Steamed Pai Kuat (pork ribs)

Steamed Pai Kuat (pork ribs)


For the last couple of months as I have sat down to lunch with my humble salad sandwich or scrambled eggs I’ve watched enviously as my teammate Amie unveils her dad’s delicious home-cooked Chinese delicacies.  The poor girl never gets to eat in peace as I always give her the full interrogation on what she is eating.  Amie’s dad is an amazing cook – so much so that I have offered us to switch homes temporarily a la Freaky Friday.  He has kindly passed on this recipe which was gratefully gobbled up by the rest of our team.

Here are Amie’s words on her dad’s recipe…

One of my dad’s all time favourite dishes to cook at home is Pai Kuat.  My dad grew up in Guangzhou, China and always had a strong passion for food and cooking.  His first job was working as a kitchen assistant where he helped prep ingredients for chefs and from there he learnt how to cook restaurant-type foods such as Pai Kuat.  From then on my dad started perfecting his own version of Pai Kuat at home by using different ingredients such as red chillis, soy sauce and preserved plums until the right flavours were achieved.


serves 6
-- 500g pork ribs 1tsp salt 1tsp sugar 1tbsp light soy sauce 2tbsp cornflour 2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 red chilli, sliced 2tbsp preserved black beans -- Steamed rice, sliced spring onion and coriander to serve


-- 1. Cut the pork ribs into 3cm pieces (bite sized), then rinse with tap water and blot dry with paper towels. 2. In a bowl mix together the pork ribs, salt, sugar, light soy sauce, cornflour, garlic and chilli. Add the pork to this mixture, cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour. 3. Prepare the steamer on a cook top set to high heat. I didn't have a steamer so alternatively, use a large, deep-bottom frying pan with a lid, a bamboo steaming basket (just the base, not the lid) and a couple of ramekins (which will be placed in the frying pan to raise the steaming basket above the water). 4. Put a little water in the frying pan, place the ramekins in the centre of the pan and place it on a high heat (with the lid on). 5. Line the steaming basket with baking paper and then add the meat. Scatter the beans over the meat. 6. Once the water in the frying pan is boiling, place the steaming basket of pork on top of the ramekins and cover with the frying pan lid. 7. Steam for 15 minutes. 8. Serve on top of rice and garnish with spring onions and coriander.

4 thoughts on “Steamed Pai Kuat (pork ribs)”

  • Pai Kuat is undoubtedly one of my favourites. Actually, to be honest, I like my ribs bbqed or roasted sticky…but I’ll take steamed! Especially if they end up looking like yours!

    Beautiful photography. I’m thinking of investing in a dSLR. What camera do you use?

  • Hi Amrita,
    I usually like my ribs barbequed too but I was really surprised how good steamed pork tasted and how easy it was to cook. I’ve tried the recipe with pork fillet and it was so tender and moist (although cannot be called Pai Kuat).

    Emma will fill you in on the details of her camera…

    Thanks so much for your comment!

  • Hi Amrita!
    Thank you for the lovely feedback. I use a Nikon D90 which is a great camera and fortunately enough it is coming down in price considerably now that Nikon is rolling out their next release of cameras. If this is the first dSLR you will purchase then I suggest spending less on a body so that you can buy a nice lens. I have a 50mm fixed lens which is great for food (and also portraiture) and is surprisingly inexpensive. In fact I think mine was no more than NZD$150.00 which is fantastic.
    Good luck with your photography!

  • be sure to use pork ribs that are used for steaming only. regular ribs do not work too well for this dish as ribs for steaming come from the ‘softer and juicier’ part of Mr Oink

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