Asian Pork Spare Ribs with Butternut Squash

This dish is one of my family’s all time favorites.  The savory Asian flavor spare ribs combined with the sweet and nutty butternut squash just make you crave for more.  I generally make a big batch of this dish because it tastes even better the next day.  It is great for everyday meals or as a new favorite on your holiday table.  

Time: About 1 hour
Serves: 4 - 5

Spare Ribs
3 pounds pork spare ribs, cut into bite size chunks
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon regular soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice wine/white wine
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon five spice powder
4 cups cold tap water (use hot water if you need to shorten the cooking time)
Butternut Squash
1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cold tap water

Spare Ribs
  1. Put all the "meat" ingredients in a large deep wok or a dutch oven.  Cover lid and turn on the heat.
  2. Bring to boil.  Uncover lid, stir and turn ribs over, so the ribs on the top are on the bottom and vice versa.  This allows the ribs to cook evenly and absorb all the flavoring ingredients.
  3. With lid covered, in medium to high heat cook ribs for 30-40 minutes (Uncover lid slightly if boiling over), until there’s no more liquid remaining on the bottom of the pot. Turn off heat.
Note: Please be sure to stir and turn the ribs occasionally so they can cook evenly and also to prevent from sticking. 

Butternut Squash
  1. While the ribs are being cooked, peel and cut the butternut squash.
  2. Heat olive oil in a wok and brown garlic.  Add butternut squash, salt and water in the wok.  Stir several times. Cover lid and let it steam for 10 minutes in medium to high heat. 
  3. Uncover lid, stir and turn the squash (similar to what you did with the ribs).  Let it cook for another 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and serve with the ribs.
  1. Potatoes, taro, sweet potatoes or kabocha squash can be used instead of the butternut squash.  If you're using potatoes or taro, more water and cooking time are needed.
  2. The ribs and the squash can also be served as separate dishes.
  3. You can leave some pan juice if you like your ribs a little saucy.

Note: We generally serve this dish with steamed white or brown rice.  However, you can also serve it as is if you're trying to cut down on carbs.

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