Spare Ribs Stew & Steamed Vegetables

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Well here’s a dish that I cooked when my sister visited me here recently – spare ribs stew & steamed veggies – similar to my pork hamonado recipe.

1/2 kilo pork spare ribs, uncut
1 tbsp. of crushed garlic
1 onion, chopped
1 long cylinder of leak, cut about a inch long & sliced thinly
soy sauce
3 tbsp. of oyster sauce
2 tbsp. of sugar
about 10 peppercorns, crushed
Bagiou beans (or green beans), keep them long
Potatoes, cut like French fries or into wedges
Boil the spare ribs & get rid of the white stuff that rises. Continue boiling for about 30 minutes then add all the other ingredients except the vegetables. Place the potatoes in one side of the casserole & the string beans on the other side. Do not mix. Set them aside when cooked (the potatoes will take longer time). Continue simmering until the meat is tender & the sauce is thick. Put the spare ribs on a platter and pour the sauce evenly over the ribs. Arrange the potatoes & string beans next to it. Delicious!

Society is like a stew. If you don’t stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top. – Edward Abbey (American Writer whose works, set primarily in the southwestern United States, reflect an uncompromising environmentalist philosophy. 1927-1989)

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

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