Steamed Pai Kuat (pork ribs)

Photographer: Emma
serves 6

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.


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.