Sunday, October 22, 2006

Pork Ribs with Lotus Root

Lotus root is the root of the lotus flower, it grows in the mud at the bottom of the lake, the flower emerges when the plant comes out on top of the water. The characteristic hole pattern, round the tuber, is quite interesting looking. According to Chinese mythology, the root represents the union of marriage, as when the root is carefully cut, you can see strands that still attach each cut to one another. The name that denotes this, in Chinese, is Broken yet Together, what they believe the union in a marriage should be. The lotus root comes out still a little crunchy, and has a pleasant taste that marries well with the pork.

Pork Ribs with Lotus Root
1 full rack of pork ribs
2 lotus roots
3-4 star anise
1 dried hot pepper
4-5 whole peppercorns
2" piece of gingerroot, peeled and cut into 2-3 pieces
tsp sugar
tsp salt
dash of alcohol
water to cover ingredients

Clean skin off lotus root, then slice in half length-wise. Clean off inside where holes are, if desired, then slice crosswise into thick chunks. Cut rack into individual ribs. Add all ingredients to large pot and boil for 45 minutes to one hour (the longer you boil, the more it will turn into soup). For a quicker way, cook in pressure cooker for 30 minutes.

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