There was talk of potential snow in London this past weekend. My weather app showed a slight chance of snow and I entered the weekend in hope. Sadly, I woke on Sunday morning disappointed that the view out of my window wasn’t blanketed in white.
I am still enamoured by snow. It turns a city, even the grimy, dirty parts into a white fairy tale. I get all giddy and excitable like a kid. I didn’t grow up with snow and there were winters in Sydney that were hardly cold at all. To experience snow in Sydney is an expedition in itself, which involves a 6 hour drive to the Snowy Mountains. So you can see why it is a novelty for me. Prior to my first backpacking trip to Europe, I had seen snow twice. I remember being on a train from Italy to Switzerland and as I travelled through the Alps, snow started to fall. They were big, chunky snowflakes and I was in awe.
With the impending snow forecast, I had made provisions to stay indoors for most of the weekend and cook a dish I could not get out of my mind.
My favourite ramen noodle joint in London is the not so average, New York inspired Bone Daddies. Not only do they make delicious ramen noodles within a restaurant who’s interiors are covered with pictures of Japanese rockabillies, they make the tastiest Asian style pork ribs. My first taste of their pork ribs still lingers in my memory. A balance of sweet, salty, not too sticky and the meat just came off the bone. It was one of those food memories that popped into my mind last week and stayed with me for days. I had to make it. The crunchy, wasabi dressed daikon, carrot and cucumber salad is a great accompaniment that cuts through the meatiness of the pork ribs.
Maybe we'll get snow next weekend. I’ll continue to hope.
Serves 2 large portions or 4 small portions
SWEET STICKY PORK RIBS
12 pork ribs (or a rack)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp black peppercorns.
4 garlic cloves minced
5cm ginger grated
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
3 tbsp honey
Pinch dried chilli flakes
Juice 2 limes
2 shallots finely sliced
1 tbsp white sesame seeds
Place the ribs, salt and peppercorns in a large pan and cover with water.
Bring the water to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 1 - 1 1/2 hours until the meat is tender and is starting to come off the bone.
Remove the ribs from the pan into a mixing bowl.
Pre-heat the oven to 160ºC/375ºF/Gas Mark 3.
To make the marinade combine the garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, mirin, honey, chilli flakes and lime juice and mix together.
Add the marinade to the ribs and mix and coat each rib in the marinade.
Place the ribs in a deep roasting tray, pouring all the marinade onto the tray and cover completely with foil.
Roast in the oven for 1 hr making sure you turn the ribs halfway through roasting to ensure the ribs don't dry out and are coated in the marinade on all sides.
Remove the ribs from the oven and don't waste the thick, sticky sauce by pouring it onto the ribs when serving.
Garnish with shallots and sesame seeds.
DAIKON, CARROT, CUCUMBER SALAD WITH WASABI YOGHURT DRESSING
1 cup daikon shredded
1 cup carrot shredded
1 cup cucumber shredded
1/4 cup natural yoghurt
2 tsp wasabi paste
3 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp honey
1 tsp mirin
1 tsp rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
Juice 1 lemon
Shred the daikon, carrot and cucumber using a mandolin or knife.
To shred the cucumber, slice it in half lengthways and remove the middle flesh with a spoon.
Once the daikon has been shredded, place it in a bowl of water for 10 mins to remove the bitter flavour and obtain crunchiness.
Completely dry the carrot, cucumber and daikon using a tea towel or salad spinner and add to a large bowl.
Make the dressing by whisking together the yoghurt, wasabi paste, sesame oil, honey, mirin, rice vinegar and lemon juice.
Add the dressing to the slaw and mix well.
Serve immediately with the warm roasted pork ribs and wedges of lime.
You can add more wasabi paste to the dressing if you prefer a stronger kick.