125 g/4 oz dried chestnuts
1 kg/2 lb pork spareribs, not too fatty
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons peanut oil
500 ml/1 pint/2 cups hot water
2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)
Pour boiling water over dried chestnuts in a bowl, cover and soak for 30 minutes. Pour off water, replace with more boiling water and soak for 30 minutes longer. Or soak overnight in warm water.
Ask the butcher to cut the spareribs into chunky pieces. Crush garlic with sugar to a smooth purée. Mix with soy sauce and use to marinate the ribs for 30 minutes or longer.
Heat a wok, add oil and when hot fry the spareribs, tossing them so they are well browned. Add hot water and drained chestnuts, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the pork is tender. Blend cornflour with a little cold water and stir into the liquid in the wok until sauce boils and thickens. Serve hot with steamed rice.
Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)