The combination of pork rib stew, Foo Jook, and Chee Hou sauce is a perfect example of classic Chinese home cooking. Foo Jook, also known as dried tofu skin, is a fantastic comfort food when combined with pork ribs and sweet Chee Hou sauce, and it also happens to be a great Chinese New Year dish.
When I’m in the mood for foo jook, I whip up a pot of this Foo Jook Pork Rib Stew. Thin folds of tofu soak up the pork and chee house sauce like a sponge, taking on the sauce’s rich flavor and taking on a silky, luscious texture in the process. In the colder months, nothing beats the comforting combination of hot rice, juicy pork, and crunchy foo jook.
However, before we get started cooking up this foo jook pork rib stew, there are a few things I should mention concerning the ingredients.
Bean thread or dry bean curd stick are both common English translations you could see on a package of foo jook.
A second clarification: rib tips are specifically called for in this dish. When cooked for more than an hour, the cartilage and bone in pork become tender enough to consume. There is a lot of collagen and glucosamine in cartilage, so I’m crossing my fingers that this will be good for my aging joints.
If you don’t like the chewy texture that’s popular in East Asia, have your butcher prepare boneless country-style ribs or cut pig ribs into smaller pieces.
CHEE HOU SAUCE
You may be left with one final mystery: what, exactly, is Chee Hou sauce? My two Chinese daughters, who are experts in Chinese cuisine, have never heard of it.
While each brand of Chee Hou sauce uses its own secret blend of ingredients to create its signature taste, they are all essentially variations on a sweet fermented soybean sauce. I used Koon Chun Chee Hou Sauce because it’s my favorite, but you can use any brand you like.
In place of Chee Hou sauce, you can use a combination of Hoisin Sauce and ground bean sauce in a ratio of 2:1. If you can’t find any of these bean sauces in your area, don’t worry; we explain them all on our Chinese sauces page and provide connections to online retailers who carry them.
The true work of cooking Fook Jook Pork Rib Stew may now begin.
- 2 pounds of pork rib tips (cut into 2-inch pieces)
- 170g of dried foo jook bean thread
- 5 scallions (white and green portions separated; 1 ½ inch pieces)
- 3 slices of ginger
- 3 cloves of chopped garlic
- 1 chopped medium yellow onion
- 4 cups of water
- ¼ cup of Shaoxing wine
- ¼ cup of chee hou sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
- 1/8 teaspoon of white pepper
- Foo jook should be soaked in warm water for 30-40 minutes. Section them off at 2 in.
- A tablespoon of vegetable oil can be heated with ginger slices in a big stew pot or Dutch oven. Brown and caramelize the ingredients in the skillet for 1 minute.
- Fry the ribs until they are a nice golden color. Fry for an extra 3 minutes after adding the chopped onion and garlic.
- Combine a quarter cup of Shaoxing wine with a quarter cup of chee hou sauce, one tablespoon of soy sauce, one and a half tablespoons of oyster sauce, half a teaspoon of sesame oil, and some white pepper.
- Four cups of water should be boiled and then simmered. Simmer for an hour, covered, stirring every 20 minutes.
- The white parts of the scallions and the foo jook should be combined next, with enough liquid added to completely submerge the foo jook. Keep the lid on the saucepan and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Keep stirring for the next 10 minutes.
- Take the lid off and raise the heat so the stew may come to a low boil. Bring in the remaining scallion greens. Reduce the liquid by simmering it uncovered for up to 10 minutes; it should thicken enough to coat a spoon.
- Steamed rice and stir-fried bok choy or any leafy green vegetable go great with this Foo Jook pork rib stew.