Ying's ideas of easy Chinese home-cooking

Steamed Pumpkin with Fermented Beancurd Pork ribs

腐乳排骨蒸南瓜

Pumpkin is a very autumn and winter vegetable. As I mentioned before that I don’t like sweet vegetable being cooked just how they are, I still can’t appreciate how my grandma and dad cook pumpkin – adding sugar in! It was my dinner nightmare. Making pumpkin pancakes or soups, or cooking with meat, are usually how I deal with it.

A very easy recipe is to steam with pork. For this recipe, I also use an old fashioned preserved food – fermented tofu (see my previous post – Introduction of seasoning ingredients Vol 2). Fermented tofu is like cheese or durian to many people. I love it so much, and I love cheese and durian as well! Steamed bun and fermented tofu used to be my quickest breakfast combo. There are various types of fermented tofu all over the country and their tastes are different. But the key ingredient is, tofu, being fermented. I was given a jar of fermented tofu in chili flakes from Yunan Province and I would use it for this recipe. You could use any fermented tofu that you can obtain.

Serve 4

Ingredients –
Pumpkin, 500g. Cut off its hard skin and remove the seeds, and cut into big slices;
Pork ribs, 350g, chopped into small chunks;
Garlic, 3 cloves;
Fermented tofu, 2 cubes;
Light soy sauce, 2tbsp;
Shaoxing wine, 1tbsp;
Sugar, 1tbsp;
Starch flour, 1tbsp;
Spring onion, finely chopped;
Red chili flakes or paprika, optional.

How to do –
1. Marinade the pork ribs with fermented tofu, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, and starch flour, keep in fridge for half an hour. I like to add a little more spiciness and colour so I would use hot chili flakes. If you don’t like, use paprika;

2. Place the pumpkin in a deep plate and place the pork ribs on top, steam for 15 minutes in high heat. I would wrap the lid with cotton towel in case the moist dropping on the food;

3. If the pumpkin slices are too thick then it would need a bit more time steaming. Don’t hesitate, open the lid and check. Stab the pumpkin with a fork or chopstick;

4. Here’s my tip of steaming food. There might be too much liquid when steaming fish, meat or other vegetable. Usually I would pour away those from fish and vegetable. And for steaming meat, like this, I would pour the liquid into a saucepan, add a little starch water, reduce the amount of the sauce, and pour it on the dish;
5. Sprinkle some chopped spring onion on top and serve.

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