with pork belly with skin. Keep in mind that do not use the bacon slices. They are too thin for cooking on steam for long time. Look for the big piece of fresh pork belly in your butcher shop and cut it into thick slices (1.5-2 cm) by yourself.
Another more convenient option is the pork ribs, which is my ingredient in this recipe.
PREPARATION OF THE GLUTINOUS RICE FLOUR
I like to mix glutinous rice and normal rice to make the flour. Put the rice together with some herbs and pan-fry them on low heat for 10-15 minutes until the rice turns brown. Then roughly blend them into flour.
It is recommended to not to blend the rice too finely, so that we can taste the texture of the grain while taking a bit of the steamed meat. The rice flour can be store in a dry environment for a long time.
STEAMED SPARERIBS WITH RICE FLOUR 粉蒸排骨Course: SECOND COURSECuisine: CHINESEDifficulty: MEDIUM
After long-time steaming, most grease in the meat would flew out. The meat is juicy thanks to the marinade, at the same time with a hint of chewy texture from the glutinous rice flour. I bet you won’t easily find ribs cooked this way in the Chinese restaurants in Italy.
- Glutinous rice flour
Glutinous rice: 2/3 cup
Thai rice (or Basmati rice): 2/3 cup
Cinnamon stick: 1
Bay leaf: 3-4
Star anise: 3
- Le Costine & La Marinata
Pork ribs: 1000g
Soy bean paste: 2 tbsp
Soy sauce: 6 tbsp
Dark soy sauce: 2 tbsp
Oyster sauce: 2 tbsp
Five spice powder: 1 tsp
Sichuan pepper powder: 1 tsp
Sesame oil: 2 tbsp
- Other ingredients
Sunflower oil: 2 tbsp
Sweet potatoes or potatoes
- Glutinous rice flour
- Put all the ingredients listed in the section "Glutinous rice flour" in a pan.
- Pan-fry them on low heat for 15-20 minutes until the rice grains turn brown.
- Take the pan off the fire and leave all the ingredients to cool, then take out all the herbs.
- Blend the pan-fried rice into flour.
- Le costine di maiale
- Soak the ribs in water for 30 minutes. This step is to take out the blood in the meat.
- Take out the ribs from the water, dry the surface using the kitchen paper. Cut out the extra fat according to your preferences.
- Mescola le costine di maiale con il resto degli ingredienti che ho elencato nella “Le Costine & La Marinata”. Fai marinare per 1.5-2 ore.
- Gradually add the rice flour into the ribs, meanwhile keep flipping over the ribs in order to coat the rice flour on each piece. Here we would use around half portion of the rice flour prepared in the steps above.
- Add water spoon after spoon (in total 6-8 spoons) into the ribs, meanwhile turn over the ribs in order to let the rice flour absorb the water.
- Last but not least, add 2 tbsp of sunflower oil and mix it well with the ribs. This is to lock up all the juicy ingredients, preventing them from running out during steaming.
- Cut the sweet potatoes into big pieces and lay them at the bottom of the steamer. Put the ribs on top.
- Bring a pot of water to boiling. Put the steamer on top and steam on low heat for 60 minutes.
After long-time steaming, most grease in the meat would flew out. The meat is juicy thanks to the marinade, at the same time with a hint of chewy texture from the glutinous rice flour. I bet you won’t easily find ribs cooked this way in the Chinese restaurants in Italy. But in case you do, please compare their dish with this recipe and let me know which one you like better!