Lunar New Year in San Francisco is one of the biggest celebrations. This year, it has become a state holiday in California. With a parade and firecrackers and streets decorated with red lanterns. And of course, the food. Tang Cu Pai Gu, an authentic Chinese Dish, is one of the favorites. Also known as Chinese Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE BEST TANG CU PAI GU RECIPE
The way to make the best tang cu pai gu is to start with the best ingredients. Like many ingredients, Chinese ingredients vary in quality by brand. If the brands are unfamiliar, it is difficult to know which ones to use. Here is a list of the ingredients where selecting a good brand really matters. We get these online fromThe Mala Market.
Zhongba handcrafted soy sauce. This is a premium, naturally brewed Chinese soy sauce with no additives or preservatives! It is made the traditional way, creating umami organically over a long fermentation period with no need for added sugar, alcohol, caramel, msg, chemicals and preservatives.
Many recipes will tell you that it’s ok to substitue wine for Shaoxing wine, but it’s just not the same thing. If you start substituting ingredients it won’t taste authentic, especially in a dish like tang cu pai gu. We use a Shaoxing Huadiao. This is a traditional wine and is considered one of the best. It has a rich, mellow, slightly sweet and nutty wine that pairs well with China’s other frequently used sauces.
For certain products, the choice of brand will make a big difference in the outcome of the recipe and in your carbon footprint. So, for those products, we have listed the brand. We are not paid to mention a brand and have no affiliates.
2 inch pieceginger
1poundSpare ribs cut into one inch pieces
1teaspoonZhongba handcrafted soy sauce
1TablespoonHand-made Baoning vinegar aged 10 years
4dried chili pods
peanut oilenough for frying
Crush and chop ginger, garlic and scallions into ¼ inch pieces. Fill a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Add the spare ribs and bring the water to a boil. Skim the water, and then add the ginger, garlic and scallions. Simmer the ribs until they are cooked (about 5 minutes). Remove the meat to a bowl and keep the stock.
In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and the ginger, garlic and scallions from the pot and pour the mixture over the ribs to coat all the ribs. Let this sit for 30 minutes.
Heat enough oil in the wok for deep frying until it starts to smoke. Add the spare ribs and fry until they are crispy and turn brown, Test the ribs so they are don't fry too long. Take them out of the oil and drain out all the oil.
Add the chilli pods and stir fry until soft and turning black, and then remove them. Add the ginger, garlic and scallions to the oil and stir fry just until they begin to brown and remove them.
Put the ribs back in the wok and add a half cup of the stock, the sugar, Baoning vinegar, white vinegar, and star anise.
Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the water has evaporated and created a thick syrup over the ribs. Add back the chilli pods, garlic, ginger and scallions and stir to coat with the syrup.
Remove the ribs, pour the syrup and aromatics over them and allow the dish to cool to room temperature.
Check out the chart on the blog post to see how food choices affect climate change. This recipe uses responsible brands and items that are lower on the chart and the production creates less greenhouse gas.