Slow Cooker Pork Ribs with Black Bean Sauce

Slow Cooker Pork Ribs with Black Bean Sauce

Slow Cooker Pork Ribs with Black Bean Sauce
I adapted this Chinese-influenced slow cooker recipe from a recipe I found while perusing a Filipino food site. It originally called for boiling the ribs in water until they were tender and then tossing them with the black bean sauce in a skillet. I wanted something a bit more hands-off as far as the time spent cooking the ribs, as well as I preferred braising the ribs in an Asian braising liquid to impart some flavor to the ribs while they cooked. The slow cooker was the perfect cooking tool to achieve this. Most of the time for this recipe is invested in the slow cooker, but you’ll need an additional 10-15 minutes in prep and preparing the black bean sauce to toss with the fall-off-the-bone ribs. I served this at a dinner party and we could not get enough of this slightly exotic Chinese dish; most of us going back for another serving. I served it over steaming white jasmine rice along with a vinegar-based cucumber salad and one of my favorite Filipino noodle dishes, Pancit (find this recipe on The Whole Meal’s website). If you would like to treat your family and friends with something different than typical Chinese/Asian cuisine, I highly recommend you prepare this meal with the Pancit. Finish it off with fresh lychees if you can find them at your local farmer’s or Asian markets.
    Servings
    4people
    Cook Time
    HIGH 5-6 hrs
    Meal Plan
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    This recipe has been added to your Meal Plan
    Servings
    4people
    Cook Time
    HIGH 5-6 hrs
    Meal Plan
    Add to Meal Plan:
    This recipe has been added to your Meal Plan
    Ingredients
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1/2tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
    • 1/2teaspoon ground white pepper (ground black pepper is fine if you do not have white pepper)
    • 1/4teaspoon sea salt
    • 1tablespoon soy sauce
    • 1tablespoon fish sauce*
    • 1tablespoon oyster sauce
    • 3pound pork ribs, cut into 2-3 sections for ease of placement in your slow cooker
    • 1 onion, halved and sliced
    • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 3 black bean sauce, found in Asian/Ethnic section of your grocery store
    • 4 green onions, cut each stalk into three large segments
    Instructions
    1. Combine the 2 chopped garlic cloves with the following 6 ingredients (through oyster sauce) in a small bowl.
    2. Place the pork rib segments bone side down in a large slow cooker. Coat the top of the ribs evenly with the garlic-ginger mixture and pour enough water into the slow cooker to mostly cover the ribs.
    3. Cook on Low for 8-10 hours or HIGH for 5-6 hours or until the pork ribs are very tender.
    4. When the ribs are super tender, carefully remove to a cutting board, and cool enough to cut the segments into individual ribs. Set aside and also reserve about a cup of the liquid in the slow cooker.
    5. Heat ½- 1 tablespoon coconut or canola oil in a wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Add in the onion and 8 chopped garlic cloves, sautéing for about 1 minute, constantly stirring to prevent the garlic from burning. Add in the black bean sauce combining well with the onion mixture. Reduce heat to medium and carefully add the pork ribs (some may fall off the bones and that is ok) and one cup of the liquid from the slow cooker. Coat the ribs with the sauce and braising liquid, add in the green onion segments, cover with a lid and simmer all ingredients for about 2-4 minutes.
    6. Serve over hot cooked white rice, if desired.
    Recipe Notes

    For those of you unfamiliar with white pepper, it comes from the same plant as black pepper. Just like green bell peppers allowed to ripen on the vine eventually turn red, white pepper is allowed to ripen fully on the vine, and then the now red or yellow outer skins are removed. After the skins are removed the white centers are dried. You usually see white pepper used in Asian, Indian, Mexican cuisines which lend themselves to “earthier” and highly spiced dishes. As white pepper tends to have an “earthier” taste than black pepper, it lends itself nicely to these countries’ food. It also is used by chefs for aesthetic reasons where a clean look is needed; i.e., think a béchamel sauce where ground black peppercorn would mar the pure white sauce.

    If you are not familiar with black bean sauce, most commonly seen in Chinese cooking, it is a sauce made from fermented, salt-preserved soya beans. It is a cooking sauce rather than a condiment; it is very salty and savory. Because of its concentrated, briny flavor you do not need additional salt to this dish.

    The pork version is delicious but using beef ribs would be a great substitute if you are not a pork fan.

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