Braised pork ribs and taro stew is one of those lesser known Chinese comfort food dishes that our family used to make during the colder months. Pork ribs and Taro braised in the stock created from the pork ribs makes this dish especially tasty!
To marinate the pork ribs:
3poundspork ribs(cut into 2- to 3-inch/5-7cm pieces)
Combine the ribs with the marinade ingredients and marinate for 20 minutes. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the smashed ginger and sear the ribs for 1 minute on each side until browned.
Turn the heat down to medium and add the shallots and garlic. Stir-fry for another minute and add the Shaoxing wine, ground bean sauce, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, salt, five spice powder, white pepper, and sesame oil. Stir-fry the ribs for another minute.
Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, and adjust the heat to a slow simmer. Cover and cook for 45 minutes, checking and stirring the mixture every 10 minutes. The ribs should be submerged in the liquid at the beginning and the sauce should reduce slightly but the braised pork ribs should still look a little soupy at the end of the 45 minutes so add more water or chicken stock if needed.
While the ribs are cooking, heat ½ cup vegetable oil to 300 degrees F in a wok or cast iron pan and add the taro, spreading the pieces out so there is a single layer. Fry on each side until they just start to turn brown and have a slight crust on them, about a minute on each side. Drain the excess oil and toss the taro with a large pinch of salt. This process give the taro a light crust and prevents it from becoming mushy after cooking with the ribs.
Once the ribs have been simmering for 45 minutes, they should be tender. There should be quite a bit of standing liquid remaining. Add the taro, and gently fold the mixture together to coat the taro pieces with liquid. Let cook for another 15 minutes, giving everything a gentle stir every 2-3 minutes. If the liquid dries up completely, add another cup of water or chicken stock (the taro will absorb it).
Try a piece of taro and check for doneness. It should be flaky and cooked through. Cook longer if you want the taro softer. Stir in the scallions and serve.