Char Siu Ribs
I was recently chatting with a culinary equipment company about working with them, as I was a fan of their products. After a while of getting nowhere, I was told, “You’re not the right demographic. We’re targeting busy, stay-at-home moms, that don’t have time to cook.”
Obviously they haven’t looked at my daily planner because they would have seen that time is something that’s in short supply with a certain someone, who spends plenty of time at home. As for the mom part, well, let’s just say that sometimes I feel like I am babying a number of people in my life. (None of you, of course…)
So even though I wasn’t born with the right, um, equipment to be a stay-at-home mommy (and from what I hear about the process of giving birth, I think it’s something I’m okay skipping), I do know a thing or two about not always having time to cook. People often find that rather funny, but when you’ve been testing recipes all day (the other day, I made sixteen cakes – yikes!), that last thing you want to do is make dinner – or worse – face yet another sinkload of dishes afterward. Moms, I hear ya!
Yet even though I’m hopelessly unmarketable, one thing that I do share with those moms who are so darned busy is that I keep a few tricks up my sleeve. One of them is to keep a jar of Char Sui sauce handy. For those who think jarred sauces are dubious, you obviously haven’t spent the day surrounded by screaming kids then had your other half come home and complain about what a horrible day he had.
The jarred sauce has exactly the same flavors found in the bbq pork that you get in Chinese restaurants, yet takes no time at all to make a main course with it as a base. Just smear it on some pork, finish up those recipes you’ve been working on, and within a few hours, you’ll find yourself pulling a terrific dinner out of the oven with practically no work. (And if anyone gives you a hard time about using a jarred sauce, open their refrigerator and pull out a jar of mustard, and demand an explanation.)
I like to ramp up the sauce with a bit of spicy Sriracha sauce and some tangy pickle juice. I’ve tried adding fresh ginger but during the reduction process, it can get really strong. I love the zing of fresh ginger and understand if you want to add it. But if you do, just use a little less than you think.
And to be honest, I’ve had a busy, stay-at-home day, and I’ve got guests coming for dinner. And we’re having ribs. I’m serving them with a raw vegetable slaw with fresh mangos and putting out a jar of homemade kimchi, for folks to help themselves. Because I’m wiped out from being so busy all day.
Chinese-Style Roast Pork (Just Bento)
BBQ Pork (Rasa Malaysia)
Chinese Roast Pork (Appetite for China)
Char Siu Bao (Chubby Hubby)
Chinese Roast Pork (No Recipes)
Char Siu Sauce (Serious Eats)