Succulent Pork Ribs and Taro: A Comforting Stew

Pork ribs and taro, when stewed together, create a harmonious blend that defines comfort food. Recollections of snug winter nights rush forth with every bite, though its appeal isn’t limited to any particular season. Often overshadowed, taro introduces a distinctive taste and feel that harmonizes impeccably with pork ribs. Having sung praises for taro as a key ingredient in cakes, it’s apt that we shine the spotlight on this root in this savory avatar.

Choosing the Right Taro:

Opt for the larger taro varieties when preparing this dish. Their flaky texture, reminiscent of Yucca, blends seamlessly with the savory braised pork rib sauce. On the other hand, smaller taro roots – comparable in size to kiwis or petite potatoes – might seem tempting but can turn out slightly gooey, much like okra. The unparalleled combination of large taro and pork ribs results in a meal that’s soul-warming to its core.

Discover the Magic of Taro:

Taro might not be a staple in every kitchen, but its versatility deserves recognition. As you sink your teeth into this stew, you’ll understand the depth of flavor and texture that taro can introduce. If you’re on the lookout for a novel ingredient to reinvigorate your culinary adventures, taro stands ready to impress.


For Marinating the Pork Ribs:

  • 3 pounds pork ribs, chopped into 2-3 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine
  • ½ teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar

For the Main Dish:

  • 2 tablespoons plus ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ginger slice, smashed
  • ¼ cup minced shallots
  • 6 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tablespoons ground bean sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon five spice powder
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper, ground
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 pounds large taro root, chopped into 2-3 inch pieces
  • 2 scallions, sliced into 2-inch segments

Cooking Steps:

  1. Mix ribs with marinade components and set aside for 20 minutes. Over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or Dutch oven. Add ginger and briefly sear ribs until they develop a brown hue.
  2. Lower the heat to medium, infuse with shallots and garlic, and continue for a minute. Introduce the Shaoxing wine, ground bean sauce, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, salt, five spice powder, white pepper, and sesame oil to the mix, ensuring even coating of the ribs.
  3. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook covered for 45 minutes, ensuring the ribs remain submerged and frequently stirring. If the liquid reduces significantly, replenish with more water or stock.
  4. Concurrently, warm ½ cup vegetable oil to 300°F in a separate pan and gently fry taro pieces until they form a light crust, seasoning with a pinch of salt.
  5. Once the ribs are tender, incorporate the taro, ensuring even coating with the stew’s liquid. Continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Check the taro for a flaky texture. If needed, extend the cooking duration for softer taro. Finalize with scallions and serve hot.

Note: This savory stew offers both comfort and excitement on a plate, making it a delightful addition to your culinary repertoire. Don’t forget to share the warmth and happiness it brings with friends and family!

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